Developers Union urges Apple to allow free app trials, make it easier to earn a living

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Comments

  • Reply 81 of 90
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 4,270member

    How is the ability to provide a demo any different from creating a free app that lets you unlock full functionality via an in-app purchase? Can't they just create a time-based full functioning app like 1Password, for which Users have to pay to continue using after a set trial period?


    As for the so-called "unfair" 30% cut, Apple is still taking the responsibility of hosting the app, ensuring availability and handling payments securely. I think it is fine for a premium service.


    The only issue I have is discoverability on the app store. I still can't figure out how to browse apps that are not in the top 200 paid or free categories. Of course, with the sheer number of apps, it really becomes very tough to showcase everything, but I still wish there was some way I could scroll through all apps in a category.


    I'm just spit-balling here, but when (if) Apple launches its Magazine Service, as a value-added service to developers, it could have a monthly magazine that is dedicated only to apps. The number of apps that can be addressed in a single magazine is much more than what can be showcased in a month's worth of "App of the Day", "Game of the Day" & "Today" sections of the App Store.

    I find it a lot easier and interesting browsing a catalogue or magazine as well. So that could probably be one way to increase discoverability for apps.

  • Reply 82 of 90
    croprcropr Posts: 1,129member
    nht said:
    cropr said:
    Owning an SW development company that develops non games apps, and I have a different view then most people here. All of my apps are connecting to a own developed cloud service and come in 3 versions: an iOS version, an Android version and a web app version, as requested by my customers.
    rob53 said:
    Apple hosts the servers and provides billing. It also checks apps to (hopefully) make sure they are abiding by the rules, which helps all users. Isn’t that worth 30%? If developers had to do all of this on their own (if App Store was open) I bet the vast majority would never even get more than a handful of downloads. 

    Because I am providing a cloud service, I have a hosting platform available.  And I have a secure payment system available for the web app.  So I am doing these things already
    zoetmb said:

    IMO, the issue isn't the revenue split.   The issue is discoverability.  
    Discoverability is indeed the  issue.  
    wizard69 said:

    This so called Developers Union apparently is populated by complete idiots.   Seriously they must not have any experience at all running a business, if they did they would understand some of the value Apple provides to each developer.   

    sflocal said:
      
    It would take at LEAST 30% if not more of one's resources to do it themselves.  Perhaps Apple will some day drop the rate, and if they do, great!  I personally think it's still a bargain considering what they do and in return getting access to millions of people in an easy way.  
    That is exactly the issue.  A survey among my customers revealed that none of them downloaded my apps because they found it in the App store, and that is a major issue. I have to do the marketing myself at my own expense. 

    Most of my apps only provide a slick user interface to the cloud service which contains the main value.  I don't get more paying customers because I offer an iOS version to access my valuable data

    For the web app my costs are roughly 2.5% for the hosting and secure payment solution combined.  It could be that for other type of apps, the 30% cut is justified, but for my apps this is at least questionable. 

    This is the reason that  I removed all billing rom the iOS and Android app,  Customers have to use the web app to pay for the content.  Once paid, the content is accessible on all platforms.   And the survey showed that they don't mind..  But of course such a scheme only works for one kind of apps.
     
    So you’re just freeloading off the Apple and Google app distribution and deployment infrastructure.  Gotcha.

    Sounds like a great deal for you...however your complaint that Apple isn’t helping your app discoverability is like complaining that the free water given to you wasn’t chilled to your satisfaction.
    It is the other way around.  Because the app discoverability in the App Store is so bad, I went for other options.  I am happy to pay a 30% cut if Apple brings me potential customers.  And by the way I would not mind if I could host the apps myself, so Apple has no cost.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 83 of 90
    croprcropr Posts: 1,129member
    cropr:
    For the web app my costs are roughly 2.5% for the hosting and secure payment solution combined.  It could be that for other type of apps, the 30% cut is justified, but for my apps this is at least questionable.  
    Then, you don't need to use Apple ecosystem as it does not provide any value to your business. This should not be the basis for arguing that Apple needs to change pricing on their products/services, though. Instead it should be the basis for the decision not to develop for iOS in ObjC or Swift.
    My customers expect an iOS version, so I have to develop it. The same applies to the Android version. 

