Apple promotes Apple Music, Apple Arcade in iOS Settings app

in iOS edited October 2021
Apple device users who purchased a new iPhone 13, or who recently upgraded to the latest iOS 15 release, are seeing static Settings menu options advertising for first-party services Apple Music and Apple Arcade.

Settings Ad
Source: Linhao Jike via Twitter

The selections, which appear just below a user's Apple ID and above all system settings, invite users to take advantage of free trials for Apple's various services. Users have reported seeing three- and six-month trials for Apple Music and a three-month trial for Apple Arcade, though advertisements for other services might also be in effect.

It appears that the options are displayed only when a device user is not a current subscriber, meaning Apple is likely referencing its services database to activate the ad on a per-user basis. Some users have been able to dismiss the ads by interacting with them, according to reports on social media.

When the advertisements began to appear is unclear, but online reports detailing the promotions date back to at least Oct. 4.

For Apple, which acts as a platform operator and competes with service providers on said platform, the promotional placement could prove problematic as it navigates a string of antitrust complaints both at home and abroad.

As noted by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, who is currently embroiled in an international legal battle over App Store policy, the option to place advertisements in prominent areas of iOS is unavailable to competing services. In a tweet on Wednesday, Sweeney implied that the Settings app offers are an abuse of power.

The static ad spots comes amid intense scrutiny of Apple's business practices, which have been called anti-competitive by developers, government agencies and lawmakers. The App Store, with its up to 30% commission rate and restrictions against third-party app stores, has been of recent interest, but Apple is also under the microscope for a range of potential issues including platform dominance, restricted hardware access and a walled garden approach to apps and services, among others.

In efforts to appease critics without dismantling a lucrative source of income, Apple is making piecemeal concessions to slowly reshape App Store policy. In August, the company reached an agreement to settle a class action lawsuit that opposes App Store fees and commissions. If granted, the deal would create a $100 million fund for small developers and allow app makers to contact customers about alternative payment methods.

A more recent concession saw the tech giant announce a modification to App Store policy that will allow "reader" apps to link out to the web for account management purposes. The change, which will take effect worldwide, was made to close an investigation into App Store policy conducted by the Japan Fair Trade Commission.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 8
    This is just silly on Apple’s part. They are asking for trouble. 
  • Reply 2 of 8
    I don’t see a problem with this, it’s their platform and their services. Android is just as bad with preloading all of Google’s services on an Android phone.  How about Amazon basically forcing their services down a user’s throat. 
  • Reply 3 of 8
    glennhglennh Posts: 58member
    This is no different than the old Kmart Blue Light Special or any other in store special offered by a Retailer / Proprietor of a Store!
  • Reply 4 of 8
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Maybe Apple have the right to do this, but it's still damn annoying that they do it.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    I don’t see a problem with this, it’s their platform and their services. Android is just as bad with preloading all of Google’s services on an Android phone.  How about Amazon basically forcing their services down a user’s throat. 
    This isn't about services so that argument falls pretty flat.  This is about Apple seemingly giving preferential treatment to its own first party ads while denying 3rd party ads the same access.  Not a good look for a company facing anti-competition scrutiny.  

    Apple seems to be slowly but surely making their ads more and more prevalent throughout iOS.  Pretty soon (already is imo) that old saying "you are the product" is going to right at home in the iOS environment.  'Cept users pay for the privilege of being the product.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 991member
    Gaming on Apple devices is still a mess for the end user.

    I have a couple of games that I play with my GF while I am away from home ( I pull call on weekends at a hospital) and the ones that use GameCenter are laggy and the ones that sync via FB work fine. This is on current generation Apple HW up to date on solid broadband networks.

    These are casual games that do not put major demands on the network or cloud servers.

    I have the Apple One service and have seen nothing of interest among the games they offer.
    edited October 2021
  • Reply 7 of 8
    I had Apple Arcade offer pinned to top of Settings on 11 Pro. It remains there on 13 Pro, but I’ve developed a blind spot for it. I play an Atari Jaguar every night and don’t need some newfangled nonsense (other than my biennial phone upgrade).
  • Reply 8 of 8
    One of the reasons why I happily pay more for Apple devices is so I can (hopefully) avoid the sort of stupid and annoying hectoring to buy products and services like on some 1990's era PC pre-loaded with "offers." 

    I don't really care whether or not Apple should or shouldn't be allowed to promote its ancillary services. I don't care how essential or inessential their services are. If I need or want them, I will seek them out. And when I do, they can offer me a discount to try and close the deal, if they so desire. But take your aggressive in-OS promotions and shove them, Apple. There are few things quite as effective at making me not want to try your services than constantly being asked. 
    edited October 2021 muthuk_vanalingammobird
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