As the world fights COVID-19 pandemic, communities around the world are trusting apps to be their news sources and Apple says it’s working hard to ensure the credibility of health and safety information.
The company says it’s evaluating apps related to COVID-19 critically to make sure that the developers presenting the apps are from recognized entities such as government organizations, educational or medical institutions and that data sources are reputable. The company is allowing only developers that belong to one of the aforementioned entities to submit an app related to COVID-19.
In order to fast forward the process, Apple is encouraging eligible developers to select “Time-Sensitive Event” on the expedite request form to ensure prioritized review since App Store review may take longer.
Moreover, those planning to distribute only free apps on the App Store can request Apple to have their annual membership fee waived if based in an eligible country.
Clients or organizations are required to add their developers on to the development team of their Apple Developer account. Clients that do not have an Apple Developer account yet can enroll in the Apple Developer Program.
The company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been wide-ranging so far. Apple says its donations to the cause have reached $15 million worldwide. The company has also cancelled its in-person Worldwide Developers Conference, turning it into an online-only event.
In addition, all of its stores outside of Greater China will remain closed until March 27. The company’s online stores are, however, open at www.apple.com, or you can download the Apple Store app on the App Store. Customers can visit support.apple.com for service and support. Moreover, a new COVID-19 section has been launched by the company which provides users with the latest verified reporting from trusted news outlets.