Apple bans all non-official COVID-19 related apps from its App Store

Apple has also mentioned that such developers can mark their apps with "Time-Sensitive Event" to get a quick app review

In a mission to combat the COVID-19 related rumours and misinformation clouding around the internet, Apple took a bold step today. Though an official statement, Apple has made clear that it won't allow any unofficial apps across its App Stores. The Cupertino based company has come back with the statement after numerous developers complained to the company that their apps are being rejected to get featured in the App Store.

Through the statement, Apple has assured that the App Store should remain a safer place for downloading apps only with authentic information. "Communities around the world are depending on apps to be credible news sources — helping users understand the latest health innovations, find out where they can get help if needed or provide assistance to their neighbours," noted Apple.

Evaluating Apps

"To help fulfil these expectations, we're evaluating apps critically to ensure data sources are reputable and that developers presenting these apps are from recognised entities such as government organisations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions. Only developers from one of these recognised entities should submit an app related to COVID-19," it has added.

Through the new guideline, Apple has banned all the entertainment-related apps using the Coronavirus or COVID-19 tags. The iPhone maker has clearly instructed the app makers to categorise any related apps under the Health and information category.

Developer fee

Apple has also asserted that they would waive the annual developer fees for all the not-for-profit organisations to encourage them for developing COVID-19 related information. Apple has also mentioned that such developers can mark their apps with "Time-Sensitive Event" to get a quick app review.

Apple has taken a strong stand to combat with the Coronavirus epidemic and has launched a special coverage section in its Apple News app to encourage publishing Coronavirus related factual information.

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