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New rule could let you cancel subscriptions with a single click

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New rule could let you cancel subscriptions with a single click
The FTC wants to free consumers trapped in subscriptions.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The Federal Trade Commission wants to make cancelling subscriptions as simple as starting them. The US government agency proposed a “click to cancel” rule that would make it easy for consumers to escape recurring subscriptions and memberships.

Apple users can easily leave subscriptions they signed up for thorough the App Store. That’s not necessarily true for ones started elsewhere.

How to save money by dumping unwanted App Store subscriptions

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Apple is raising some subscription services costs for the first time.
Start the year off saving cash by canceling any App Store subscriptions you don't want.
Photo: David Švihovec/Unsplash License/Modified by Cult of Mac

It’s a new year, a fine time to clear out some of the mistakes of the past. That includes no longer paying for subscriptions for apps or services you don’t use anymore.

Here’s how to find everything you’ve signed up for through the App Store, see what it’s costing you, and cancel it if you’ve lost interest. Or perhaps save a bit of money by changing how often you’re billed.

iPhone apps can now increase subscription prices without permission

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Apple raked in the cash last quarter.
Developers no longer need approval to increase iPhone subscription prices.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Pay attention to renewal notices for App Store subscriptions because these are the only notification you’ll receive that the cost is going up. Developers are now allowed to increase iPhone app subscription prices without users having to opt in.

There are limits on how much the fees can go up, though.

Apple News program takes smaller cut of publishers’ revenue

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Apple News program takes a smaller cut of publishers’ revenue
It’ll cost publishers a bit less to participate in Apple News.
Photo: Apple

A new Apple News Partner Program allows subscription news publications to provide their content to the Apple News app while paying a lower than usual share of the revenue coming from customers. Companies that choose to participate will have to give Apple 15% of subscription fees in the first year — half the usual amount.

This move is apparently in response to complaints from big publications about Apple’s cut.

Fleeceware apps scam $400 million out of unsuspecting users

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Fleeceware tricks people into paying enourmous subscription fees.
Don’t get fleeced.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Skitterphoto/Pexels CC

Applications that trick users into paying huge subscription fees raked in over $400 million from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, according to research done by Avast.

The so-called “fleeceware” takes advantage of a weakness in both app stores: deleting an application tied to a subscription doesn’t cancel the subscription.

Apple cracks down on ‘rip-off’ subscription apps

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App Store
Cutting down on questionable app subscriptions.
Photo: James Yarema/Unsplash CC

Apple has reportedly began cracking down on apps that feature subscriptions Apple considers to be unreasonable, claims 9to5Mac.

The report cites a rejection email sent to one developer saying that the price of in-app purchases do not “do not reflect the value of the features and content” on offer. It also calls it a “rip-off to customers.”

Apple’s Family Sharing just got a lot sweeter

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Apple’s Family Sharing now includes in-app purchases and subscriptions
Siblings can share an iPad, as well as in-app purchases and subscriptions.
Screenshot: Julia M Cameron/Pexels CC

Developers of iPhone applications that include in-app purchases and subscriptions can now make them part of Family Sharing. This allows a family to share an item or subscription — at the developer’s discretion.

This is already a feature of Apple’s own services. A family can share a subscription to Apple Arcade or Apple TV+, for example. With this change for third-party apps, the Family Sharing option should become more widely available.

Average US customer spends $20.78 a month on app subscriptions

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Election contributions by Apple employees for heavily toward Democrats
Costs can quickly add up!
Photo: Pixabay/Pexels CC

Recurring subscriptions have changed how we pay for digital content. And, while each service might only demand a couple of our hard-earned bucks at a time, the costs can quickly add up.

According to a report citing data from mobile measurement firm Adjust, the average person in the U.S. spends $20.78 a month on app subscriptions. And, given that this just an average, many spend a whole lot more than that.