The other night I was attending my husband’s holiday party where I was introduced to a woman who was also there with her spouse. Interestingly, she is an event planner, and when I told her about my job, her first question was: Can you tell me what’s going on with this Apple thing?
I explained that, back in June, Apple announced new guidelines around the approval process for app acceptance in the iTunes store. This impacted the events industry in that event app providers would be required to publish one single app that all events use, referred to as a ‘container app’. This was a shift from the previous process in which apps were published by individual event, branded as that event. I also mentioned that there had been a bit of a fuss over it and some waivers had been granted. Finally, I joked that we never know what tomorrow might have instore for us.
Little did I know how true that would be.
Just yesterday (12/20/2017), Apple made an amendment to that guideline.
Here’s how the original guideline read:
4.2.6 Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected.
Here’s how it reads now:
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. Another acceptable option for template providers is to create a single binary to host all client content in an aggregated or “picker” model, for example as a restaurant finder app with separate customized entries or pages for each client restaurant, or as an event app with separate entries for each client event.
The rationale behind the June guideline was to eliminate spam apps that replicate successful apps and prevent people from churning out thousands of apps with very little functionality. However, the guideline impacted a much broader audience than likely intended.
This change gives us options to keep branded apps in the app store for clients’ events.
This means that we can continue to submit apps to both iTunes and Google Play for approval for each individual event. Once the event apps are approved, attendees will go directly to the app store and search for their event app by name. There’s no change there. There is a subtle shift to how the apps are submitted, but the end result is the same for attendees.
MeetingPlay is the premier white-glove experience of meeting and event apps, providing unmatchable service and technology. We will continue to work with our clients to guide them through this process. There will be some changes, again namely around the submission process, but they are manageable, and we’ll be working hand in hand with the customers we serve to help them through this change.
We know this is a lot to follow, and we are here to provide answers to any questions, whether through your dedicated account manager or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, we've posted additional details here, should you want to read more.