What is the Apple App Store Rule Update?
Apple recently published a new rule (Rule 4.2.6) regarding how templated apps are handled in the app store. You can read the full rule information here: https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/#copycats
Very long story short, Apple is no longer accepting "templated" apps in the app store.
You can also read the communication from Seraphim CTO Sam Batterman regarding this rule here: https://www.seraphimhelp.com/hc/en-us/articles/115003100453-Seraphim-Response-to-Apple-App-Store-Rule-4-2-6
What does this mean?
Well, this means that the Seraphim Church App currently is only brandable in the Android App Store. We are working hard alongside Apple to make any changes to our app necessary so that we can continue to brand the Seraphim ChurchApp to your church. We know this is where the true value is, and we are committed to finding a solution.
So how do we access the ChurchApp?
You will continue to have access to your Branded ChurchApp for the foreseeable future. You can also download the unbranded Seraphim ChurchApp in both the Google Play Store and the Apple app store.
What's the difference between the Branded Church App and the Seraphim Church App?
Great question, the Short Answer?
The Branding is just that, branding. There are no functional differences between the Branded app and the Seraphim Church App. If you want to get an idea of how the unbranded ChurchApp works, download the Seraphim ChurchApp from the App Store! The User Experience will be identical and any customizations you made to the style of the Branded ChurchApp will follow over.
Can we still brand the ChurchApp and download it from the Android Store?
You bet you can! Because we're seeing this Apple App store issue as a temporary issue, we would still recommend that you brand the church app as you normally would. We will submit your Branded app to the Android store, and your Android users will be able to access your branded app. Any iOS users can simply download the Seraphim Church App from the Apple App Store.
These two groups of users will have the same experience even though one is using a Branded Church App and one is using the Seraphim Church App.
When will the ChurchApp be available again in the Apple App Store?
Unfortunately, we do not have the answer to that question just yet. Our app developers are working hard with Apple's App Review Team to ensure that our Branded Apps stay compliant with their new rule guidelines. As soon as we have a resolution, we will make sure to let you know!
What if we already have a Branded App? Are we affected by this?
Yes and no. If you have a branded app in the Apple App Store already, it will not be automatically removed from the app store. However, the new rule will prevent any updates from getting pushed to your branded app, because it would be considered a "new app" at that point, which the rule is blocking. This means any new features or fixes that are applied to the app will only be seen in the unbranded ChurchApp and your Branded ChurchApp will remain as it is today.