Netflix has begun sending iPhone and iPad users to an external sign-up page where they can sign up for the service, 9to5Mac reported. The change comes months after Apple allowed streaming apps from Netflix and Spotify to link to account sign-up pages on its websites. Until 2018, Netflix didn’t offer external recording links in its iPhone and iPad apps — or even tell users where they could record. Before accessing the app, users must visit the Netflix website from their browser or mobile phone to sign up for the service.
This was done in accordance with Apple’s rules, which make it difficult for apps to earn a 30 percent commission on in-app purchases and prohibit developers from linking to external sign-up pages. Users who tap the link will see a message warning them that they are “closing the app” and will be taken to an external website. It also states that none of the third-party transactions are related to Apple: Accounts or purchases outside of this app are managed by the Netflix developer. Your App Store account, saved payment methods and related features such as subscription management and refund requests will be unavailable. Apple is not responsible for the privacy or security of this developer’s transactions.
Tapping the warning will take users to an account page on the Netflix website, where they can enter their payment information and select a subscription plan. It’s not known when Netflix will launch the new option, and the company did not immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment. Currently, Netflix’s support page states that users cannot access the Netflix sign-up page through the iPhone or iPad app. Apple has faced criticism for its policy of forcing most developers to use the App Store’s payment system, for which Apple receives a commission. In response to a new law passed in South Korea, Apple has allowed developers to use third-party payment processors in apps published in the country. It made the changes after a long battle with the country’s regulator over dating apps published in the Netherlands. But Apple will still have to regulate itself when the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) is passed, as it will force Apple to allow third-party payment methods, page downloads and third-party app stores. Google is already preparing for the new rules, giving developers the opportunity to use an alternative payment system for applications distributed in Europe.
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