Apple pressures email app 'Hey' to integrate in-app purchase option [u]

2

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 55
    uraharaurahara Posts: 641member
    jgreg728 said:
    Apple has the right to enforce their policies. Tbh they should double down with the likes of Netflix to set that precedent.

    What IS wrong about the whole thing is that iOS doesn't give the option to load apps from anywhere other than the App Store. That's what needs to change.
    You are looking at it through a very binary lens. Apple has become so huge now and controls an entire ecosystem. This is not just a commercial company anymore; they effectively decide what you consume, how you do it, what they deem to be acceptable and what not. They have become a world power. 

    That is not freedom of trade anymore; this is robbery of it. Ironically going against the free market system that made Apple who they have become today.

    The EU commission, since the USA is failing on this front (and many other fronts), should force Apple to allow for third party stores on their platform, enforce ‘default apps’ to combat unfair 1st versus 3rd party app competition, deliver open software APIs, and the commission should write laws that combats and supersedes these crazy contractual obligations - it’s borderline fascism. 
    Why? If you want something else - just use Android. 
    lkrupp
  • Reply 22 of 55
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    urahara said:
    jgreg728 said:
    Apple has the right to enforce their policies. Tbh they should double down with the likes of Netflix to set that precedent.

    What IS wrong about the whole thing is that iOS doesn't give the option to load apps from anywhere other than the App Store. That's what needs to change.
    You are looking at it through a very binary lens. Apple has become so huge now and controls an entire ecosystem. This is not just a commercial company anymore; they effectively decide what you consume, how you do it, what they deem to be acceptable and what not. They have become a world power. 

    That is not freedom of trade anymore; this is robbery of it. Ironically going against the free market system that made Apple who they have become today.

    The EU commission, since the USA is failing on this front (and many other fronts), should force Apple to allow for third party stores on their platform, enforce ‘default apps’ to combat unfair 1st versus 3rd party app competition, deliver open software APIs, and the commission should write laws that combats and supersedes these crazy contractual obligations - it’s borderline fascism. 
    Why? If you want something else - just use Android. 

    Well, yes.

    And throwing in the word 'fascism' into his post proves that 

    a/. He doesn't have a clue what fascism is
    b/. Has a weak argument because he threw in the word 'fascism'.

    Contrary to popular belief, Apple is not a monopoly. They don't even control the major marketshare in the smartphone space. If there was no other smartphone that users could go to, then that would be a problem.

    CheezeFreeze believes that companies should be penalised for becoming successful. That's worse than his interpretation of fascism in my opinion.
    Dogpersonbeeble42georgie01mike1jdb8167bill_t_cat
  • Reply 23 of 55
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    lkrupp said:
    jgreg728 said:
    Apple has the right to enforce their policies. Tbh they should double down with the likes of Netflix to set that precedent.

    What IS wrong about the whole thing is that iOS doesn't give the option to load apps from anywhere other than the App Store. That's what needs to change.
    You are looking at it through a very binary lens. Apple has become so huge now and controls an entire ecosystem. This is not just a commercial company anymore; they effectively decide what you consume, how you do it, what they deem to be acceptable and what not. They have become a world power. 

    That is not freedom of trade anymore; this is robbery of it. Ironically going against the free market system that made Apple who they have become today.

    The EU commission, since the USA is failing on this front (and many other fronts), should force Apple to allow for third party stores on their platform, enforce ‘default apps’ to combat unfair 1st versus 3rd party app competition, deliver open software APIs, and the commission should write laws that combats and supersedes these crazy contractual obligations - it’s borderline fascism. 
    NO, Apple does not effectively control what you consume, how you do it, or what they deem acceptable or not. You chose, of your own free will, to use the platform Apple has created. No one twisted your arm to do so, you volunteered to. You have every ability to control what you consume, how you consume it, and what you deem acceptable or not. You have many options outside Apple's ecosystem yet you choose to stay within the platform and bitch about it. If you disagree with Apple's policies the door is before you, step through it to freedom. Why haven't you? I really, really don't understand your ilk. Why are you unwilling to let the marketplace decide what Apple does? If enough people leave the platform because of what you call fascism (an amazingly ignorant premise on your part, by the way) the market will punish Apple. But the market isn't doing that is it and you want to force Apple to do something when you have ability to leave it behind. How dare you when your path is before you. Switch to Android and all the complaints you have about Apple vanish. And I'll bet you have no intention of doing so, do you. Pathetic.

