Apple’s new developer guidelines signal that scammy subscription apps’ time is up

TechCrunch | 1/28/2019 | Staff
aniki (Posted by) Level 3
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Apple is sending out a message to app developers: stop tricking users into subscriptions. The company updated its guidelines for mobile developers to more clearly spell out what is and what is not allowed, according to 9to5Mac, which spotted the recent changes. The improved documentation comes at a time when subscriptions are becoming something of a plague on consumers.

Their rapid proliferation is turning everything into a subscription service, which could ultimately see consumers dropping favorite apps because they can’t afford dozens of ongoing payments. But more urgently, Apple’s lax enforcement its rules around subscriptions had allowed shady app developers to financially benefit.

Subscriptions - Business - App - Stores - Industry

Subscriptions are a big business the app stores, as the industry has begun to shift over to a recurring revenue model instead of one-time purchases within free apps or paid downloads. For developers who continue to improve apps and roll out new features, subscriptions give them the financial means of continuing that work, instead of constantly hunting for new users.

However, not all developers have been playing fair.

TechCrunch - Fall - Number - Scammers - Advantage

As TechCrunch reported last fall, a number of scammers had begun to take advantage of the subscription model in order to trick consumers into recurring payments, in addition to constantly pestering their free users to upgrade.

We found apps that constantly popped up upgrade prompts or hid the “x” to close the prompt’s window, as well as apps that promised free trials that actually converted after a very short period – like three days, for example. Others had intentionally confusing designs where subscription opt-in buttons would say things like “Start” or “Continue” in big text, while the text that explains you’re actually agreeing to a paid subscription is tiny, grayed out, difficult to read, or hidden in some other way.

Apple - Developer - Guidelines - Subscriptions - Apple

Apple’s developer guidelines had clearly prohibited fraudulent behavior related to subscriptions, but Apple has now...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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