There is a reckoning happening on Apple’s App Store. Just yesterday, the South Korean government voted on a new bill that would force Apple and Google to allow third-party payment services, and a couple of days before that, Apple announced that they will allow developers to communicate with their users through email that they can use alternative payment methods.
Now it seems thanks to Japan’s Fair Trade Commission, another pro-developer change will be coming to the App Store that will affect reader apps. According to Apple’s announcement, reader apps on iOS will now be allowed to include an in-app link that will redirect users to an external website, like one run by the publisher themselves, where users can set up or manage their accounts.
This means that users could in theory use an alternative payment method to pay for the reader app’s services and content. This would be kind of similar to how Amazon’s Kindle app works at the moment, where the app simply acts as a place for users to read Kindle books, but those books need to be bought via Amazon’s website.
This would allow developers to skirt around Apple’s commission rates, which is an issue that more and more developers are taking issue with. These changes are coming into effect in 2022 and while it is part of the agreement with Japan to close the investigation, Apple notes that the changes will be applied globally as well.