Apple announced today that apps considered “reader” apps can now sign up for access to what Apple calls “External Link Account Entitlement” that will enable the developer to offer a link to a website where users can sign up or manage their account outside the App Store.
“This entitlement lets reader apps link to a website that is owned or maintained by the developer, so that users can create or manage their account outside of the app.”Apple
According to a new post on Apple’s Developer Web site, “This entitlement lets reader apps link to a website that is owned or maintained by the developer, so that users can create or manage their account outside of the app.” Apple classifies “reader apps” as apps that provide one or more of the following digital content types, magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, or video as the primary functionality of the app.”
Apple’s strategy 180 around this issue is due to the Japanese Fair Trade Commission’s investigation and subsequent legal action. So little by little, antitrust regulators are tearing down the wall around Apple’s precious little anticompetitive garden. This change will go a long way in handing more economic power back to developers, but having to ask Apple permission for an “External Link Account Entitlement” is still giving Apple too much power in this conversation. There is no question that there is plenty of work to do to wrestle away Apple’s monopoly power.