The clause is included in Apple’s design guidelines and might give ammunition to those who claim that Apple is using its App store to shut down competition. The move to give Apple prime placement is significant because users often select the default or top option on apps. And Apple will require apps to offer its button if they want to offer options to login with Facebook or Google.
In a press release about updates to its App Store review guidelines, Apple said its login button “will be required as an option for users in apps that support third-party sign-in when it is commercially available later this year”.
Apple’s guidelines do not appear to impose requirements on apps that have their own dedicated login system and do not use third-party buttons from Google or Facebook, such as apps from game maker Nintendo. Apple’s button works on websites. Its use will not be required because Apple does not hold review power over websites the way it does apps on its own store, but Apple’s guidelines still ask it to be given top placement if it is used.
Apple’s suggestion to developers to place its login button above rival buttons is part of its “Human Interface Guidelines”, which are not formal requirements to pass App Store review. But many developers believe that following them is the surest way to gain approval.
Apple’s guidelines to developers around login tools come as developers and rivals have alleged that some of its App Store practices, such as taking a commission of up to 30 percent of sales made through the store, are anticompetitive.