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

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 55
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 895member
    arlomedia said:
    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.
    If it’s not a free app, it shouldn’t be allowed to disguise itself as a free app. Period. If Apple says you have to go through their payment system, and you want on their app store, then follow the rules. Period.

    Also, by following the rules, the consumer is not required to give out their credit card information to anyone but Apple, a decided advantage for consumers that’s oh-so-conveniently left out of the discussion.
    edited June 2020 ndornquast
  • Reply 42 of 55
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,877member
    Apple taking up to a 30% cut of revenues is the real issue. Yes, they need to cover their operating costs, but 30% is 1/3rd of their partner's revenues. If that partner has no revenue model (other than ads), then Apple doesn't take a cut. So those making money also finance the store. Freeloaders pay nothing. Basically, this forces app developers into two streams..... (a) paying nothing to Apple and hope to make enough from ad impressions, and (b) charge for the app or in-app purchases, but then hand 15-30% over to Apple.

    If Apple reduced the revenue cut to 10%, I think this whole problem would go away in a heartbeat. Even developers like Netflix and Spotify would return.



    As for HEY from Basecamp, neat idea. I used Basecamp3 for a year and it's a great app. But I would not pay $99/year for an email service when I'm forced to use their own domain name for my email address.
    edited June 2020 elijahg
  • Reply 43 of 55
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,143member
    gsteeno said:
    Apple needs to get paid for all the tools, support, infrastructure that they provide to developers.
    The developer ecosystem is a significant (possibly the primary) value add for Apple's devices.  If there were no third party apps, then an iPhone's values goes down dramatically.  This idea that Apple has to be paid for other people delivering apps that enable Apple to sell more devices, especially when the mechanism for delivering those apps has been intentionally walled off behind Apple-erected barriers and often opaque rules seems to me to be massively biased.  Few developers are making lots of money, meanwhile Apple is among the most valuable and profiitable  companies in the world.  Why is your bias in the direction of the big rich guy?
    elijahg
  • Reply 44 of 55
    crowley said:
    The developer ecosystem is a significant (possibly the primary) value add for Apple's devices.  If there were no third party apps, then an iPhone's values goes down dramatically.  This idea that Apple has to be paid for other people delivering apps that enable Apple to sell more devices, especially when the mechanism for delivering those apps has been intentionally walled off behind Apple-erected barriers and often opaque rules seems to me to be massively biased.  Few developers are making lots of money, meanwhile Apple is among the most valuable and profiitable  companies in the world.  Why is your bias in the direction of the big rich guy?

    Ya, they should just abandon Apple and get their money out of Android then. That will shut down Apple for sure and FINALLY kill the iPhone!
    You might remember that iPhone launched without an app store and people still bought them.

    Apple is a choice. It's not a mandate. If you don't like their policies, don't use their services.
  • Reply 45 of 55
    arlomediaarlomedia Posts: 271member
    sacto joe said:
    If it’s not a free app, it shouldn’t be allowed to disguise itself as a free app. Period. If Apple says you have to go through their payment system, and you want on their app store, then follow the rules. Period.
    Apple doesn't say you have to go through their payment system. They say if you don't, you can't lead people to your payment system. They also say the only way a consumer can install an iOS app is by downloading it from a public App Store listing. It is this combination of rules that prohibits developers from being clear about pricing, not developers who are trying to "disguise" their apps. Apple could fix the situation by offering more listing options, such as unlisted apps for developers who need to distribute an app that's part of a larger product, or a label that says "This app requires a subscription." I have similar language as the first line of my App Store description, but some people apparently just see the FREE label and don't read beyond that.

    This isn't the only App Store policy that customers blame developers for. I remember when Apple added the app auto-update function to iOS, and turned it on for everyone by default. For a few months I was getting enraged messages from users: "Why did you update my app version without my permission?" I had to explain that I have no ability to push app updates to their devices and this is actually a setting that Apple turned on and they can turn off if they want it to work like it used to. I also sent Apple feedback about that and got no reply. I think these are the sorts of things that make developers feel taken for granted and can push someone like the Basecamp guy over the edge.

