I asked if I offered in-app purchases, would the app be approved?
No, since I offer 3-day money-back guarantee on website-based purchses, I must ALSO offer a free trial in the app.
But I don’t want to offer free trials. I’m ok offering a 3-day money-back guarantee, but Apple says that’s not an option for apps.
They insist that I (1) change my business model from 3-day money back guarantee to free trial and (2) purchase a shit ton more infrastructure to handle the audience that free trials attract (I’ve tried free trial business model and it created a lot of use but no more revenue than 3-day money back guarantee). The money-back guarantee seems to weed out a lot of free loaders, at least in this domain — not necessarily others.
That overhead costs the business and the consumer about 2% in fees compared to Apple’s 30%.
I honestly don’t understand how or why anybody is defending Apple’s 30% cut for all cases. Businesses will just mark up the price of their product and pass the costs on to the consumer. The only party that wins is Apple, so I guess if you own $AAPL you’d defend the cut.
> I honestly don’t understand how or why anybody is defending Apple’s 30% cut for all cases.
I'm not. I think 30% is overly high. But simultaneously I don't find the original complaint all that convincing.
I bank with Chase, who makes disputing a charge take a few minutes from their website.
> Apple’s terms don’t really allow for disputing; “ALL SALES ARE FINAL”.
Disputing would be unnecessary under the scenario Apple suggested because there would be a free trial.
Apple doesn’t offer free trials for non-subscription purchases.
Now you're no longer talking about a money back guarantee. Come on, the idea that a credit card chargeback is a valid alternative to having a free trial is ridiculous.
> Apple doesn’t offer free trials for non-subscription purchases.
Non-subscription apps may offer a free time-based trial period before presenting a full unlock option by setting up a Non-Consumable IAP item at Price Tier 0 that follows the naming convention: “XX-day Trial.”
Stockholm syndrome by Apple developers and users.
If someone buys your app and doesn't like it then how do they know about the money back guarantee ? Because depending on how visibly you communicate that to the user at best you could make it hard for users to know about it and at worst you could be flat out being deceptive.
Either way Apple takes on the significant chargeback risk for your app which is far more concerning for them than whatever revenue they get.
Gee, if only there was a way for the person to signup directly on the app maker's site, where they would assume all the risk...
If this guy builds an app which is forcing users into paying upfront and then hiding a money back guarantee in some hidden text then that is deceptive. And Apple suffers since they allowed the app to be sold on their store.
Well, they could allow the app to be sold outside their store, and then they wouldn't face any reputational risk from it.
I don't really see how this is deceptive either - if the app clearly states that you're paying for it upfront, and what the price is, then how are you being deceived? If you aren't willing to pay for it without trying it, then you can just not use it.
The service is sold outside the store (website). The apps to use the service are free on all platforms.
Really? Because I'm pretty sure Windows still carries the reputation of being a virus ridden software which was almost always caused by third party programs.
Phone device makers that provide an application store must also allow the user to load non-approved applications with equivalent API access to approved applications, and must make it possible for the user to load a third-party application store with equivalent access to the first-party application store.
Nintendo would largely be fine. Sony and Microsoft however would be forced into anti-consumer practices like putting advertising everywhere and selling your data. Not to mention a complete consolidation of the studios where most games would be made by Sony Studios and only sold on the Sony app store.
Ever used Xbox Live on the Xbox you paid for and seen ads? We're already there.
Microsoft may even just decide not to build consoles at all.
Valorant will do fine despite not being on PS4 or Xbox. Halo Infinite will do fine despite not being on PS4. The Last of Us II will do fine despite not being on Xbox or PC. This is the story for practically every game; net revenue from a specific title rarely increases enough to compensate for the additional effort of supporting a new platform, especially when platform exclusivity checks come in to play.
Speaking on platform exclusivity checks: They're an indispensable part of the industry and the production process for new games. Naughty Dog starts working on TLOU2 six years ago; they don't start seeing revenue from it until yesterday, after multiple delays and setbacks. Where does the money come from to pay developers until then? The publisher, which most commonly nowadays, is also a platform holder. Where does their money come from? The most sustainable, long-term revenue source is a storefront cut for already released games; Sony's 30% on every game funds Naughty Dog's development team.
What about the 70% from, say, the first Last of Us? Sure, that forms a critical component, but unless you're a studio that can consistently release mega-hit after mega-hit, that money will dry up. There are maybe 10 studios out there who can do this (Naughty Dog is one of them, so imagine we're instead talking about, lets say, Remedy with their recent game Control). In other words, this is investing in individual stocks versus market indices; the 30% cut from every game is more sustainable than the 70% cut from individual games, because not every game releases to massive success. Think Mass Effect Andromeda, No Mans Sky, Fallout 76, etc.
