| Cult of Mac

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.

Apple makes it easy for devs to offer discounted app subscriptions

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Subscription offer codes could turn this crown into potential customers.
This crowd is potential customers that could be wooed with easily redeemable discounts on App Store subscriptions.
Photo: Cameron Casey/Pexels CC

It will soon be possible for developers to give out codes to customers that bring discounts on subscription fees for software or services in the Apple App Store. The goal is to help app creators “acquire, retain, and win back subscribers” with these one-time use codes that people can then easily redeem, according to Apple.

Security firm finds sketchy ‘fleeceware’ apps in iOS App Store

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app-store
The App Store may not always be impervious to "Fleeceware."
Photo: Apple

A cyber-security firm in the United Kingdom has identified 32 iOS apps that it dubs “fleeceware” for subscriptions and in-app fees that amount to a form of online fraud.

More than 3.5 million iOS users installed the apps, most of which were image editors, QR and barcode scanners, horoscope and fortune-telling apps and face filters for selfies. Two astrology apps making the list are among the first 20 in top-grossing iPhone apps in the UK.

YouTube TV cancels all App Store subscriptions

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YouTube in Safari on iMac Pro
YouTube TV is making some customers jump through hoops to keep their subscriptions.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Everyone who subscribed to YouTube TV via Apple’s App Store got a notice today that their subscriptions will be canceled next month. They’ll have to resubscribe on the YouTube website.

How to stop all those App Store subscription-renewal emails

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subscription-renewal emails
This is how subscription-renewal emails used to arrive.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you have any App Store subscriptions, you will be familiar with the emails you get every time one renews. And if you subscribe to more than a few monthly plans, then maybe you even get annoyed by them. If your tolerance to this kind of thing is particularly low, we have good news for you: You can now opt out of App Store subscription-renewal emails that Apple sends.