Apple’s iOS policy could impact online poker
All real-money gaming apps have to be built in Apple’s native iOS code
It appears that, perhaps, online gambling opponents have found a back door to keep the activity from spreading – at least for now. Apple recently updated its policies for the App Store and now require any application that offers any type of real-money games to be built solely using Apple’s own iOS code instead of allowing the universal HTML5 code that has become popular. As such, any poker platform that wants to target Apple users must rebuild their apps to meet the requirements or they can’t be offered in the App Store.
HTML5 is nice because it uses different, flexible technologies to generate rich web applications. It is based on HTML that has been used since the Internet was born and incorporates application-programming interfaces (API) that make access easier. It has gained steam as the go-to development language for apps that can support multiple operating systems and can easily mimic full web pages with only a few minor coding changes.
However, Apple’s new policy states, “HTML5 games distributed in apps may not provide access to real money gaming, lotteries, or charitable donations, and may not support digital commerce. This functionality is only appropriate for code that’s embedded in the binary and can be reviewed by Apple.”
By September 3, all gambling apps that want to be included in the App Store must use the iOS code. Existing, downloaded apps will still work, but Apple won’t support any upgrades the developers want to push unless they convert to the iOS code.
What the real impetus behind the change is cannot be completely ascertained, but, given the fact that Apple continues to lose market share and has already announced major changes to the client experience, it certainly seems odd that it would move forward with a plan that will further alienate the company from consumers. There has to be a reason behind it, and it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that it had some influence from brick-and-mortar casino operators.