Apple Will Enforce Rules Against Third-Party App Update Services
Apple has decided to strictly enforce a few rules regarding third-party app update services, which it has had from the beginning. While Apple has rules that forbid developers from using non-App Store mechanisms to update their apps, the company has looked the other way when developers do so. Now, according to a report, it is all changing.
The report claims that developers are receiving notices from Apple telling them to use App Store update mechanism and to remove any third-party app update services code before the next update.
According to Apple, that code violates two rules. However, some developers note that Apple is now interpreting those rules in a "more narrow way". The rules themselves include section 3.3.2 of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement, and the App Store Review Guideline 2.5.2.
Apple's decision to enforce the rules comes just days after WikiLeaks released documents suggesting the CIA had developed exploits for iOS. So, this may be Apple's way of making sure the government cannot exploit their App updating process. The company has also announced that the latest iOS version has patched most of the exploits and vulnerabilities detailed in the documents from WikiLeaks.
The one of the company that gets affected by the new rules is Rollout.io. Their service is a popular iOS troubleshooting and update tool, and it allows developers to "push code-level exchanges" to their iOS apps. Developers user the service to push patches and fix bugs without having to go through the lengthy Apple update approval process.
While the move may become unpopular among developers, it is the right one. It makes iOS more secure and safer and we hope many developers will embrace it.