2) Any analytics that's not Apple's own are forbidden. Ads too!
3) Apps in the kids category can't be moved to another category
4) In theory all apps in the Kids category or "Apps intended for kids" should be updated - but I also can't imagine that they crawl the Appstore for apps that don't fit. It was easy for the 32/64 bit rule to check for them . But i'm not sure.
As far as I know Apple don't remove apps without letting Developers doing an update before. In the 32/64 bit case I got an email to update the app in 30 days. Hope they wil do it like this in this case.
Searching for existing apps that don't fit is work for Apple to be done - and I'm sure they skip this.
Yes it would be good to get some clearer clarification on the updated rules.
In the App Store Review Guidelines it says:
"1.3 Apps in the Kids Category may not include third-party advertising or analytics."
In 5.1.4 it says "Apps intended for kids may not include third-party advertising or analytics."
As you say, "intended for kids" is vague, because thousands of games/apps aim themselves at kids but don't put themselves in the kids category because of the stricter rules. You need to be clear on this so that we know when an app is breaking the rules.
Another platform recently came out with a new policy, you have to apply your target audience upon submission. If reviewers think your app might appeal to kids but not specifically target them, and you don't follow the stricter rules, then parents will see a warning that this game isn't for kids. However this isn't on iOS yet.
So yes clarity on intended for kids in the rules needed.
The reason why so many kids apps exist outside of the kids category is that this rule isn't enforced:
- 2.3.8 Metadata should be appropriate for all audiences, so make sure your app and in-app purchase icons, screenshots, and previews adhere to a 4+ age rating even if your app is rated higher. For example, if your app is a game that includes violence, select images that don’t depict a gruesome death or a gun pointed at a specific character. Use of terms like “For Kids” and “For Children” in app metadata is reserved for the Kids Category. Remember to ensure your metadata, including app name and icons (small, large, Apple Watch app, alternate icons, etc.), are similar to avoid creating confusion.
If you search, there are thousands of apps using kids/children in title/subtitle/description and not in the kids category ♂
In response to your (3) above, you can remove apps from the "made for kids" category, the guidelines say: "Keep in mind that once customers expect your app to follow the Kids Category requirements, it will need to continue to meet these guidelines in subsequent updates, even if you decide to deselect the category."
Although saying that, I can't see in App Store Connect how you can remove the made for kids category or change the age bracket on an existing app.
@festival @cowlyowl -- Thanks for your responses. We have read through the guidelines and are aware that it states that once an app is in the Kids Category it must always follow those guidelines. The question is if this will hold when they introduce a new rule for existing apps in the Kids Category. We also don't see any options to "uncheck" the Kids Category box even if we wanted to.
We really need a response from Apple or some new apps to be submitted and get rejected/go through the appeal process -- anything else is conjecture.
Even if you moved a Kids app into another category it is still a "Intended for kids" app. But maybe their "Intended for kids" is just a simple meta data check if your app has the phrase "for kids".
Already in 2018 they had the review guideline that an app with "for kids" in meta data must be in the kids category. I fell into this trap while updating some apps.
For now I wait if Apple sents out emails to developers that they should update before the app get's removed.
‘Intended for kids’ and ‘in the kids category’ are 2 distinct statements. The guidelines apply to the later, the former is marketing hype. Once an app has any distribution from within the kids category (I.e. if it was ever in that category) then those kids can download the update. That is why you can’t leave the kid’s category.