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An Event Planning Blog by Gather Digital

What Does Apple’s Recent Developer Guidelines Update Mean for Event Apps?

Written by: Jon Phillips, CEO

Jon Phillips, CEO

Apple has recently made a change to their developer guidelines. Many app developers, including event app developers like Gather Digital, are planning for what this change may mean for event apps and event app clients going forward.

What are the changes?

Rule 4.2.6 states that “Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected.” 

Rule 4.3 Spam, further states, “Don’t create multiple Bundle IDs of the same app. If your app has different versions for specific locations, sports teams, universities, etc., consider submitting a single app and provide the variations using in-app purchase. Also avoid piling on to a category that is already saturated; the App Store has enough fart, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra apps already. Spamming the store may lead to your removal from the Developer Program.”

What’s it all mean?

Apple undoubtedly wants to rid the store of junk — copy-cat, brochure-ware and template-driven apps.

Gather Digital is none of those things.

Gather Digital is the most modular, personalizable, configurable and interactive event app solution and it is always branded and customized for our clients. 

Our apps are 100% written in native code, contain abundant customizable functionality (not just a collection of forms, links and pdfs) and are uniquely branded for each customer and its individual events. That uniqueness is true both in terms of design and functionality. Gather Digital consistently develops and customizes rich code and features that allow end users to take action, with options and functionality catered to each of our client’s needs. There is nothing template-driven about our apps and technology. 

The Gather Digital apps look the way our clients want them to look and do what our clients want them to do.

Why then are some event app companies declaring that all event apps must be under the developer’s umbrella app, branded for the developer?

Clearly, Apple’s rules are open to interpretation. Some competitor apps are more template-driven and those developers may feel that they will be under pressure. Some competitors are using Apple’s new rules as the rationale to cut their own costs while simultaneously promoting their own brand at the expense of their client by submitting one developer-branded app to the app stores. 

What is Gather Digital’s advice for clients using Gather Digital-developed apps?

Gather Digital’s best advice to our clients continues to be to work with us directly to submit a multi-event app under the client’s Apple developer account. This reflects Gather Digital’s client-focused view, allowing the client ultimate branding and control. If Apple imposes additional restrictions, Gather Digital has an “umbrella app” available to house and publish client events. This umbrella app is designed to provide a true branded home for our clients within it.

Think of your app as a communication tool for all year, not just for your events. 

It’s time to think about your app as something that lives on your users’ devices on an ongoing basis. This makes the app more relevant for the App Store. Fortunately, it also makes the app more beneficial to your meeting and program participants and is great for organizations. You have more of a channel with which to stay in touch with your constituents for the long term.

When it makes sense to have a single-event app, we’ve got you covered.

Using the client Apple developer account is now even more important for our clients who produce single event apps. For those who prefer not to pursue that approach, Gather Digital has an umbrella app available when our clients need it.

For more detail about Apple's new guidelines, read this article from TechCrunch.

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