One Last App Store Update for 2017!

We shared the “last word” on Apple’s app review guidelines in late October, but it turns out that there’s one more update to share before the sun sets on 2017… and it’s good news. Apple is formally allowing branded event apps, as long as they’re published from the content owner’s developer account. Here’s the updated language from Apple’s App Review Guidelines:

By making this change Apple is recognizing the important role event apps play in the App Store ecosystem, while also asking every organization to have their own Apple Developer license. Your organization can now create a reasonable number of branded event apps using Attendify’s platform and publish them to the App Store, but there are a few restrictions to keep in mind:

  1. Volume – Apple will not allow your organization to publish dozens of similar event apps. For example, if you decide to publish 5+ One-Event apps in your developer account, they will eventually start getting rejected. In most cases you will want to create one or two Multi-Event apps that reflect your organization’s brand and structure.
  2. Quality & Functionality – Apps have to deliver meaningful functionality, and they have to be well designed. You’ll want to pick an event app provider that delivers functionality beyond a digital version of your event guide. Many apps in the market offer robust functionality, but unfortunately, several of them don’t.
  3. Developer Program – The cost of joining Apple’s Developer Program is a very reasonable $99/year, but there is an application process. You can apply as an individual or an organization, but the application process will vary depending on your entity type.
  4. Maintenance – Before making a decision on whether to publish a branded app or using a container app like Attendify you’ll also want to weigh the hard and soft costs of maintaining your Apple developer account. Attendify will help you through the process and take on as much of the heavy lifting as possible, but there may be some issues we simply can’t help with. To learn more, click on the chat button in the lower right-hand corner of our website to connect with our support team.

Attendify’s Perspective
Apple is making the right move by giving organizations the flexibility to have branded event apps, but creating clear incentives to consolidate in a container app like Attendify. Ultimately we feel it’s in the best interest of attendees and event planners to have a single app for most events they attend. In fact, Apple makes exclusive mention of container event apps further on in clause 4.2.6:

Whether you plan to continue publishing branded apps using your own developer account or move your events to Attendify’s “picker” app, we’ve got you covered. Attendify has been preparing for these changes for months and as we’ve said all along… we’re ready!

More About Attendify’s “Picker” App
We’ve invested heavily in our new picker app and will continue to make big improvements over the next few months at an accelerated pace. In just the past two months we redesigned the Attendify app’s home screen, event profile and push notification screens, retooled the access management settings, and are currently working on new photo and video galleries for event profiles.

The next big improvement is highlighted in our recently published product roadmap… branded profiles for your organization! In the very near future you will be able to consolidate all the events published to the Attendify app within one branded profile for your organization. Attendees will be able to follow your organization and will be automatically updated whenever you publish a new event or share new content. This is all part of the Attendify App 2.0 release, which is coming in early 2018.

A Fork in the Road?
We know these policy changes have caused some confusion and even anxiety, we’re right there with you… it has been stressful for our team as well. That being said, these policies are now set and there’s no reason to delay making a decision between a branded or container/picker app. And we’re here to help guide you in evaluating the various pros/cons of each option. Just click the chat button on any page of our website and a member of our team will be there to answer your questions and help you make the right decision for you.

The great news is that there’s a lot of flexibility to get the exact experience you want, and the one your event and attendees deserve. We suggest you try the new container app as there are many clear advantages to event organizers that both Apple and Attendify have recognized.

Since this is the last post in 2017, on behalf of everyone at Team Attendify we’d like to wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year!