Apple emphasizes subscription pricing in new iOS 14 change

It comes amidst reports Apple is trying to crack down on extortionate subscriptions.

What you need to know

  • Apple has updated the ‘buy sheet’ for apps in the new iOS 14 beta.
  • The screen now displays the price of an app much more clearly to make users more aware of what they’re signing up to.

Apple has made changes to the ‘buy sheet’ for apps in the latest iOS 14 to make it more obvious how much an app charges for a subscription.

As noted by David Barnard:

Apple appears to making some changes to the “buy sheet” on iOS 14.5. Not quite as dramatic as I hope they’ll eventually do, but headed the right direction. iOS 14.5 beta 2 vs iOS 14.4

The subtle change puts much more focus on just how much an app costs, increasing the size of the text detailing price information. Whilst not a major overhaul, this move might hopefully help users be more clear about the price of an app they’re signing up for.

The reason for this change could well be recent reports of scam apps in the App Store which charge users hugely inflated subscription costs for very little in the way of features, relying on users not noticing the price or forgetting to cancel after a free trial in order to make money. Some developers on the App Store charge up to $9.99 a week for access to a coloring app, or for wallpapers and lock screens.

Apple has also started rejecting apps with irrationally high prices, reminding developers that they cannot use the App Store to rip-off users. From that report:

First noted in a tweet yesterday (now deleted), ilia shared an email from App Store review, in which Apple noted that developer guidelines clearly state that developers should not attempt to rip-off or cheat users in any way. App Store Review noted, “the prices you’ve selected for your app or in-app purchase products in your app do not reflect the value of the features and content offered to the user”. The email then lists specific redacted prices, before calling on the developer to revise the app to provide more value to the user at the time of purchase, or to lower the price.

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