Apple puts restrictions on coronavirus-themed apps in its App Store

In an effort to ensure the “credibility” of health and safety information in its App Store, Apple is tightening requirements for all coronavirus-focused apps, TechCrunch reports. The company posted a note on its developer blog Saturday that outlines the review process for apps related to the virus.

“We’re evaluating apps critically to ensure data sources are reputable and that developers presenting these apps are from recognized entities such as government organizations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions,” the post states. “Only developers from one of these recognized entities should submit an app related to COVID-19.”

Apple also is banning entertainment apps and games that are COVID-19 or coronavirus-themed, the post states.

Developers should choose the “time-sensitive event” option when submitting a permissible COVID-19 related app to the App Store to expedite the process, since many are focused on alleviating crisis situations. Membership fees for non-profit organizations and government agencies developing apps related to the pandemic will be waived, according to the post.

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