- Apple extends the deadline for HTML5 app ban.
- Developers have until next March to comply.
- More native-first apps expected.
Last June, Apple updated its App Store policies and introduced a new rule that required gambling operators to replace their HTML5-built gambling apps with native apps. Failing to do so would mean that they would be banned from publishing their apps on the App Store and would therefore not be able to offer their services to iPhone and iPad users.
Naturally, the requirement that the game developers would have to adjust to was met with a lot of criticism especially because of the deadline that was initially on September 5. It is easy to see that it was an unrealistic demand from the behemoth tech company simply because it would be almost impossible for developers to build native apps that first.
Fortunately, Apple has had a change of heart and decided to back down from going ahead with the planned ban on non-native apps. The online gambling operators who want to publish their apps on the App Store now have more time to comply with the recent policy updates. Now, the developers will have until next March to get their issues sorted after which their HTML5-packed iOS apps will be purged from the App Store, that is unless Apple decides to change its mind again.
Why the Change of Heart?
Well, knowing Apple, it is pretty obvious that the extension of the deadline is in no way due to its empathy for the game developers. However, the company has always been a champion of consumer protection and it believes the switch to native iOS gambling apps will be very helpful in ensuring this. The game developers have previously often opted for the HTML5 option because it essentially allows their gaming platforms to be wrapped in a container that allows for optimal mobile gaming – this not only cuts down on costs but also significantly reduces the time and resources used.
The extension of the deadline was probably a result of wide consultation with industry stakeholders who were affected in one way or the other by the new App Store policy. The changes that were made had a monumental impact on a number of gambling companies and in turn, affected state economies due to lower tax revenues. Mobile gaming has been on the rise in the United States and the ban would mean that many companies would not be able to cater to iOS users.
Going forward, the online gambling operator will definitely be working on developing and improving their native-first offerings. Meanwhile, the ones that still have HTML5-powered gambling apps will still be able to offer gaming products and services to iPhone and iPad users at least until March 3 next year.
Some companies even already found ways to work around the ban but it is possible that Apple might fix these loopholes as well. As such, the best way forward is for the operators to comply.