February 29, 2024

Apple’s app platform is finally opening up a bit. Today, the company said that it will allow developers to utilize new in-app experiences, including streaming games, accessing mini-apps, and talking with chatbots. That means devs can create a single app that houses an easily accessible catalog of their streaming titles. Perhaps we’ll finally see a usable Game Pass app from Microsoft (or even its long-awaited mobile game store).

The new in-app experiences, which also includes things like mini-games and plug-ins, will also get new discovery opportunities. Apple isn’t being clear about what that means, but it could involve new sections of the App Store pointing to specific features. It wouldn’t be too surprising to see a collection of apps feature chatbots, for example. Apple also says the new built-in experiences will be able to use its in-app purchase system for the first time (like easily buying a subscription to a specific mini-game or chatbot).

The changes follow Apple’s recent moves towards opening its ecosystem (mostly in response to pressure from the EU). The company is now letting developers link to third-party payment solutions through apps (of course, it still wants a cut), and it will reportedly charge developers who offer side-loaded apps outside of the App Store.

“The changes Apple is announcing reflect feedback from Apple’s developer community and is consistent with the App Store’s mission to provide a trusted place for users to find apps they love and developers everywhere with new capabilities to grow their businesses,” the company said in a blog post. “Apps that host this content are responsible for ensuring all the software included in their app meets Apple’s high standards for user experience and safety.”