We reported earlier this month on new Apple guidelines that seemed to squash iOS apps created using template-based tools – for example, the various platforms that help musicians create and release their own mobile apps.
After protests, Apple has changed the guidelines, which should mean these platforms can continue operating.
The rules did say that “apps created from a commercialised template or app generation service will be rejected” but now they’ve been updated.
“Apps created from a commercialised template or app generation service will be rejected unless they are submitted directly by the provider of the app’s content.”
In the case of an artist, that would mean they would have to pay for an Apple developer account ($99 a year) as well as whatever the costs of using the app-creation platform are.
While the $99 cost may put off many of the smaller artists who use these platforms, there are other reasons to question whether a native app is a good investment for a musician, as opposed to a mobile-friendly website; a well-managed mailing list; and smart use of the big social platforms to build an audience (and drive it towards the mailing list).