Take Fortnite; it funded Epic's ability to launch the Epic Games Store, and write exclusivity checks to companies like Remedy to secure Control. While I do believe Epic is being honest when they push their 12/88% revenue split and shit on Steam for their 30/70, lets be realistic: Fortnite enables them to do it, not morality. Epic paid $10M for Control . Sony also paid some undisclosed amount for PS4-exclusive content, though the game also released on Xbox. Would Control exist, at least in its current awesome form, without those massive checks? Absolutely not. At best, development would have had to been rushed, or specific nice-to-haves would have been cut. At worst, who knows. But Remedy's previous release, Quantum Break (2016), was a keystone exclusive release for Xbox One, for which they likely also paid millions upfront, and it did not perform well.
Now, what you may be thinking is, what about companies like EA, Ubisoft, Rockstar, the "AAA third party studios". Yet, even these companies get huge checks from Sony and Microsoft. Sony paid Activision what was likely several million dollars for 1 year PS4 exclusivity on a multiplayer mode for Modern Warfare. Red Dead 2 had exclusive PS4 content at launch. When Destiny 2 releases a new map, it at least used to come to PS4 before anyone else. Xbox likely cut a special deal with EA for Access exclusivity on Xbox for years. Every company out there gets checks from these platforms at some point.
When Apple takes its 30%, app developers see none of it. But, with game consoles, to some significant degree that 30% is paying into a a bank account that you may, at some point in the future, be able to withdraw from if you promise a platform holder a bit (or a lot) of exclusive content. The hardware is a loss-leader. The subscription services (XBLG, PSN+, Game Pass) contribute some, but a lot of that money is already earmarked. That 30% cut is critical. The games industry is far more of a cycle than the App Store, and hurting the platform holders' ability to push this cycle along would have huge, unpredictable ramifications for the industry. Its not all good, but its far more necessary than Apple's 30% cut.
While I do absolutely agree that sideloading should be possible, I do know that many phishing/security scams involve (or used to involve) installing a sideloaded application. It should be easy to install a sideloaded application if you understand the implications (and maintain the same protection that ensures you know what permissions you're granting the application), but it should not be easy to accidentally or unknowingly install a sideloaded application. Maintaining that distinction is a challenge; it's important enough to be worth doing, though.
Consumers every day go to extreme lengths to satisfy the wishes of scammers. They will physically drive to the store, buy iTunes Gift Cards and hand over the codes to them. They will take photos of passports, credit cards etc for identify theft. They will install whatever software they are asked to.
The idea that they won't go into some setting and enable "Sideloading Apps" which sounds completely harmless is a bit ridiculous.
Why should we be against doing the same online, and allowing greedy megacorps to profit and squash competition in the name of "security", especially since as you say stupid people will always find a way to get scammed regardless?
Furthermore I think that the reason people are being so careless online is because of the lack of consequences and thus no opportunity for learning. The various security safeguards already in place mean it's relatively hard to end up out of pocket even if let's say your machine has malware (which should be considered a "game over" scenario) and steals your credit card number (the bank will refund you for any fraudulent card-not-present transaction), thus there is no real worry around malware beyond a minor inconvenience.
If that were really true, then people would have "learned" in the Windows era. I don't think consumers actually directly suffer any consequences from having a hacked device, the problems are always third order. An open PC becomes a botnet to DDoS someone else. An unsuspecting employee uses a personal device to jump a corporate firewall. Credit Card fraud is routed through thousands of residential IPs.
>Yet the world hasn't ended and we've accepted that the convenience of having access to these goods is worth the risk of stupid people dying/hurting themselves.
The vast majority of us live in a country where toys inside chocolate is banned. I don't think you have a strong argument here.
You surely must be joking.
Why do you think there is such a large market for anti-virus and malware applications. Or why do you think Apple and Microsoft invest so much time and effort in security their platforms.
Because it directly impacts consumers. Scammers run apps on user's devices which mine Bitcoin. They steal data. They hold people to ransom. It just goes on and on.
While there are odd cases where a targeted attack results in devastating outcomes, in the majority of cases malware just sticks to simple, automated (and thus easy to scale) attacks like harvesting card numbers or accounts, for which the bank will compensate you. In most cases getting malware (aka a burglar in your PC) doesn't have the same financial impact as a burglar in your house (when you typically get thousands worth of goods stolen that aren't likely to get replaced) so there is no opportunity for learning or being worried.
