Apple published a post on the company’s developer’s blog, announcing that it will not allow COVID-19-themed games and entertainment apps in the App Store along with coronavirus-related apps from non-official entities.
As the whole world is experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic and the novel coronavirus continues to spread, Apple says that people expect apps to be credible news sources that will help understand the current situation regarding health issues or provide communities with needed assistance.
In order to ensure the “credibility” of health and safety information in the App Store, the Cupertino company will put restrictions on certain apps about the novel coronavirus and will thoroughly evaluate them based on the source.
The statement reads:
To help fulfill these expectations, we're evaluating apps critically to ensure data sources are reputable and that developers presenting these apps are from recognized entities such as government organizations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions. Only developers from one of these recognized entities should submit an app related to COVID-19. Entertainment or game apps with COVID-19 as their theme will not be allowed.
If developers have an app to submit that meets all the requirements, they may choose the “Time-Sensitive Event” option to have the app approved quickly, considering that trustworthy apps are useful in an existing situation. Also, according to Apple’s post, membership fees for accredited educational institutions, government entities, and nonprofit organizations that develop apps will be forged.
Apple’s decision will contribute to fighting misinformation about the novel coronavirus online, thus providing people with credible data from reliable sources.