In a policy update for the App Store that coincides with the iOS 11 developer release, Apple added the following line: "Apps may use in-app purchase currencies to enable customers to "tip" digital content providers in the app".
Another big change for developers to take note of is that the length allowed for app names has been shortened from 50 to 30 characters.
Last month, Apple demanded that Chinese app makers disable the tipping function.
Apple is known to have an iron grip on what apps can or cannot do, however the policy for tipping was unclear. The modifications to the App Store was first noticed by 9to5Mac.
With this App launching around the same time as that ruling, in early April, it was clearly meant to capitalise on the spike in interest in VPNs across America as people looked to protect their online privacy from their own ISPs.
The app offers services which are essentially unnecessary, such as an iOS antivirus and malware scanning service. Having said that, a list view in the old design had more games in the initial view. Worse, some of them are rising high in the App Store rankings, as a new report details. In addition, a new tab called "Today" features the daily additions to the App Store. We just learned that Apple has finally and officially updated the App Store Review Guidelines.
"These are the exact sort of apps that the App Store review process should be primarily looking to block", Gruber wrote on his Daring Fireball blog in response to Lin's research.
Tencent's WeChat instant messaging platform shut down the tipping function of its apps in the Apple Store in April, after failing to reach an agreement with Apple on the issue.
Custom, in-app prompts used by developers require the user to move over to the App Store to leave a review, a solution that may yield feedback but also pulls the user out of the app itself in order to do so.
Even better than that, the app developers themselves will be able to figure out how much the content creators get out of that tip money.
Established App store brands and relatively larger developers will be magnified even more but ASO experiments can drive growth for all. However, some social-networking apps have likened Apple's tactic to arm-twisting, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.