Apple Blocked WordPress App Updates Until It Added IAP Support for .Com Plans [Updated]

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 22 Aug 2020

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WordPress developer Matt Mullenweg has revealed on Twitter that Apple had “locked” app updates for the WordPress app unless the company committed to adding IAP support for the purchase of .com plans. WordPress offers several paid services including hosting for domains that start from $4/month and go up to $1,700/month for enterprise customers.

The developer says that the app development team is not clear on how to add IAP support to their app because it also supports other websites built on the WordPress platform. The current version of the app does not allow paid users to set up the paid features in the app.

WordPress is now working with Apple to solve this problem. Matt notes that other websites and plug-in developers can use the ‘Allow others IAP’ code in their products and services to offer IAPs, with the generated revenue being passed by Auttomatic to the relevant devs.

Considering the WordPress app has been available on the App Store for years without IAP, what made Apple change its stance on the app suddenly? That’s unclear for now. The App Store Review Guidelines state that any app that offers access to digital content or services must use IAPs. While WordPress did roll out an update for their app in the last 24 hours to iOS, it does not contain support for IAPs. Apple says that it has approved the update for now and is working with WordPress to ensure the app is compliant with the App Store Review Guidelines. The company notes that it categorizes as a multiplatform service meaning that it can offer content purchased through in its iOS app, but it must also offer an in-app purchase option for such services.

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Apple’s decision to force WordPress to implement IAP support in its app comes at a time when the company is already facing criticism from a number of developers for its App Store Review Guidelines and the 30% commission that it charges for IAPs. The company is also involved in a major battle with Epic Games over the same issue. Do you think Apple is right in forcing WordPress to add IAP support to its app?

Update: Apple has apologized to WordPress for any confusion that might have been caused and resolved all issues with the company.

We believe the issue with the WordPress app has been resolved. Since the developer removed the display of their service payment options from the app, it is now a free stand-alone app and does not have to offer in-app purchases. We have informed the developer and apologize for any confusion that we have caused.

Apple’s statement makes it sounds like WordPress removed all mentions of paid plans from their iOS app after the entire incident came to the media’s attention. However, that’s not the case as the app did not contain any mention of premium plans since at least the last few months.

[Via MacRumors]