Apple has clamped down on apps connected to the coronavirus outbreak to prioritise apps offering official information. It has also banned any games around the topic.
In a directive sent to its developer community, the App Store giant says apps connected to the outbreak will only be allowed if they’re submitted from an official source.
Apple says these are “government organisations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions.” These organisations need to be part of Apple’s Developer program themselves, although the membership fees are waived by Apple in certain circumstances.
The directive states that “only developers from one of these recognised entities should submit an app related to COVID-19. Entertainment or game apps with COVID-19 as their theme will not be allowed.”
Apple says it advises developers to select Time-Sensitive Event on the submission form to get a prioritised review of the app from Apple.
As for Google, the Play store now has a dedicated section for trustworthy coronavirus apps. “As cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to be confirmed, these apps can help you stay prepared and informed,” says Google. However, the section is a bit of a broad brush, with Twitter and news organisations also in the section.