Apple to Require Apps to Allow Accounts to Be Deleted

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Bhawani Singh
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Apple app developers will have to offer users a way to delete apps if they want to be distributed through the App Store. The change will come into force for all app submissions starting January 31, 2022, the Cupertino company said in a note to developers. The requirement of allowing users to delete accounts they created in apps was originally announced as a part of Apple’s updated developer guidelines that were released at WWDC 2021 in June.

By directing third-party developers to provide a way to delete the accounts users created in their apps, Apple is indeed making it easier to completely ditch a particular app or service. However, as noted by The Verge, the update requires developers to “initiate deletion” of user accounts “from within the app”. This suggests that developers could be able to direct users to a survey or a webpage where they could give alternatives over allowing complete deletion at first glance.

Apple has already been allowing users to cancel subscriptions directly from the App Store to let them easily leave a service. The account deletion guideline will come in addition to that feature.

Alongside the direction to allow account deletions, Apple has introduced a “Report a Problem” link that is available to app pages on the App Store to let users quickly report concerns with content they’ve purchased or downloaded. The new link is a part of App Store pages on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, and will be available on macOS Monterey. It is initially available for users in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the US, and will expand to other regions over time, the company said.

Apple earlier provided the “Report a Problem” link at the bottom of the Apps and Games tabs in the App Store. It was spotted as a part of app pages on iOS 15 earlier this week.

In addition to the expansion of the “Report a Problem” link, Apple has updated its app reporting portal to let users choose from “Report a scam or fraud” and “Report offensive, abusive, or illegal content” options and report issues with their apps, including the free ones that don’t offer in-app purchases.

“Apple’s App Review, Discovery Fraud and Live Moderation, and Financial Fraud teams investigate reported problems for signs of fraud, manipulation, abuse and other violations of the App Store Review Guidelines, and will reach out to developers to resolve issues,” the company said.

The change to the app reporting portal is in place for users worldwide.

Late last month, Apple enabled the ability to let users rate and review preloaded iOS apps through the App Store. It was also recently forced to started allowing developers to enable in-app purchases through alternative payment systems — a partial loss in the case with Fortnite creator Epic Games and other app makers.

This week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, we discuss iPhone 13, new iPad and iPad mini, and Apple Watch Series 7 — and what they mean to the Indian market. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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