Apple wants to protect your iPhone and Mac battery from shady cryptocurrency-mining malware. The company added new rules to its developer guidelines, which now explicitly prohibit iOS and Mac apps from mining cryptocurrency in the background.
The goal, according to the company, is to protect users’ battery life and avoid “unnecessary strain on device resources. Previously, Apple’s rules stated that it was “unacceptable” for apps to enable “monetizing built-in capabilities provided by the hardware or operating system” — but didn’t explicitly mention cryptocurrency mining.
Crypto mining hasn’t been a widespread issue for the App Store, though Apple did yank a calendar app for mining the cryptocurrency Monero in the background even if users disabled the feature. Apple’s not the only platform dealing with the issue of shady apps hijacking users’ devices to mine bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies in the background. A popular Chrome extension was pulled last year after it was found to be stealthily mining Monero in the background. And coin mining malware has been sneaking into Android apps for years.
Increasingly, platforms are having to deal with sketchy behaviors that are about much more than just mining. As increasing numbers of services dabble in cryptocurrency, some apps have turned to the kind of spammy tactics Apple has disapproved in the past.
The company addresses this kind of behavior elsewhere in its latest developer guidelines, with other new rules relating to cryptocurrencies, including one that prohibits apps from offering currency for completing tasks, such as downloading other apps, encouraging other users to download, posting to social networks, etc.