    Quite. 

    However, I would say that if Apple is making mistakes when they're reviewing these apps, then this shows that the guidelines are too complex or too vague for their reviewers to follow. If the reviewers are getting it wrong, then developers will get it wrong.

    If this app violated guidelines then it shouldn't have been allowed through in the first place.

    Ben Thompson has tweeted he's hearing from other developers are saying that Apple is now being more strict with this in-app purchase policy.

    I have no problem with the policy, but if you're going to enforce something, then do it from day one and make sure you apply it to everyone.
  • Reply 24 of 55
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,234member
    Basecamp appear to be complying with the letter of the policy, hard to see what Apple are complaining about here; it's no different to any other consumption app that relies on a subscription set up through a website.

    I imagine Apple will pull another u-turn on this.
    edited June 2020 elijahgprismatics
  • Reply 25 of 55
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,991member
    Why are many here demanding iOS become Android? 
    mwhite
  • Reply 26 of 55
    wiseywisey Posts: 30member
    mattinoz said:
    djfriar said:
    jgreg728 said:
    Apple has the right to enforce their policies. Tbh they should double down with the likes of Netflix to set that precedent.

    What IS wrong about the whole thing is that iOS doesn't give the option to load apps from anywhere other than the App Store. That's what needs to change.
    No. No No No. No! The locked down nature of iOS is paramount to its security and appeal. If I want to have the wild, wild west of app loading I’d use Android. I don’t. Stop trying to make iOS like Android. Having such a tightly integrated platform is what makes Apple’s ecosystem work so well. It’s why I switched form Windows a decade ago, and its why I choose to use iOS and why I chose to primarily develop for iOS and macOS. This insane idea that they need to break that to let shitty apps made by devs who just want an easy way in or to bypass a cost of business that has been around for 10 years is not the correct path forward.

    As for Hey specifically, from reading the Verge article about what they are doing With the app, I actually do think Apple is in the wrong here and it should be considered a Reader style app. The subscription isn’t specific to iOS and they aren’t advertising it in iOS, so it is exactly the same as Netflix. It appears to be a new email address as well, so it is even more like a reader app.

    Yes I have to wonder why it's a different case to Gmail app? I mean from Apple's perspective it should be treated the same. for customer perspective, well that is another story.
    The answer to your question is that Gmail doesn’t charge the customer for using Gmail.  As you know, they are monetizing gmail by searching through the customer’s emails and selling that data to clients who want to use that information to advertising to the client.  If you don’t want Google rifling through you gmail, don’t use Gmail.  By the way, I do use Gmail and use it only for certain purposes, for emails that I don’t mind Google knowing about.  

    Like Spotify, Hey does not want to pay for the using Apple’s App Store and selling to Apple’s customers.  As a customer of Apple products and owner of Apple stock, I object to Spotify complaining to the European Union (EU) about this practice and EU then charging Apple a $100 million plus fine for this practice.   Why should I pay for Spotify’s complaint even though I don’t use Spotify?  For this reason, I refuse to subscribe to Spotify.  

    If Spotify or Hey object to paying Apple for using the iOS platform, they should stay off iOS.  They should not complain to the EU about Apple’s practice and then force consumers like me to pay the cost of EU fines (yes, it eventually increases the cost of Apple supporting iOS), even though I do not want to use their products.  They should pay Apple the cost of using iOS.  Spotify makes money off iOS users and has been very successful because of iOS.

    Like djfriar, I do not want bad apps to come onto iOS for free.  However, I don’t understand what djfriar means by calling Hey a “Reader style” app, like Apple.  Netflix does pay Apple for whenever a customer subscribes to Netflix from iOS.  They are not complaining and laughing all the way to the bank even though they pay Apple for the privilege.  Apple has to consider Netflix when they upgrade their iOS, to make sure that the Netflix is supported and that it works well on iOS.  The fact that Netflix works very well on iOS costs money and Netflix pays for that.

  • Reply 27 of 55
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,995member
    jgreg728 said:
    Apple has the right to enforce their policies. Tbh they should double down with the likes of Netflix to set that precedent.

    What IS wrong about the whole thing is that iOS doesn't give the option to load apps from anywhere other than the App Store. That's what needs to change.
    You are looking at it through a very binary lens. Apple has become so huge now and controls an entire ecosystem. This is not just a commercial company anymore; they effectively decide what you consume, how you do it, what they deem to be acceptable and what not. They have become a world power. 