    I did not complain about the 30%, I said that for my apps the App Store does not bring any value.  I am happy to pay a 30% cut to anyone who provides value / potential customers
    muthuk_vanalingamgatorguy
  • Reply 84 of 90
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    nht said:
    Soli said:
    I'm all for the free app trials, but the cut Apple gets seems fair and is much better than what existed before the iPhone and its App Store hit the market.

    That said, the 30% cut may not be ideal today as it was back in 2008 now that the platform is mature. That isn't to say that is should be lower than 30%, but that the optimal cut could be higher or lower than 30%. Whatever can strengthen the platform is likely what is best for Apple and their customers.
    Why do you think the optimal cut might need to be greater than 30%? IMO a big issue with the AppStore is most of the money going to a small number of developers.
    That’s because a small number of devs are providing the majority of the value.
    I would quibble with IAP games like candy crush providing value...
    mattinoz
  • Reply 85 of 90
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member

    Notsofast said:
    nunzy said:
    Who do they think they are? If Apple is so horrible, then they can simply go somewhere else. Who needs 'em?
    Right, because Apple doesn’t need developers. What’s so wrong with offering trials? I’d love to be able to try an app and see if I like it before I buy it. I’d love to know how indie developers are doing on the App Store. I’ll bet most of Apple’s payouts are going to large companies or game developers with stupid IAP.

    I’m curious, what do eBay and Amazon charge to sell things on their website? Is it comparable to Apple’s 30%?
    In physical stores it used to be 40%
    You can’t really compare physical and digital stores.
    Sure you can.  You're making the common mistake of assuming the majority of the cost of having a product for sale is the physical space, when in fact whether it is Walmart or Apple, the entire cost of the running the company is part of the "overhead" in offering a product for sale.  Apple has spent many billions of dollars, and must continue to spend many billions of dollars, to keep the App store up and running. From the thousands of engineers to develop and maintain upgrades for the various OS's, to the lawyers, to the managers, to the buildings needed to house their staff, to advertising, to the servers, to the energy to run the servers, to the billing systems, to the HR Departments, etc., etc., OH, and at the end, there's a reason you take on all that risk and expense,  it's the need for profits.  That's how business runs. 
    The average selling price of iPhone was higher than its ever been. Apple could say we’re doing very very well and we’ve decided to pass some of that on to consumers and developers. Instead of doing $100B stock buybacks how about upping the free iCloud tier to 10GB? Or adjusting the economics for developers? Microsoft just announced developers keeping 85% if something is discovered through their AppStore and 95% if the download happens via deep linking.
    Yeah? And how is Microsoft doing when compared to Apple? Are you sure they are doing the right thing? How do you know what they do is sustainable?
    Well they just announced this. Obviously Microsoft thinks the benefits outweigh the costs. Of course Tim Cook promised Wall Street there would be big increases in Apple’s services revenues so I don’t see this 70/30 split changing anytime soon.
  • Reply 86 of 90
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,038member
    Tim Cook promised Wall Street there would be big increases in Apple’s services revenues so I don’t see this 70/30 split changing anytime soon.
    How does the first half of your sentence pair up with the second half? The increase in services revenue probably comes from other areas, which would make what they get from the App Store mostly irrelevant. Or, if you believe the App Store revenue is extremely important to Apple's bottom line and Cook said there would be "be increases" then something about App Store revenue would have to change, which means you probably shouldn't discount the idea that they'd increase that amount (which I don't think is the case).
  • Reply 87 of 90
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    nunzy said:
    nunzy said:
    Who do they think they are? If Apple is so horrible, then they can simply go somewhere else. Who needs 'em?
    Right, because Apple doesn’t need developers. What’s so wrong with offering trials? I’d love to be able to try an app and see if I like it before I buy it. I’d love to know how indie developers are doing on the App Store. I’ll bet most of Apple’s payouts are going to large companies or game developers with stupid IAP.

