Apple extends in-app purchase deadline for live virtual events once again

As the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic persists, Apple announced that once again it is extending the App Store requirement for paid online group services to use the Store’s in-app purchases for payments.

Last year, Apple introduced its revised App Store guidelines to include game streaming apps, simplify in-app purchases, and more. According to the company, if an app enables the purchase of real-time person-to-person experiences between two individuals, such as fitness training, medical consultations, or tutoring, developers can use purchase methods other than in-app purchases. If it’s a one-to-many service, the app must use in-app purchases instead.

Apple App Store

Apple extends in-app purchase requirement for virtual group events

The tech giant recently updated its Developer’s page, saying:

Last year, to support apps that adapted services from in-person to digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily deferred the requirement to offer paid online group event services (one-to-few and one-to-many realtime services) through in-app purchase in accordance with App Store Review Guideline 3.1.1. As the world continues to recover from the pandemic, we’d like to support the communities that are still providing digital services in place of in-person group events by extending the deadline further to December 31, 2021.

As a reminder, guideline 3.1.3(d) allows apps offering realtime person-to-person services between two individuals (for example, tutoring students, medical consultations, real estate tours, or fitness training) to use purchase methods other than in-app purchase.

Apple has provided the following links for developers to learn more about programing: 3.11 In-App Purchase, 3.1.3 Other Purchase Methods.


Apple made itself clear repeatedly that its App Store guidelines allow apps to provide real-time person-to-person services between individuals to use purchase methods other than in-app purchases. This will prove to be useful for fitness training, real estate tours, medical consultations, or educational virtual sessions.

Recently, the Cupertino tech giant reminded developers of the implementation of App Tracking Transparency starting with iOS 14.5. App Tracking Transparency is a new tool that Apple is releasing with the intention to protect users’ data and prevent unwanted apps from tracking you across apps and websites. Whenever an app requires access to user data, it will have to seek permission from the user first.

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About the Author

Usman has been playing games for as long as he can remember. He is an editor at iThinkDifferent and writes about games, Apple news, hardware, productivity guides, and more. When not writing for iTD, Usman loves to play competitive Team Fortress 2, spends time honing his football skills, and watches superhero movies.