Last year in November I linked to an article about in-app purchases no longer being shown on App Store listings. It turned out that was just a bug, which was quickly fixed. However in my write up, before it was fixed, I defended the change! 😂 I’ve continued to think about this over the last couple of months and I still think that removing that list of IAPs would be a good idea. I also think the individual product pages for apps are overdue for a rethink given the way that many apps make money these days.
Take a look at this screenshot. Is an Annual Subscription £35.99, £26.99, £30.99 or, err… £26.99… again? 🤷♂️ If I decide I want to buy it, how do I do that? What even is an “Annual Subscription”? What am I subscribing to exactly? As a consumer this is an awful experience. Yes, if your app is simple (and probably new) you might get away with something more like this, but over time you’ll eventually end up here.
Yes, it’s possible to feature in-app purchases or subscriptions on your product page. This is good, and I don’t know why more developers don’t do it as it’s pretty rare. However, it’s still not great for subscriptions, which is increasingly where developers are heading for more sustainable business models.
Let’s take a closer look. This is a product page with a featured subscription. I now know what it does because there’s a brief description, but how much is it? I have no idea. All I know is that there’s a free trial. Maybe I go and look at the IAP list, only to find this mess. No, I need to find the tiny, light grey on white “button” (I use quotes because it really doesn’t look like a button!) to find the information I need. Given how tough Apple are on the design of in-app subscription screens, this really isn’t good enough.
The App Store is our primary storefront, and the only way for our users to install apps. What gets presented on that page is really important. I’m not arguing that we should get full control of the page, we don’t want MySpace! 😂 But I am arguing for a re-design to make it possible to present a reasonable indication of how much an app will cost in an obvious way now that the price can’t just be the “Buy” button text anymore.
Of course, we unfortunately live in a world where people will try and exploit any change for evil and there are probably terrible things people will try to do to exploit any changes that Apple do make. But this is a curated App Store, if people do bad things with it then Apple should force them to fix it! That’s one of the reasons we have app review.
I’ve given the story based redesign of the App Store plenty of praise since it launched in 2017 and it deserved it, it’s great. But it feels like it’s time to give the individual product pages some attention. Maybe it’s in progress and will happen this year?
It’s been a while since I linked to an Xcode beta here, but this one is worth it for a couple of reasons. There’s a much needed changes to Xcode, but the big one is that Swift 5 is shipping in this beta! The full release notes for Swift 5 are in a separate article but they both ship together with the Xcode download.
This seems like a sensible change, merging App Store Connect accounts with developer team accounts. 👍 It will cause some disruption if you have lots of people accessing your account though, so make plans!
Square In-App Payments SDK makes it easy to integrate secure, compliant payments. The SDK provides an interactive card-entry interface that’s optimized for speed and customizable to match your app. Apple Pay and stored card on file supported for quicker checkout.
Yes, this is part of the changes in LLDB with the Xcode 10.2 beta mentioned above but it’s such a nice improvement it gets a dedicated link here too. 👍
Let’s dig into obscure parts of the Swift standard library with Mattt to make the output from
stdout, shall we? 👍
Type aliases are just a way to give a new name to a type, right? That’s not exciting at all. Actually, it can be and John Sundell is here to explain why!
The URL/path manipulation methods in Foundation have always been powerful, but also very verbose so this new wrapper library from Max Howell looks great. This feels like it’s going to be really at home on macOS/Linux, but it also supports iOS.
Business and Marketing
You don’t hear many people talking about this feature of App Store Connect, but it does exist and you should probably be using it! Thanks to David Smith for reminding us about it.
More guerrilla App Store experiments, this week from David Barnard who is investigating whether refunds for subscription payments are possible. It initially seemed like they were not, but read the full thread for the full story.
We’re looking for iOS developers at all levels to join one of the most disruptive and socially conscious AI start-ups around.
Design & build apps for connected eBikes – be part of the shift towards micromobility.
Help more than 31 million users become the best version of themselves through sports and nutrition.
Yes, I know I’ve linked to this before but it was a long time ago and I’m sure many of you didn’t see it. 😂