    That is not freedom of trade anymore; this is robbery of it. Ironically going against the free market system that made Apple who they have become today.

    The EU commission, since the USA is failing on this front (and many other fronts), should force Apple to allow for third party stores on their platform, enforce ‘default apps’ to combat unfair 1st versus 3rd party app competition, deliver open software APIs, and the commission should write laws that combats and supersedes these crazy contractual obligations - it’s borderline fascism. 
    And as usual, the EU commission is wrong and will look to fix something that isn't broken. If the app store was a brick and mortar retailer, this would be the equivalent of me demanding that they sell my product with no markup and therefore no profit.

    georgie01mwhitejdb8167
  • Reply 28 of 55
    thekrewthekrew Posts: 2member
    So you released an app to Apple and the public with no price info in the description. You want Apple to distribute and advertise it for free and you expect your new customers to be okay with the cost being a surprise? Uh, no. That amounts to false advertising and I can’t say I’m terribly surprised that Apple have decided not to play. 

    Netflix and Hulu and services like that had an existing presence and cost long before the App Store. We already know to expect a subscription price and it doesn’t need to be advertised. Many of us already subscribe prior to the app. 

    But if the App Store is my first experience with your app, and I go through the time and hassle to download and set it up only to find a price attached I’ll likely back out and delete it in annoyance. 

    Buck up. I don’t mind paying a developer for a good app or service, but I want to be able to know what to expect before I download. 
    edited June 2020 mwhitejdb8167sacto joe
  • Reply 29 of 55
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,605member
    Anilu_777 said:
    elijahg said:
    pujones1 said:
    elijahg said:
    And this kind of thing is why the EU is investigating Apple for antitrust violations.
    You’re absolutely right. Doesn’t matter if you should pay for the hosting service or the backend. Let me (Hey) advertise in your yard and other peoples’ yard but not give you anything for it. 

    Apple is the big bad monopoly nowadays. They built this thing from the ground up. It’s like some agency forcing Walmart to put Kroger stuff in their food department for free. Walmart should have the right to set the terms of store and if Kroger doesn’t like they should kick rocks. 

    It’s the sense of entitlement that kills me with this guy. 
    Yeah so when you buy an iPad from Walmart, Apple should pay royalties to Warmart for every purchase the customer makes on that iPad, because the iPad was bought from Walmart? I have no problem with a small percentage cut to Apple for hosting etc, but when they take a cut for in-app purchases which involve zero data fees from Apple, it's a bit much.

    The difficulty of equating the App Store to a real store is what kills me with this guy.
    If Apple provides a platform where a developer can make money, of course Apple should get paid for that platform. Trying to avoid that while still keeping your app in the App Store is plainly trying to cheat. 
    What part of "I have no problem with a small percentage cut to Apple for hosting etc" wasn't clear? The antitrust investigation is partly around the fact that if you want an app on iOS, you have to go through the App Store, you have to give Apple 30% and there's no competition. It would be like Apple requiring you to use their electricity to charge your phone otherwise it's an invalidation of your warranty.
    prismatics
  • Reply 30 of 55
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,605member
    djfriar said:
    jgreg728 said:
    Apple has the right to enforce their policies. Tbh they should double down with the likes of Netflix to set that precedent.

    What IS wrong about the whole thing is that iOS doesn't give the option to load apps from anywhere other than the App Store. That's what needs to change.
    No. No No No. No! The locked down nature of iOS is paramount to its security and appeal. If I want to have the wild, wild west of app loading I’d use Android. I don’t. Stop trying to make iOS like Android. Having such a tightly integrated platform is what makes Apple’s ecosystem work so well. It’s why I switched form Windows a decade ago, and its why I choose to use iOS and why I chose to primarily develop for iOS and macOS. This insane idea that they need to break that to let shitty apps made by devs who just want an easy way in or to bypass a cost of business that has been around for 10 years is not the correct path forward.

    As for Hey specifically, from reading the Verge article about what they are doing With the app, I actually do think Apple is in the wrong here and it should be considered a Reader style app. The subscription isn’t specific to iOS and they aren’t advertising it in iOS, so it is exactly the same as Netflix. It appears to be a new email address as well, so it is even more like a reader app.
    You can install programs from wherever you want on macOS and it's not a Wild West of viruses and crap like Android is. And macOS is still tightly integrated, so why would iOS become like Android if you could install non-App Store apps?
    prismaticsavon b7
  • Reply 31 of 55
    gsteenogsteeno Posts: 56member
    Apple needs to get paid for all the tools, support, infrastructure that they provide to developers.  Is it 30% first year, 15% thereafter?  No idea if that's still a reasonably fair cut.  And mentioned above, Android is the same.

