iOS 15.5 beta will now allow app developers to redirect users to third-party payment platforms instead of the App Store’s in-app purchase system. It appears as if Apple might be softening its stance against external payment options, as it announced support for External Link Account Entitlement for “reader” apps last week. This group of apps include applications that provide digital content such as magazines, newspapers, books, songs, or video.
First spotted by 9to5Mac, iOS 15.5 beta now offers “full support for the new entitlement used by apps to indicate that they let users make external purchases.” This implies that since Apple will no longer be able to control what you purchase outside of its platform, it will issue an alert reminding you of the same.
The report notes that if you delete an app that you did not directly purchase through the App Store, you’ll get a pop-up saying that it is not possible to manage purchases and subscriptions via the App Store. Internal iOS code shows that Apple will also display a similar alert when you open an app that offers external purchases for the first time.
External purchases from [app’s name] may still exist. You cannot manage or cancel any external purchases through the App Store. For more information, contact the developer.
Do note that the “External Link Account Entitlement” feature will be restricted to reader apps, which Apple describes as applications that “provide one or more of the following digital content types — magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, or video — as the primary functionality of the app.” Furthermore, such apps will be barred from offering in-app purchases via the App Store.
The iPhone maker appears to be slowly giving in to third party purchases, as it allowed Dutch dating apps to use third-party payments last week. But the firm didn’t surrender without a fight, racking up a fine of 50 million euros in the process.
Do you think Apple will bring third-party payment options to non-reader apps in the future? Let us know in the comments.