Apple has just updated its review guidelines App Store. As is well known, all apps go through an approval process before they appear in her store.
However, a recent change was quite controversial and affected a giant market: apps created from models (templates) ready. This was not yet very clear and the purpose of this new review is to clarify what types of apps will be or will not be accepted.
Item 4.2.6 has changed (in a free translation) from:
4.2.6 Apps created from a purchased template or an app creation service will be rejected.
4.2.6 Apps created from a purchased template or a service for creating apps will be rejected unless they are sent directly by the company that creates the app's content. These services should not send apps on behalf of their customers and should offer tools that enable their customers to create personalized and innovative apps that deliver a unique experience to consumers. Another acceptable option for templates create a single application that hosts all customer content in an aggregated model, for example an app that lists restaurants, with different information and pages for each one, or an event app with separate data for each event (customer).
Basically, what Apple does not want these services to impersonate is its customers, publishing apps for them.
In the United States, this adaptation will become slightly easier in early 2018, when Apple (another novelty, here) will stop charging the $ 99 annual fee from government developers and nonprofits.
On the one hand, Apple doesn't care much about how the app was developed, but it values ??the result / the final experience; that was always her vision. On the other hand, it may be a bit of an exaggeration to ban apps in this way, since certain types of apps (ecommerces, for example) will inevitably have similar experiences. The ideal is to find a balance: neither clones nor apps so different that they affect the usage experience.
In another passage of the rules, Apple also now clarifies that VPN apps cannot violate local laws in the countries where they are distributed. This has a lot to do with a recent statement by Tim Cook about a possible return of apps from virtual private networks China.
For those interested, here are the App Store Review Guidelines complete.