    Provocative question, as I am not a developer.  If one already needs to pay $100 / yr to be in the developer program, and one also needs a mac to develop, should Apple consider reducing the fee given the upfront investment into the ecosystem?   
  • Reply 32 of 55
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    elijahg said:
    djfriar said:
    jgreg728 said:
    Apple has the right to enforce their policies. Tbh they should double down with the likes of Netflix to set that precedent.

    What IS wrong about the whole thing is that iOS doesn't give the option to load apps from anywhere other than the App Store. That's what needs to change.
    No. No No No. No! The locked down nature of iOS is paramount to its security and appeal. If I want to have the wild, wild west of app loading I’d use Android. I don’t. Stop trying to make iOS like Android. Having such a tightly integrated platform is what makes Apple’s ecosystem work so well. It’s why I switched form Windows a decade ago, and its why I choose to use iOS and why I chose to primarily develop for iOS and macOS. This insane idea that they need to break that to let shitty apps made by devs who just want an easy way in or to bypass a cost of business that has been around for 10 years is not the correct path forward.

    As for Hey specifically, from reading the Verge article about what they are doing With the app, I actually do think Apple is in the wrong here and it should be considered a Reader style app. The subscription isn’t specific to iOS and they aren’t advertising it in iOS, so it is exactly the same as Netflix. It appears to be a new email address as well, so it is even more like a reader app.
    You can install programs from wherever you want on macOS and it's not a Wild West of viruses and crap like Android is. And macOS is still tightly integrated, so why would iOS become like Android if you could install non-App Store apps?
    The reason is that most would-be attackers would be focussed on the platform where they can make more money. I think it’s fair to say that more commercial transactions are carried out on iOS, so that would be where the malware would appear if Apple was forced to allow alternative stores. 

  • Reply 33 of 55
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 624member
    arlomedia said:
    Last I checked, Apple doesn't require charging the same amount for subscriptions purchased inside the app versus on the developer's own website. So if the cost is an issue, Basecamp could simply add 30% to the prices shown in the app.
    This is exactly right. If Hey charged $139 per year for an in app subscription, Hey would make $97 after Apple’s cut. Is $139 really that much more than $99 per year? I’m guessing most people interested in a $100 per year email service won’t bat an eye at $140. Most people wouldn’t pay either price. 
    edited June 2020
  • Reply 34 of 55
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Right, I think I see the problem, and it’s not what I thought it was. 

    Gmail, Dropbox, Netflix etc. all have a sign-up page that is visible and open to the public. 

    Hey doesn’t have one. 

    You want to sign up, you drop this guy an email and then … something happens. 

    But of course, Apple has no visibility of what information he’s asking for (presumably your credit card details for starters) or what terms and conditions their customers are signing up for and how liable if Hey does something fraudulent. Chances are that Apple would be the first to be sued because … you know … Apple. 

    He doesn’t need to add an in-app purchase (though that would be the easiest option).  All he needs to do is add a proper sign-up page that we can all see, then it becomes the same arrangement that Amazon et al, uses. 

    I mean, why do I need to email him to sign up? Why can’t I just sign up from the site?

    i think this is another case of Apple being in the right (in my opinion) and explaining itself very poorly. 


    edited June 2020
  • Reply 35 of 55
    arlomediaarlomedia Posts: 271member
    thekrew said:
    So you released an app to Apple and the public with no price info in the description. You want Apple to distribute and advertise it for free and you expect your new customers to be okay with the cost being a surprise? Uh, no. That amounts to false advertising and I can’t say I’m terribly surprised that Apple have decided not to play. 
    Apple's rules say that if developers don't use Apple's payment system, they are not allowed to provide any pricing info or a link to their website in the app description or the app itself. My app takes this approach and it subjects me to routine criticism about false advertising, bait and switch, etc. The pricing is clearly presented on my website, but if I put it in the app description, the app would be rejected. I wish users understood this so they would stop blaming the developers.

    I have suggested solutions to Apple through their developer feedback tool -- for example, allow developers to hide an app from the store search so only established customers will install it -- but have never received a response.
    jdb8167prismatics
  • Reply 36 of 55
    Apple likely has some things to address, better explaining/communication being the overall one here I think.  Perhaps at different scales flat % may not always be suitable, developers shouldn't be asking for free distribution on a commercial product though.