Make the originator of the traffic liable for any damages, all the way up to the ISP? There would be a lot more worry about malware if it could cause a lawsuit/police investigation that lasts for months, even if you eventually end up off the hook, and ISPs would be incentivized to kick off customers that can't be bothered to secure their devices.
> Credit Card fraud is routed through thousands of residential IPs.
If the original credit card owner was liable for the stolen money this would incentivize them to better protect it and prevent it from being compromised in the first place. Plus with the liability for malicious traffic there wouldn't be as many residential IPs to proxy it through.
> where toys inside chocolate is banned
Well the is true but how about chemicals, power tools, flammable gas canisters, etc? I agree that the ban on toys inside chocolate eggs is stupid but we're allowing much more dangerous things to be around and the world hasn't ended.
It isn't realistically possible to safeguard everyone from everything bad while at the same time preserving their freedom.
If you think these mega-corps haven't done the math and decided it's more profitable to lobby and skim 30% off everyone vs not skim and avoid having to pay lobbyists and lawyers, you are being naive.
The standard argument is that non-approved applications could damage the device, which the device maker would then be on the hook for fixing. This feels like a weak argument to me, given that PC makers have been dealing with this for 30+ years.
Just picturing wanting to sit down and play on my PS4 and having to first run virus and malware checkers.
Why would a reputable game developer ever release malware? You can still go to a reputable developer's website or even Sony's website and obtain the game from their store and be guaranteed that it's free from malware.
Of course, if you're obtaining your games from Torrent-Warez-1337.net then you need to be more careful but then it's your fault, it's not like you didn't know what you were in for when you went to a shady website.
Just picturing buying a computing device, then not being able to install the software I want on it.
The status quo is then when you buy console devices e.g. gaming, cars, TVs etc you can only install apps that are approved by the manufacturer.
People think of phones as console devices not computers.
(And the platforms that don't have effective sandboxing need to implement it, regardless of whether they allow outside apps or not).
For example, if every app that didn't like the 30% cut rule went to another app store that didn't have that rule, that other app store would either get really popular or Apple would be forced to change their fee structure.
Also, in a lot of cases, the choice is 100% of 0 sales because Apple just won't let you in their store.
For an example of what a third party app store would look like, check out Cydia app store (the main way to get apps on your jailbroken phone). There are a ton of useful apps in there.
We have a tendency to view anything that goes against "us" as unfair. I don't see anything that Apple is doing that is anti-competitive, and don't see why legislation is necessary.
Android isn't the same as Apple. They also have their own rules.
A web app doesn't have the same level of access as a native app.
The rules of the app store are unfair and aren't applied equally to everyone.
The test is rather, are the alternatives viable. And that they are.
You also have to prove that Apple is being anti-competitive - which is not true. Apple is applying their rules as equally as possible - just because it's imperfect enforcement, doesn't make it anti-competitive - it's unfair to punish when the scope of the problem means there will be apps that slip through wrongly.
Example: There are multiple email apps on the app store, and Apple isn't removing Hey because they also have a $99 email app. That would be anti-competitive. That's not what's happening here.
> Android isn't the same as Apple. They also have their own rules.
Android you can use third party app stores and sideload without any rules at all, and it's a bigger market. Sounds like a viable alternative.
> A web app doesn't have the same level of access as a native app.
Gmail has a website and an app. Both do the same thing - email. It's a viable alternative.
> The rules of the app store are unfair and aren't applied equally to everyone.
Imperfect enforcement is not the same as they aren't applied equally. It seems to me that they are - Apple is looking for offenders, finding them, and removing them. Seems pretty equal to me.
Telling someone that Android is a viable alternative to iPhone is the same as saying Marvel and DC comics are equivalent. They offer similar services, but do it in very different ways, and people have strong preferences one way or another.
> Gmail has a website and an app. Both do the same thing - email. It's a viable alternative.
This is actually a perfect example to prove my case. Things the gmail web app can't do on iPhone: Use your phone's contacts, notifications, photo previews on send, use native gestures, and lastly, the native app is significantly faster and more responsive.
> They offer similar services, but do it in very different ways, and people have strong preferences one way or another.
Of course, it's a different product. People have strong preferences for the iPhone because of the curated experience, including the App Store. Remove that, and the phone becomes just another android. This destroys the product.
