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Apple’s latest efforts to clean up the App Store is to reject apps based on a common template. This is making many developers, and schools, nervous. Here we look into what these changes mean and how they affect the school app industry.

Apple recently contacted School Stream to inform us that any branded, or white label apps will be rejected from the app store in the coming weeks and months. This means that if an app resembles an existing product by the same company, it won’t get through the approval process.

School Stream, being an app that allows any number of schools to be contained within a single environment, falls well within the guidelines and will continue operating as our flagship school communication platform.

What are these changes?

The issue stems from rule 4.2.6 in the new App Store Review Guidelines, which states:
Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected.

According to Apple, this new ruling means that if an app from the same company is similar to that of another app, where it has the same feature set but different colours and images, it won’t get through the approval process.

What does this mean for schools?

According to these changes, this means no more white label school apps. Without the School Stream platform, the alternative would mean each school would need to develop a far more expensive bespoke application.

While this means that School Stream can no longer offer completely branded apps, our flagship platform will continue to operate and meet all Apple Guidelines.

What will we be offering as an alternative to the white label school app?

We are excited to announce that School Stream will soon be able to offer schools a branded app with their own logo, images and style, contained within the School Stream app, our dedicated communication platform for the education sector.

These developments are not the result of the changes to the guidelines, rather, it is the direction we’ve been heading and have been actively developing for the past 8 months.

How will the guidelines affect other app companies?

All app companies will be affected by the changes to the Apple guidelines in the same way. Developers will be able to offer a bespoke application, at significant cost, but ultimately they will not be able to offer an off-the-shelf commercialised template app to their customers.

App developers will be able to offer an approved “container” app with common feature sets (one app containing multiple school profiles), as we do with our School Stream app.

Have any questions?

We understand this ruling will affect a lot of schools currently investigating branded / white labelled apps. For any further clarification on this article, please feel free to contact our Support Team on support@schoolstream.com.au