    If the developer is trying to make their app available for _existing subscribers_ the can already do so via other means.  You can install apps via web links as long as the developer is registered and has a valid signing certificate (they expire about once a year and have to be updated).  At work we have a piece of enterprise iOS software that is only available to customers, it's not in an app store yet we can install it as needed via a link.  The app notifies the user when there's an update and prompts them to do so.  This does no doubt rely on a paid infrastructure behind the scenes.

    In this article the developer appears to want to use the App store to make their software more visible to the public and attract new customers at least as much as wanting a slightly more convenient distribution and update system native to the device for existing subscribers.  

    They are paying for a developer account for additional Q/A, distribution and discovery via the App store. For non-enterprise developer accounts, I think I've only seen one fee of $99 a year that lets you submit for the App stores.  
    edited June 2020
  • Reply 37 of 55
    hammeroftruthhammeroftruth Posts: 1,194member
    It might be time for Apple to revisit how much of a cut they get from developers. If the developers really have a good argument, then they should band together and approach Apple during WWDC and ask for a forum to discuss it. 

    Without the App Store, Apple would have had a tough time with web apps and the scalability of what you can do on an iPhone. 

    Developers are the lifeblood of any platform and creating a new way of determining the cut Apple gets would be a win/win/win for Apple, 3rd party developers and the consumer. 

    I think with Covid, and other things that have happened this year, Apple might be more receptive in discussing it. If nothing comes from it then the developers can take whatever measures they see fit to continue. 

    Lastly, I’m not so sure I believe Apple didn’t know enough about the app and what it does and what and how they were charging before they approved it. 
    edited June 2020 elijahg
  • Reply 38 of 55
    People tend to overlook two major points.

    First, I didn't just buy an iPhone (and iPad, etc), I bought a solution.  One fo the few that combines hardware and software from the ground up.  While iPhone is not entirely secure, it is very secure compared to other platforms.  I am not always keen when Apple axes an app or doesn't allow a feature; but I knew that when I bought my device.  I am happy knowing there is a wall that, while sometimes limits, also protects.  Where there is an issue, Apple can fix it; or pressure devs to fix their issues.  This wouldn't be possible if Apple allowed side loading or other apps stores.   Apple could not regulate an Amazon App store on iPhone or any other 3rd party store.  Can you imagine the customer support nightmare of multiple app stores with varying rules and security?  I purchased a solution.  I appreciate the fact I am protected and can talk to a human to get support when I need it.

    Second; software developers have always paid for mass distribution, marketing, etc.  Some of those fees used to exceed 50%.  The fact that any dev can effectively self publish their app is cool.  And not simply publish; but publish to an audience measured in 100s of millions.  There is more freedom and easy riches for developers post iPhone App store than any time in history. 

    There are many other fine hardware products out there.  People are free to buy them.

    Also, @Anilu_777  nailed it.. $99/yr subscription for an email app?!!  WAT?!
    edited June 2020
  • Reply 39 of 55
      ;) email app that supports gmail : Membership or Subscription; on app store : https://apps.apple.com/us/app/nine-mail-email-calendar/id1079689905 no Membership or Subscription on app store : https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hey-email/id1506603805#?platform=iphone .
  • Reply 40 of 55
    arlomediaarlomedia Posts: 271member
    Nierozum said:
    If the developer is trying to make their app available for _existing subscribers_ the can already do so via other means.  You can install apps via web links as long as the developer is registered and has a valid signing certificate (they expire about once a year and have to be updated).  At work we have a piece of enterprise iOS software that is only available to customers, it's not in an app store yet we can install it as needed via a link
    Enterprise distribution is for distributing in-house apps to employees on company-owned devices. There is no supported way to distribute iOS apps to customers other than the iOS App Store.

    30% for the first year and 15% for subsequent years seems reasonable as a sales commission for a customer that was acquired through the Apple Store. But for many companies, the iOS app is only a small part of their overall product, and some companies had subscription customers before the App Store even existed (Basecamp ticks both those boxes). And of course some companies spend millions on advertising and marketing to acquire customers. In those cases, the App Store is really just a download site.

    The working solution has been to waive the IAP requirement and commission if the app doesn't include a registration flow or links to the registration flow. However, Apple can change its rules or change how it interprets its rules at any time. I hope this is a fluke and not the start of a larger policy change.
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