Apple is seeming cracking down on some of the dodgier subscription apps in the App Store, following reports highlighting the actions of certain unscrupulous apps and app-makers.
Out of the 17 apps mentioned in a recent Forbes report on these practices, 11 have now been removed from the App Store. Similarly, QR Code Reader and Weather Alarms — two problematic apps highlighted by TechCrunch — have also vanished.
App subscriptions are great, mostly. Trial subscriptions let you try out all the app’s features for free, and if you like the app enough to keep using it, the developer gets an ongoing income that lets them keep improving the app. It’s a win-win.
But what if you signed up for a trial subscription, and you don’t like the app? Or maybe you subscribed to a monthly magazine, and those unread copies just keep piling up? Canceling a subscription is easy, whether it’s a fresh trial, or a years-long subscription you just don’t want any more. Here’s how.
Ulysses, one of the best writing apps on the Mac and iOS, just switched to subscription pricing. It’ll now cost you $5 per month, or $40 per year. This is fantastic news for Ulysses users. It means the app will generate enough income to support itself. And it minimizes the risk of the developers abandoning the app when the flow of new users dries to a trickle.
Yet despite this good news, the internet lost it mind after yesterday’s announcement of the pricing change. Currently the Ulysses blog is only serving a single post, the one detailing the change, because the traffic has been enough to collapse the servers. What happened?
Apple’s Mac App Store is broken. For developers and Mac users alike, the online store just isn’t working.
It’s too hard for buyers to find good software. And, thanks to Apple’s picky restrictions, the Mac App Store can make life difficult for developers.
Setapp, a Netflix-style subscription service for Mac apps, offers an innovative alternative. Instead of buying apps individually, you rent a bunch of them for $9.99 a month.
While it might sound unnerving to anyone accustomed to the idea of buying Mac apps outright, after using the service for two months, I found it liberating. Setup is dead-easy. And the selection is fantastic. Setapp serves up more than 60 Mac apps, all handpicked by MacPaw, the Mac development company that dreamed up the service.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren took shots at Apple, Google and Amazon during a speech in Washington today, claiming Silicon Valley’s big fish are making it impossible for the small fry to compete.
“The opportunity to compete must remain open for new entrants and smaller competitors,” said Warren. During her rant against Apple, the senator specifically mentioned the unfair advantages Apple Music enjoys against its competitors.
After the speech, Spotify rallied behind Warren with some Apple bashing of its own.
Slowly but surely, T-Mobile has been trying to not only become the leader of the prepaid cell phone market, but to totally corner it. It’s latest ultra-simple plan takes that mission even further, making pay-as-you-go as simple as $0.10 per minute or text, flat.
With less than a day to wait for the new Xbox One, Microsoft has announced that its new console will have an official YouTube app, after all. What’s more, you’ll be able to send videos to it from your Android and iOS devices.
One of the lesser talked-about features of the upcoming OS X Mavericks system is that of Mac App Store subscriptions. In iOS, developers are able to charge users on a recurring basis, like a subscription. Magazines in Newsstand do this fairly easily, and I have several subscriptions to magazines there.
This wasn’t available to OS X apps until the release of OS X Mavericks, and you can manage your subscriptions from the Mac App Store right now if you’re running the new Mavericks beta on your Mac right now. Here’s how.