    I’m curious, what do eBay and Amazon charge to sell things on their website? Is it comparable to Apple’s 30%?
    Apple doesn't allow free trials. And they know why. Believe me, Apple knows why.
    actually the free trials thing is one thing that I disagree with Apple about. there are some potentially great programs out there that are $50 and up but you can't always tell if they will suit your needs until you try them. so why not let the developers put in a free trial of say a week or two for you to try it out and then you pay. it allows folks to see if it will work for them, reduces calls to iTunes support to try to get a refund for something that is not going to work (which wastes a lot of time going over how users agreed that all sales are final blah blah and then giving in that one time or having to argue about how they were told 4 times ago it would only be once and they got 3 more so they aren't getting a 4th blah blah)

    even if they only allowed it for productivity apps it would be great. some apps are trying to do IAP for functions but that hobbles the app so much that you can't really see if it's good for you. games can get away with a 'free trial' via levels packs a little bit more although some charge stupid high amounts for those packs 
  • Reply 88 of 90
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,352member

    How is the ability to provide a demo any different from creating a free app that lets you unlock full functionality via an in-app purchase? Can't they just create a time-based full functioning app like 1Password, for which Users have to pay to continue using after a set trial period?


    As for the so-called "unfair" 30% cut, Apple is still taking the responsibility of hosting the app, ensuring availability and handling payments securely. I think it is fine for a premium service.


    The only issue I have is discoverability on the app store. I still can't figure out how to browse apps that are not in the top 200 paid or free categories. Of course, with the sheer number of apps, it really becomes very tough to showcase everything, but I still wish there was some way I could scroll through all apps in a category.


    I'm just spit-balling here, but when (if) Apple launches its Magazine Service, as a value-added service to developers, it could have a monthly magazine that is dedicated only to apps. The number of apps that can be addressed in a single magazine is much more than what can be showcased in a month's worth of "App of the Day", "Game of the Day" & "Today" sections of the App Store.

    I find it a lot easier and interesting browsing a catalogue or magazine as well. So that could probably be one way to increase discoverability for apps.

    In App Purchases have a tarnished reputation due to the questionable practices of the games industry. It's a better sales pitch to say it's a triall, pay at the end of the period and your purchase never goes away or hit some random time bar.
  • Reply 89 of 90
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,686member
    mattinoz said:

    How is the ability to provide a demo any different from creating a free app that lets you unlock full functionality via an in-app purchase? Can't they just create a time-based full functioning app like 1Password, for which Users have to pay to continue using after a set trial period?


    As for the so-called "unfair" 30% cut, Apple is still taking the responsibility of hosting the app, ensuring availability and handling payments securely. I think it is fine for a premium service.


    The only issue I have is discoverability on the app store. I still can't figure out how to browse apps that are not in the top 200 paid or free categories. Of course, with the sheer number of apps, it really becomes very tough to showcase everything, but I still wish there was some way I could scroll through all apps in a category.


    I'm just spit-balling here, but when (if) Apple launches its Magazine Service, as a value-added service to developers, it could have a monthly magazine that is dedicated only to apps. The number of apps that can be addressed in a single magazine is much more than what can be showcased in a month's worth of "App of the Day", "Game of the Day" & "Today" sections of the App Store.

    I find it a lot easier and interesting browsing a catalogue or magazine as well. So that could probably be one way to increase discoverability for apps.

    In App Purchases have a tarnished reputation due to the questionable practices of the games industry. It's a better sales pitch to say it's a triall, pay at the end of the period and your purchase never goes away or hit some random time bar.
    IAP doesn't work for most apps. In fact Apple used to ban IAP where is was used to turn on functionality, and even now I don't see most people wanting to pay an IAP to enable features. As a thought experiment imagine a notes app which failed  to save, or print, or upload to iCloud or whatever without an IAP.  That annoys people.

    A trial where all that functionality is available for a month works, though. You try it out and then if you are still using it, pay the purchase or subscription. 

    Apple will do this sooner or later. Unlike some here, it likes and courts developers. Hence the teaching of code in the stores, the WWDC , the dedicated dev forums and so on. 

    I don't think that Apple is doing enough to justify the 30% for some devs ( ones that have their own websites, and fulfilment etc) , that said it is doing a lot for free apps who only pay the $99. There are a few million developers but probably not enough to compensate for a drop in  revenue if they reduce to 15% and even double the cost of the tech program. 
  • Reply 90 of 90
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,686member
    There are some standard apps where IAP works though - for instance camera filter apps ( to get more filters). 
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