Today iOS 15.5 Beta Adds Support for External Links Amid Upcoming Changes for Reader Apps Apple has recently made a number of modifications to the App Store, including the addition of external payment options and the ability to link to external websites for buying purposes. Apple has included support for and warnings about external purchases in iOS 15.5 as part of these improvements.
9to5Mac spotted code supporting external purchase support in the iOS 15.5 beta, which was released yesterday. iOS 15.5 Beta Adds Support for External Links Amid According to the site, iOS 15.5 “has complete compatibility” with Apple’s recently released “External Link Account Entitlement” for reader apps. With the reports surfacing on several online platforms, it’s safe to assume that Apple is (or will soon be) aware of this issue. It’s yet unclear whether the company will release an update to fix the glitch. In the following weeks, we may see a modest watchOS 8.5.1 update to address this issue.
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iOS 15.5 Beta Adds Support for External Links Amid Upcoming Changes for Reader Apps
Apple started allowing developers of reader apps to sign up for an external link entitlement last week, which allows the app to provide a link to a website where users can establish or manage accounts outside of the App Store. Reader apps, such as Spotify, Netflix, and Hulu, are examples of applications that provide digital material such as magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, or video as the core purpose of the app.
Apps that have been granted access to the External Connection Account Entitlement will be able to give an in-app link to an external website. The Netflix iOS app, for example, will be able to provide a link to the Netflix website, where users may sign up for or manage a Netflix subscription.
To settle an investigation filed by the Japanese Fair Trade Commission in early 2021, iOS 15.5 Beta Adds Support for External Links Amid Apple consented to allow reader apps to provide a link to an external website. Apple stated that it intends to “ensure that users of reader apps continue to have a safe App Store experience,” and that it will assist developers in “protecting consumers when they link to an external website to make purchases,” which explains some of the new wording in iOS 15.5 Beta Adds Support for External Links Amid.
9to5Mac discovered a language that notifies a user who deletes an app with external purchases that subscriptions and purchases cannot be managed through the App Store, in contrast to apps that offer subscriptions and content through App Store features. If a user subscribes to Netflix via an external link in the Netflix iOS app and subsequently deletes the app, the subscription cannot be canceled through the App Store subscription interface and must be handled directly by the developer, in this case, Netflix.
The pop-up in the beta says, “External purchases from ‘ExternalPurchase’ may still persist.” “The App Store does not allow you to monitor or cancel any external purchases. Contact the developer for further details.”
When some apps with external purchases are first started, Apple appears to warn users about the external purchase possibilities and support constraints, making it clear that purchases made outside of the App Store must be managed outside of the App Store.
Apple’s standards for external links in reader apps are also intended to distinguish between an App Store purchase and an external purchase. A link, for example, must open in a separate browser window on the device’s default browser rather than in the app’s web view. In terms of security, iOS 15.5 Beta Adds Support for External Links Amid links cannot contain tracking information or redirects, and an app can only link to a website with which it is affiliated.
Although no date has been set for the release of iOS 15.5 yet, Apple is taking requests from reader apps that want to use the external link entitlement. The External Link Account API will be available for reader apps to build and test “in an upcoming beta release of iOS and iPadOS,” according to Apple’s link entitlement page, which appears to be iOS 15.5.