    I'll save someone the trouble of writing the usual response: "If you don't like their system, you don't have to use it." As if there is no possibility of improvement.
    elijahg
  • Reply 46 of 55
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 895member
    arlomedia said:
    sacto joe said:
    If it’s not a free app, it shouldn’t be allowed to disguise itself as a free app. Period. If Apple says you have to go through their payment system, and you want on their app store, then follow the rules. Period.
    Apple doesn't say you have to go through their payment system. They say if you don't, you can't lead people to your payment system. They also say the only way a consumer can install an iOS app is by downloading it from a public App Store listing. It is this combination of rules that prohibits developers from being clear about pricing, not developers who are trying to "disguise" their apps. Apple could fix the situation by offering more listing options, such as unlisted apps for developers who need to distribute an app that's part of a larger product, or a label that says "This app requires a subscription." I have similar language as the first line of my App Store description, but some people apparently just see the FREE label and don't read beyond that.

    This isn't the only App Store policy that customers blame developers for. I remember when Apple added the app auto-update function to iOS, and turned it on for everyone by default. For a few months I was getting enraged messages from users: "Why did you update my app version without my permission?" I had to explain that I have no ability to push app updates to their devices and this is actually a setting that Apple turned on and they can turn off if they want it to work like it used to. I also sent Apple feedback about that and got no reply. I think these are the sorts of things that make developers feel taken for granted and can push someone like the Basecamp guy over the edge.

    I'll save someone the trouble of writing the usual response: "If you don't like their system, you don't have to use it." As if there is no possibility of improvement.
    Bullshirt. Apple is adamant about NOT advertising for a product that costs the customer bucks without getting paid. By putting on a "This app requires a subscription" sign, they would do exactly that. Instead, they simply shut the app out of their store. No "free advertising" allowed.

    If you don't want to pay, you don't get to play. It's their store.

    And again, everyone ignores the real gain from going through ApplePay: Security. If developers were smart, they'd figure out that that's a major reason customers queue up at the Apple App Store in the first place, and get over themselves.
  • Reply 47 of 55
    oodlumoodlum Posts: 40member
    The Kindle app does exactly the same thing, yet Apple allows it.
  • Reply 48 of 55
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,143member
    crowley said:
    The developer ecosystem is a significant (possibly the primary) value add for Apple's devices.  If there were no third party apps, then an iPhone's values goes down dramatically.  This idea that Apple has to be paid for other people delivering apps that enable Apple to sell more devices, especially when the mechanism for delivering those apps has been intentionally walled off behind Apple-erected barriers and often opaque rules seems to me to be massively biased.  Few developers are making lots of money, meanwhile Apple is among the most valuable and profitable  companies in the world.  Why is your bias in the direction of the big rich guy?

    Ya, they should just abandon Apple and get their money out of Android then. That will shut down Apple for sure and FINALLY kill the iPhone!
    You might remember that iPhone launched without an app store and people still bought them.

    Apple is a choice. It's not a mandate. If you don't like their policies, don't use their services.
    Why is this always the attitude?  No one can even whisper a complaint about the way Apple conducts its business without some prick getting uppity and telling them to buy something else.  Obviously I know I can buy something else, and Apple doesn't need you to bombastically defend them from casual conversation on the internet.  I like the iPhone, and I like the app store, and I like apps to be on there and making money so they can support themselves.  I also like for Apple to be making money so their continuance is assured, but they aren't exactly having any issues there, whereas the app developer community is not so secure, partially because of Apple policies which have placed limitations on developer to operate in ways which could help them out.  No trials, no paid upgrades, indirectly encouraging in-app purchases and subscriptions, and now this weirdness where a subscription service not much different from other is prohibited for reasons that only Apple really know.

    But yeah, bluster about Apple getting shut down, as if anyone suggested that.

    arlomedialkruppelijahg
  • Reply 49 of 55
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,217member
    sacto joe said:
    arlomedia said:
    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.
    If it’s not a free app, it shouldn’t be allowed to disguise itself as a free app. Period. If Apple says you have to go through their payment system, and you want on their app store, then follow the rules. Period.

    Also, by following the rules, the consumer is not required to give out their credit card information to anyone but Apple, a decided advantage for consumers that’s oh-so-conveniently left out of the discussion.
    To be fair, I can't remember the last time I gave my card number to anyone for online payments. Every store I purchase from passes the transaction details to the payment processing gateway. The store never sees the card details. 

