Apple Changes and What’s In Store (pun intended)

 In Blog, Company News

This summer, Apple announced iOS 11 and updates to their App Store review guidelines. Like every keynote, there were some interesting and some not so interesting changes. One change that caught the attention of app generation providers like us was the introduction of sections 4.2.6 and 4.3. These guidelines shared Apple’s intention to declutter the App Store of spam and generic apps. I think we can all agree that one less copycat version of the Angry Birds app does not sound like a bad idea!

This new guideline brings changes for thousands of organizations, including our churches. Until now, each congregation has searched for their “New Life Church” or “Grace Church” among dozens of similarly-named apps. It was making app discovery extremely difficult and frustrating for end users. In short, Apple’s change requires that “similar apps” built upon app generation providers be combined into a single container app. We love where this is going.

The days of your members scouring the app store to find your churches app are coming to an end.

Welcome to churchOn!

ChurchOn is the next generation of mobile engagement for your church body. The churchOn app will immerse your congregation in your church’s content…without playing Where’s Waldo inside the app stores. You customize your content, you make changes in real-time, and we take the headache out of submissions with Apple and Google.

The best part of it all is that it’s available now in both the App Store and Google Play. Download the churchOn app and type “My Renew Church” to see how we can help you communicate and engage with your church members anytime, anywhere.

If you’re an existing aware3 church partner, you have the option of becoming part of the churchOn Community or to maintain your separate app.

What are the benefits of churchOn?

We’re glad you asked.

  1. Faster Launch Process – Launching your mobile app just got much faster. The long pole has always been getting every app through the Apple and Google review processes, as it typically requires some back-and-forth with review staff. With that step now gone, we can get your app live sooner.
  2. More Frequent Updates – Our engineering team releases an update nearly every week. We are constantly rolling out new features, enhancing old ones, fixing bugs, etc. Historically, some new features required your app to go back through the Apple and Google review processes. We could guarantee updating your app at least twice a year. That wait-time is no more. Now, when churchOn is updated, your app content will receive those enhancements in real-time.
  3. Better Discovery – Finding an app in the App Store and Google Play can be a challenge. Now that we provide the search experience inside the churchOn app, the process is easier for your congregation. We can use the app user’s location and more advanced search options to simplify the process of finding your church’s app.

Thank you for letting us serve you and your congregation. We come to work each day excited to grow the Church in a unique way. We passionately believe in what we’re doing and we look forward to sharing with you what’s coming next!

Are you ready to get your churchOn?

Summary:

  • Apple has updated their app review guidelines to limit apps built with app generation providers. Every app generation provider is subject to these changes. You can view what GoodBarber shares here as an example.
  • Launched apps for our current partners remain unaffected.
  • We’re working directly with Apple and other app generation providers, both in the church market and other verticals, to represent the needs of the Church.
  • You can download churchOn today in both the App Store and Google Play.
  • Over the past four years, we have seen what mobile can do for the Church and are highly committed to your success.
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