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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Apple to make deleting third-party app profiles easier: Here’s how

Apple is pushing developers towards making it easier for users to delete their unique user profiles from within the app itself. Read more below.

By: Tech Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: October 7, 2021 4:59:16 pm
Apple, App store, apple iphone, iphone 12Here's what Apple is doing to make it easier to delete user profiles. (Express Photo)

Apple has announced a new mechanism that should make getting rid of user account/profile on any third-party app much easier. The company’s new policy for the App Store suggests that apps must themselves initiate an account deletion process. Here’s what it means.

Deleting, or uninstalling an application on any smartphone is pretty easy. Users can tap a few buttons and the unwanted game, social media platform, or any other app is gone from your phone’s storage. However, this doesn’t mean the app has let go of you, more precisely, your user account/profile.

Why it (usually) isn’t that easy?

Most applications will create a unique account of you when you play the game or use their services. This helps the service keep track of your in-app purchases, payment methods, ad preferences, and other data elements.

This profile usually belongs with the company even after you uninstall an app from your device. One of the reasons this is done is to keep your preferences and settings intact should you ever come back to the app. However, getting rid of your user account for some apps could mean a tedious trip to the website. Even worse, you could be required to maybe even send an email to someone.

What exactly is Apple doing?

In an update posted to the Apple Developer website, the company has now detailed its plans to begin reinforcing a rule for all apps. Posted in the App Store Review Guidelines section, the rule states that “all apps that allow for account creation must also allow users to initiate deletion of their account from within the app.”

But the statement remains a little vague on whether apps must simply “initiate” a deletion process in-app, or actually go through it without leaving the interface. If it is the former, we could still see developers simply initiating the Delete my Account process inside the app, only to throw us a link leading to a website.

The requirement comes with a number of other recently announced updates by the company that includes warning developers to not “prey on users or attempt to rip off customers” amongst other things. Manipulating fake reviews of apps and misleading marketing tactics are also under crosshairs and could be held against developers.

Apple is also going behind specific targets like apps that promote the legal sale of cannabis or “hookup” apps that include pornography or promote prostitution.

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