Apple will now let App Store developers talk to their customers about buying direct

 In a lawsuit launched against it by developers in the United States, Apple said today that it has struck a tentative settlement (linked below). The agreement, which is still awaiting court approval, includes a few changes, the most significant of which is that developers will be able to share information on how to pay for purchases outside of their iOS app or the App Store—meaning they will be able to inform customers about payment options that aren't subject to Apple commissions. More pricing levels are included in the settlement, as well as a new transparency report on the app review process.

In 2019, app creators Donald Cameron and Illinois Pure Sweat Basketball filed a class-action complaint against Apple, alleging that the corporation engaged in anticompetitive tactics by only allowing iPhone apps to be downloaded through the App Store.

Apple clarified today that "developers can use communications, like as emails, to provide information about payment methods outside of their iOS app," according to the announcement. Developers would not pay Apple a commission on any transactions made outside of their app or the App Stores, as is customary.”

This would allow developers to engage with customers via email and "other communication services," which was previously impossible due to App Store restrictions prohibiting developers from utilising contact information gathered within an app to contact users outside of the app. This limitation would be lifted for all app categories as part of the settlement, allowing developers to inform consenting users about payment alternatives that avoid Apple's commissions.

In terms of pricing tiers, Apple announced that the number of price points available to developers will be increased from less than 100 to more than 500. It also agreed to release a new annual transparency report detailing the app review process, including how many apps are rejected, how many customer and developer accounts have been deactivated, “objective data regarding search queries and results,” and how many apps have been removed from the App Store.

Apple also announced the creation of a new fund for qualified American developers who made $1 million or less through the U.S. App Store, which accounts for 99 per cent of all developers in the country. The fund will be $100 million, according to Hagens Berman, one of the law firms representing plaintiffs in the action. Payments would range from $250 to $30,000.