> Things the gmail web app can't do on iPhone: Use your phone's contacts, notifications, photo previews on send, use native gestures, and lastly, the native app is significantly faster and more responsive.
There are multiple ways to sync contacts. You really just have no leg to stand on here.
I think what you're really saying, is you want an authoritarian utopia. We demand that all product is made how we all like it. Everything is the same, because if it isn't, it's "unfair."
No thanks. We have enough legislation. Going after one of America's premier tech companies because rich SV devs are mad their 99$ email app is failing is not something we should do.
So if Xbox suddenly became an open platform, you'd be ok with me telling you "well if you want my software you just have to buy an Xbox and get all new software for it and learn an all new system, but they're totally the same thing so it's fine".
On both the Mac and PC, you can install any software available for those platforms.
1) you can sign an app for your device and run it without paying Apple anything for 7 days. After 7 days you have to do it again. Not convenient in the slightest, but still possible for free.
2) you can pay Apple $99/year for a paid dev account and the 7 day window extends to 365 days.
Neither of those above options require source code, somebody else could’ve compiled the app, you just need to sign it.
3) TestFlight allows installation without full App Store review and builds expire after 60 days (or is it 90, I forget?). I believe the cap of “limited people” sibling referred to is 10,000 these days, but I could be wrong. iSH is an example of a popular app using this route.
4) Corporations can sign up for an enterprise account for $299/year. This allows signing apps similarish to option 2 above, but for a virtually unlimited number of devices. The apps are required by policy to not be distributed to the general public though.
At the end of the day, you can't just download an app and install it. You have to go through hoops, all of which involve money, expirations, or limits.
2) you said you needed source code and to compile, that’s not true.
3) you said you “can’t just go online and download an app”, which unless you’re being very pedantic, isn’t true. I even gave a popular example, iSH.
OP didn’t ask if alternative app stores existed with one click installers, they said you should be able to side load apps on iOS, which I’ve shown true via multiple methods. If you had “said exactly the same thing” I did, then you must have a different definition of the phrase “you cannot” which is the lead of your comment which I’ve shown to be factually incorrect.
But you can't just go online and download an app.
We were very careful in our app to not push the boundaries at all. Nothing even remotely outside the norm for this very reason.
Now... contrast this “code chilling effect” with how great innovations have happened. Apple is clearly preventing any App company from ever having the same opportunity that Apple themselves had.
Bad moves I think.
However OP's app is grandfathered in, but when he tries to make other similar apps, they aren't allowed.
What would Apple's response be if you started with "This call may be recorded"? Is recording without notice legal in any state?
Given their hesitance to official statements, I'd guess the call would be terminated immediately.
I made it just for me, but it works well enough for recording outbound calls.
I thought that was nice. New to me.
In general, many more US states are one-party consent, which means that only one member of the conversation has to agree to the recording.
ITYM "one-party" here.
About three quarters of the US is one-party consent but a quarter are two-party consent. California is part of the latter group and if any party to the call has California residence, then you need consent from all parties to the call before you can record. Yes, this has gone up to California supreme court. Yes, this includes all of the FAANG companies. So you would need some kind of notification that you were recording and for the person on the other line to consent to the recording, regardless of where you live, simply because Apple employees live in California.
(Depending on jurisdiction, there are exceptions for a party to a call to record the call if it has something to do with specific crimes, but "violating antitrust law" isn't one of them.)
If the answer is "you're talking to an Apple representative, a company under californian jurisdiction", then consider the following thought experiment: If I'm on the border of two countries, and say something illegal in one, legal in the other; then I cross the border without hanging up and repeat the same thing, what jurisdiction(s) does this fall under?
If it were explicitly an assistance app, would Apple be in violation of any discrimination laws by refusing to have it in the app store in that way?
Many apps are pretty much just a feature bolted onto the OS and could easily be shipped by Apple or Google as an integral part of the OS thus taking the whole reason foe that app's existence. So for many devs the whole income stream depends on Apple or Google far more than just by using their app store.
Few Android apps are distributed exclusively outside of the Play Store and even fewer get any traction with users, not to speak of being a financial success for the dev.
So it's like a college lecture where the professor stops after each sentence and has to answer questions from the audience. Pretty much the opposite of communication.
It makes sense to use Twitter to reach his Twitter followers. That’s reason enough to use Twitter.
I agree. And it's why I didn't read his screed once I saw that it was a whole series of tweets.
In the spirit of tl;dr, I propose "tr;dr" - Tweet rant; didn't read.