Customers and developers of mobile event applications have been on a roller coaster ride recently as Apple works through their position on branded event apps.
Here is a timeline of how Apple’s position has evolved:
July, 2017: Apple signaled that they would be forcing all mobile event app developers to a vendor branded, “universal app” model, and rejecting all new and updated branded event apps at the end of the year.
October, 2017: Apple softened their initial position, and indicated that they would grandfather existing branded event apps in the App Store (and continue to allow app updates), but would be rejecting new branded event apps in 2018.
December, 2017: Apple softened even more, indicating that they would preserve the status quo and continue to allow approved developers like DoubleDutch to build branded mobile event apps on behalf of their customers. But there was a catch. Apple made it clear that eventually, these apps would have to be submitted from the customer’s Apple developer account, and not the vendor’s.
February, 2018: Apple announced that April 1st will be the cut-over point for branded event apps. As of April 1st:
- Apple will no longer approve new branded event apps submitted from a vendor’s (e.g. DoubleDutch’s) developer account.
- Apple will not approve updates to existing branded event apps that were submitted under a vendor’s developer account.
- Any event app already live in the App Store will continue to live on indefinitely, but without updates. Apple was very clear that they have no plans to remove any apps from the App Store after April 1st.
So where does this leave us?
First and foremost, we need to make sure that all DoubleDutch customers who currently have app(s) under the DoubleDutch developer account are on the latest and greatest version of the app when April 1st hits (if your apps are already under your own developer account, you are in good shape). Because Apple has no plans to remove or suspend apps that are already in the App Store on April 1st, DoubleDutch customers can continue to use this version, and even continue to activate new event instances within container apps, after the deadline hits. This will buy us all some time to migrate in a controlled manner.
Crucially, the most recent version of the DoubleDutch mobile event app is equipped with our React Native framework, meaning that new features can continue to be shipped after April 1st, without requiring an App Store update. We believe this will offer DoubleDutch customers substantial flexibility (and reduced stress around migrating apps) beyond what is available elsewhere in the market. We’ve already released a handful of new features with this framework and are excited to continue to offer more.
What do you need to do?
If your apps are already in the App Store under your own Apple developer account, no action is required - you’re already in good shape.
If your apps were submitted under the DoubleDutch developer account, we will work behind the scenes to get your apps updated to the latest version of the DoubleDutch mobile app before April 1st (of course, if you have an upcoming event, we’ll coordinate with you on timing). After that, the DoubleDutch team will guide you as to whether and when migration to your own developer account is right for you.
If you are a DoubleDutch prospect or new customer, things should be straightforward - we will help get you set up on your own developer account from Day 1.
We are here for you.
Well, that’s it. Apple’s position on branded event apps has finally evolved into clear policy. And clarity is good for the industry.
As always, DoubleDutch remains committed to staying ahead of macro policy to provide the best experience for our customers and their attendees.
Feel free to reach out to me directly with questions.