Developers Will Be Able to Dispute App Store Rules, and Bug Fix Updates Won’t Be Used as Leverage

In an Apple press release summarizing the developer-specific announcements at WWDC, there are these two significant changes to App Review:

Additionally, two changes are coming to the app review process and will be implemented this summer. First, developers will not only be able to appeal decisions about whether an app violates a given guideline of the App Store Review Guidelines, but will also have a mechanism to challenge the guideline itself. Second, for apps that are already on the App Store, bug fixes will no longer be delayed over guideline violations except for those related to legal issues. Developers will instead be able to address the issue in their next submission.

It is anyone’s guess how likely a rules dispute will result in modifications, but at least the avenue is now there. As for no longer withholding bug fix updates — it’s about time. Unnecessarily punishing users for a developer dispute is unfair and I am glad to see this change.