    Ironically, in my case, Amazon does have my card details but it is a virtual card with no backward access to my account. 
  • Reply 50 of 55
    arlomediaarlomedia Posts: 271member
    sacto joe said:

    And again, everyone ignores the real gain from going through ApplePay: Security. If developers were smart, they'd figure out that that's a major reason customers queue up at the Apple App Store in the first place, and get over themselves.
    In seven years, I've only had one user who asked about using an in-app purchase, and that's because he received an iTunes gift card he had no other use for. Maybe Apple's system is more secure, but I currently use another well-known payment processor that charges around 3%. I don't expect many customers would volunteer to pay 27% more to use Apple's system. If I were forced to offer in-app purchases, I'd set the prices accordingly and see what happens. Unfortunately, Apple's rules also prohibit "directly or indirectly" encouraging users to choose an alternative to IAP, and I imagine they could argue that setting different prices is an indirect encouragement. It sounds like that's another very restrictive, but not consistently enforced, rule.

    For me, the bottom line is that Apple's commission amount assumes that all app customers are acquired through the App Store. That simply isn't the case, but their policies don't offer a reasonable compensation structure for developers that bring their own customers to the table.

    Come to think of it, I've had many users tell me they bought an iPad specifically so they could use my app, so by Apple's logic I should receive 30% of the retail price of the iPad.
    edited June 2020
  • Reply 51 of 55
    crowley said:
    crowley said:
    The developer ecosystem is a significant (possibly the primary) value add for Apple's devices.  If there were no third party apps, then an iPhone's values goes down dramatically.  This idea that Apple has to be paid for other people delivering apps that enable Apple to sell more devices, especially when the mechanism for delivering those apps has been intentionally walled off behind Apple-erected barriers and often opaque rules seems to me to be massively biased.  Few developers are making lots of money, meanwhile Apple is among the most valuable and profitable  companies in the world.  Why is your bias in the direction of the big rich guy?

    Ya, they should just abandon Apple and get their money out of Android then. That will shut down Apple for sure and FINALLY kill the iPhone!
    You might remember that iPhone launched without an app store and people still bought them.

    Apple is a choice. It's not a mandate. If you don't like their policies, don't use their services.
    Why is this always the attitude?  No one can even whisper a complaint about the way Apple conducts its business without some prick getting uppity and telling them to buy something else.  Obviously I know I can buy something else, and Apple doesn't need you to bombastically defend them from casual conversation on the internet.  I like the iPhone, and I like the app store, and I like apps to be on there and making money so they can support themselves.  I also like for Apple to be making money so their continuance is assured, but they aren't exactly having any issues there, whereas the app developer community is not so secure, partially because of Apple policies which have placed limitations on developer to operate in ways which could help them out.  No trials, no paid upgrades, indirectly encouraging in-app purchases and subscriptions, and now this weirdness where a subscription service not much different from other is prohibited for reasons that only Apple really know.

    But yeah, bluster about Apple getting shut down, as if anyone suggested that.


    Ya, some prick huh?
    Sure there's always room for improvement, but all these pricks trying to get Apple to change their very successful business model to fit what would most benefit them are all, well, pricks -to use your word.
    There is a reason that they are making the money that they do - and it's not the developers who can't make a living without paying their fair share of costs that make Apple successful.
  • Reply 52 of 55
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,143member
    crowley said:
    crowley said:
    The developer ecosystem is a significant (possibly the primary) value add for Apple's devices.  If there were no third party apps, then an iPhone's values goes down dramatically.  This idea that Apple has to be paid for other people delivering apps that enable Apple to sell more devices, especially when the mechanism for delivering those apps has been intentionally walled off behind Apple-erected barriers and often opaque rules seems to me to be massively biased.  Few developers are making lots of money, meanwhile Apple is among the most valuable and profitable  companies in the world.  Why is your bias in the direction of the big rich guy?

    Ya, they should just abandon Apple and get their money out of Android then. That will shut down Apple for sure and FINALLY kill the iPhone!
    You might remember that iPhone launched without an app store and people still bought them.

