Netflix has started directing iPhone and iPad users to an external webpage where they can sign up for the service, as first reported by 9to5Mac. The change comes just months after Apple began linking “reader” apps that provide access to digital content, like Netflix and Spotify, to account login pages on their own websites.
Back in 2018, Netflix didn’t provide an external sign-up link on its iPhone and iPad apps — or even tell users where to sign up. Instead, users had to navigate to the Netflix website from their web or mobile browser to sign up for the service before Access to the app. This was done to comply with Apple’s rules, which made it difficult for apps to circumvent their up to 30 percent commission on in-app purchases and prevented developers from offering a link to an external login page. The setup made it confusing for new users who (logically) thought they could use the app to sign up for Netflix.
But now it looks like that’s about to change – 9to5Mac reports that iPhone and iPad users will now see an external link in the Netflix app to sign up for the service, and The edge‘s Richard Lawler remarked the same. Users who tap the link see a message warning them not to “quit the app” and go to an external website. It is also noted that all transactions on the external site are not affiliated with Apple:
Any accounts or purchases made outside of this app are managed by the developer “Netflix”. Your App Store account, saved payment methods, and related features such as subscription management and refund requests will not be available. Apple is not responsible for the privacy or security of any transactions made with this developer.
Tapping the alert will take users to an account sign-up page on the Netflix website where they can enter payment information and choose a subscription plan. It’s not clear when Netflix started rolling out this new option, and the company didn’t immediately respond The edge‘s request for comment. Currently, Netflix’s support page states that users cannot access Netflix’s login page through the iPhone or iPad app.
Although Apple has started to relax its guidelines for reader apps, there are still strict guidelines that developers must follow, e.g. B. No price information with a link to external login pages. Developers must also submit a “permission” to get permission to add the external link to their app.
Apple has been criticized for its policies that force most developers to use the App Store’s billing system, which Apple charges a commission for using. In response to a new law passed in South Korea, Apple allowed developers to use third-party payment processors in apps released in the country. It has also made some changes to dating apps released in the Netherlands after a long battle with the country’s regulator.
But Apple will have to adapt even more if EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) legislation is passed, as it would force Apple to allow the use of third-party payment systems, sideloading, and third-party app stores. Google has already started preparing for the new laws by giving developers the option to use an alternative billing system for apps distributed in Europe.
Update July 23, 12:42 p.m. ET: Added confirmation that the external link exists in the Netflix app.