Apple, long accused of bending its rules, appears to be giving in and modifying its iOS policy in a way that will make iPhones more like Android phones.
In an March 4 update to the App Store Review Guidelines, the company changed the language for push notifications, so that apps can use Push Notifications for “promotions or direct marketing purposes”, which a once it was verboten in iOS. Unless you’re Apple, who promoted their Karaoke Carpool show via push notifications.
Our staff has noticed that these app push notification ads have been on Android for years. On the official Android developer site, a page titled “Promote user engagement and extend your app’s visibility with notifications” is stored in Engage, Design and Marketing.
The only caveats are that customers must have “explicitly adhered” to these notifications and that the app provides “a method … for a user to choose not to receive such messages”.
Apple’s existing rule has been changed by developers for a while. As I wrote this story, I noticed that my lock screen still had another coupon code from the Postmates food delivery app. This change only suggests that the ads on the lock screen will only multiply in the coming months.
And yes, Apple has that language on triggering those push notifications, but I’m not sure how well it will work. People tend to keep touching OK while installing new apps, which is how you get existing notifications you don’t like, as well as other privacy folding features that are disabled.