Apple has decided to tighten the requirements for apps that are focused on coronavirus. The iPhone maker tech giant has put in place more safeguards to ensure the reliability of health information and the credibility of apps present in its App Store.
The company posted an article on its “developer blog” on Saturday about the review process for coronavirus-focused apps. Apple outlines the steps to keep in check the new apps in order to curtail any ambiguous or misguiding information on the ongoing global pandemic.
The post states that communities across the globe need credible information from trustworthy sources. To fulfil these expectations, Apple is assessing the apps and their content only to make sure that reliable information reaches the audience.
This simply means that Apple has completely banned all the games and/or entertainment apps that are COVID-19 or coronavirus-themed. In order to expedite the process, the company has narrowed down the submission criteria as well.
Who Can Submit COVID-19 Apps?
Apple is encouraging the creation of Coronavirus-themed apps that are informative and educational. Similarly, the submission of such apps is also associated with credibility and reliability.
The company is only allowing developers from acknowledged entities and platforms to submit Coronavirus-themed apps. These include developers from health-focused NGOs, medical or educational institutions, government organisations and companies that are already recognised by Apple.
Further Guidelines for Developers
Furthermore, Apple has posted additional guidelines for developers who are willing to submit informative apps. They are encouraging developers to use the “Time-Sensitive Event” option for quick reviews. The company posted that it realises the need for such informative apps and should be available for readers as soon as possible.
Apple is encouraging developers to select the “Time-Sensitive Event” while submitting apps related to COVID-19 so that it can cut short the ‘App Store review time.’
Waive on Annual Membership Fee
In order to encourage developers and spread awareness about the pandemic, Apple has also waived its ‘annual membership fee’ on coronavirus-themed apps. Based on the eligible country, government entities accredited educational institutions and Non-profit organizations can benefit from this.
How This Will Help
This timely taken step will help Apple prevent companies who are looking to capitalise on this outbreak. In this manner, the company can quickly assess content and restrict developers. This will exclude developers who are submitting games and entertainment apps on this life-threatening matter.
Google’s Stance on Coronavirus
In the wake of the deadly Coronavirus, Google is also working to spread awareness among Android users. The company has launched a separate dedicated section that lists coronavirus apps from trustworthy sources. In addition to this, Google is also working on a dedicated website for Coronavirus to educate and help the community. However, the site is currently only useful for people who are living in the US.
We think this is a wise and sensible step from Apple to cope with the Coronavirus outbreak as it will ensure people only receive credible news and information. Furthermore, this will stop uncertainty regarding COVID-19 and inspire other organisations to carry out the same steps.