    Apple is a choice. It's not a mandate. If you don't like their policies, don't use their services.
    Why is this always the attitude?  No one can even whisper a complaint about the way Apple conducts its business without some prick getting uppity and telling them to buy something else.  Obviously I know I can buy something else, and Apple doesn't need you to bombastically defend them from casual conversation on the internet.  I like the iPhone, and I like the app store, and I like apps to be on there and making money so they can support themselves.  I also like for Apple to be making money so their continuance is assured, but they aren't exactly having any issues there, whereas the app developer community is not so secure, partially because of Apple policies which have placed limitations on developer to operate in ways which could help them out.  No trials, no paid upgrades, indirectly encouraging in-app purchases and subscriptions, and now this weirdness where a subscription service not much different from other is prohibited for reasons that only Apple really know.

    But yeah, bluster about Apple getting shut down, as if anyone suggested that.


    Ya, some prick huh?
    Sure there's always room for improvement, but all these pricks trying to get Apple to change their very successful business model to fit what would most benefit them are all, well, pricks -to use your word.
    There is a reason that they are making the money that they do - and it's not the developers who can't make a living without paying their fair share of costs that make Apple successful.
    What change to business model?  Apple have made up the rules for the app store as they've gone along, with numerous u-turns along the way, and even with the best will towards Apple this decision is inconsistent and seemingly arbitrary.  Apple have deliberately chosen to be the sole legitimate channel for apps for iOS, and I don't think it's a big ask for them to be a decent custodian of that role, and for them to show some appreciation of the mutually beneficial relationship they have with the development community, especially small developers where the relationship is very much asymmetrical.

    The App Store is an ecosystem asset first and foremost, not a revenue stream, and with decisions like this Apple are seemingly willing to screw up the asset in pursuit of revenue.  That's dumb.
    elijahg
  • Reply 53 of 55
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 895member
    arlomedia said:
    sacto joe said:

    And again, everyone ignores the real gain from going through ApplePay: Security. If developers were smart, they'd figure out that that's a major reason customers queue up at the Apple App Store in the first place, and get over themselves.
    In seven years, I've only had one user who asked about using an in-app purchase, and that's because he received an iTunes gift card he had no other use for. Maybe Apple's system is more secure, but I currently use another well-known payment processor that charges around 3%. I don't expect many customers would volunteer to pay 27% more to use Apple's system. If I were forced to offer in-app purchases, I'd set the prices accordingly and see what happens. Unfortunately, Apple's rules also prohibit "directly or indirectly" encouraging users to choose an alternative to IAP, and I imagine they could argue that setting different prices is an indirect encouragement. It sounds like that's another very restrictive, but not consistently enforced, rule.

    For me, the bottom line is that Apple's commission amount assumes that all app customers are acquired through the App Store. That simply isn't the case, but their policies don't offer a reasonable compensation structure for developers that bring their own customers to the table.

    Come to think of it, I've had many users tell me they bought an iPad specifically so they could use my app, so by Apple's logic I should receive 30% of the retail price of the iPad.
    "Maybe Apple's system is more secure, but I currently use another well-known payment processor that charges around 3%."

    I said "a major reason". It's not the only one. Security as a whole is a major reason, Heck, the whole Apple ecosystem is, by extension, a big draw for the customer. I could list other gains, like quality, dependability, and resale value, but why bother? None of this is acknowledged by those railing against the price Apple asks for working within their ecosystem. It all adds up. Also, I thought Apple's price dropped to 15% over time? Is that not the case? If your gripe is price, it certainly looks fair to me.
    edited June 2020
  • Reply 54 of 55
    Anilu_777 said:
    My first reaction was $99 a year?!?! And they call Apple gougers? I won’t be downloading Hey at all. That’s ridiculous. 
    We use Basecamp because it offers a decent unlimited user pricing model.  

    If Hey! was encrypted end to end with generous amount of encrypted storage, the $99/year would be a bargain.  
  • Reply 55 of 55
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,374member
    michelb76 said:
    Anilu_777 said:
    My first reaction was $99 a year?!?! And they call Apple gougers? I won’t be downloading Hey at all. That’s ridiculous. 
    Cheaper then what you pay for Gmail, with your data.
    Google doesn't monetize your emails, keyword searching for ad targeting, so no you're not 'paying with your data". That stopped a couple years ago. There's many email services that still do so (my old Earthlink account for example), however GMail isn't one of them.
    edited June 2020
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