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(Pocket-lint) - Apple's previously clamp-like grip on how payments work for apps downloaded via the App Store might be loosening slightly - and it's happening in a manner unrelated to the ongoing tussle with Epic Games.

The latest change comes instead as a result of pressure from smaller developers in the form of a class-action lawsuit.

It means that developers are now able to email their users externally to inform them that they can subscribe or pay for services and extras through means other than iOS's payment system, potentially allowing developers to sidestep Apple's fees.

Apple has confirmed that this is strictly limited to external communications, so you won't get push notifications letting you know how to get a cheaper deal, for example, but you might find yourself getting some emails in the near future if you're a big app subscriber.

Equally, you might start seeing apps with the option to pop your email address in, so that the developers can let you know about either cheaper prices or simply payments that net them more money directly.

It'll be fascinating to see whether this indicates that Apple is accepting it's going to have be more open when payments are concerned, but we'll probably learn a lot more about that when the suit with Epic Games eventually rumbles to a close.

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Originally published on 27 August 2021.