Our Meeting with Apple

 In Blog, Communication

Your mobile app is safe with us – guaranteed.

If your church has a branded mobile app with another provider, and you are being told that you must transition it to a “container app” due to the new Apple guidelines – you don’t, and we can help. With aware3, you can keep your existing app. Guaranteed.

The Back Story.

Every app and app update that is published through the public App Store receives a thorough review from Apple.

Apple publishes a list of guidelines that all developers and mobile app providers must follow when submitting apps to the App Store. On June 8th, 2017, they introduced a new section (4.2.6) under the Minimum Functionality section, noting that “Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected.” App providers interpreted the goal as  to reduce “spam” apps, not stop legitimate companies from launching legitimate apps.

It turns out, Apple had something else in mind. On September 26, 2017 several of our new apps were rejected. Rejections were rare for our team – we’ve pushed tens of thousands of updates through the App Store review process.

Our Response.

Three weeks later on October 12, 2017, we launched churchOn (our “container app”). churchOn is something we’ve been dreaming about; it allows churches to create a custom app experience with all the features that our church partners love, and it provides a whole new way for people to find your church and get involved. It’s Apple-approved and we’re onboarding new church partners every day. churchOn is the future of mobile for the Church. It’s going to help us bring more churches into our mobile-led world and connect more people to a local church.

You can download it today and add your church for free.

Our Meeting with Apple.

On November 30, 2017, we met with Apple to solidify how current apps and future apps are affected. There are two key points you need to know:

  • Churches with an existing app – If you are an aware3 church partner with an active app in The App Store, your app is safe. Apple has no plans to shut your app down or require you to move to a container app. This is not an assumption; this has been confirmed with Apple.
  • Churches without an app – When your church goes mobile, you will do so via a container app like churchOn. There are some big advantages to this approach. It’s important to note that Apple emphasized that there are no exceptions to this rule. If you have a mobile app provider telling you that they are still launching individual church apps “the old way,” they either haven’t been caught by Apple yet or are being dishonest. Apple reiterated with us that all mobile app providers must adhere to the new rules.

Conflicting Messaging.

We are aware that there are other mobile app providers communicating a different message. We want to be 100% clear: Apple has confirmed that our existing church partner apps are safe in the App Store. Period. You are not required to move your existing app to a “container app.”

Why some competitors have decided to push their existing customers towards a container app is unclear. What we do know is that we built our platform from the ground up to control our development roadmap and licensing agreements with Apple and Google. Years later, we’re grateful for that decision.

Want to keep your mobile app?

If your church has a mobile app with another provider, you too can keep it if you transfer it to aware3. If your app is ever rejected due to the new Apple 4.2.6 rule, we’ll gladly transfer your app to your own account or the provider of your choice for free and waive the remainder of your contract.

In addition to the guarantee, we’ll match (or likely beat) your current app pricing and give you 3 months free off your first year. We’ve eliminated the risk, you keep your app, and you get 3 months free. It’s our early Christmas present to you! ?

Want to learn more?

Schedule a demo today!