Apple changes to rule 4.2.6

In October 2017 we published a blog post about Apple’s recent announcement that it would aggressively enforce rule 4.2.6 for iOS submissions.

As a reminder the rule bans apps based on templates to live stand-alone on its app store. The rule wasn’t really aimed at event apps but to discourage copycat apps. That being said it did affect event app markers that offered a branded option to their customers. Back then the Event Managers Blog wrote that Apple’s decision would kill branded event apps as we knew them.

A lot has happened since then, some of our competitors that offer branded event apps haves scrambled to get their clients on boarded onto their non branded service and we did see a surge of interest in Yapp from customers who wanted to look at our container app model.

There are advantages in having your own branded app in the app store (easy to find, the advantage of needing your attendees to look for your conference by name etc) but there are also a lot of advantages to using the container model (ease of use, app live in minutes, no maintenance costs, a lot cheaper). A lot of time the main objection we face is “will a container app devalue my brand?” we have some of the top brands in the world using a container app model (Capital One, Ritz Carlton, Verizon) and they didn’t seem to take a hit.

In December 2017 Apple made a new change to their rule. The old rule read like this:
4.2.6 Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected.

The new one reads like this:
4.2.6 Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected unless they are submitted directly by the provider of the app’s content. These services should not submit apps on behalf of their clients and should offer tools that let their clients create customized, innovative apps that provide unique customer experiences.

This means that provider of branded apps will still be able to offer help and expertise in building the app, but that the app itself should be pushed into the Apple store by the business or organization behind the app. This implies that the company of the event organizer now needs to pay the Apple listing fee, deal with submission rejections, metadata, app store descriptions and customer support, feedback etc. Some companies might have the desire and resources to undertake this project but it probably isn’t worth it for most.

The decision of going for branded or not is ultimately the customers decision, we wanted to make sure that you had the most accurate information available before making a choice!