Apple announced late last night that it will finally allow developers to divert customers away from their applications to join up for services outside of the App Store. It’s a big change for “reader” applications that Spotify and Netflix have been requesting for a long time. Music services, video streaming, digital periodicals, newspaper subscriptions, eBook readers, and even podcast players are examples of reader applications. As a result of the new policy, several of your favorite applications will have new ways to manage your account and subscriptions starting next year.
You can’t join up for a service like Spotify right now if you download the app. Spotify’s opposition to Apple’s revenue split for in-app purchases and App Store subscriptions is one reason for this. When you first open Spotify on your iPhone, you’ll see various sign-in choices for existing subscribers. The “sign up free” option, on the other hand, asks for your email address and provides you instructions for signing up for Spotify on the web.
Spotify may now offer a web view right in the app when you press the sign-up button thanks to these changes to the App Store. This lowers the entrance hurdle for services that directly compete with Apple. Other apps, such as Netflix, have the same issue. At first, you’ll simply see a “sign in” button. There is no obvious method to join up. Apple currently does not allow developers to notify consumers in their applications that they may join up for a service on the web. Netflix may display a sign-up option after the new adjustments take effect.
Many of us are wondering whether Apple will enable applications like Disney+, which provide in-app purchases, to also allow users to join up on the web. Apple will undoubtedly not want to inadvertently encourage developers to eliminate in-app purchases. Apple is unlikely to require developers to pick between the two options.
We can see a Disney+ app displaying both the present “sign up” button, which utilizes Apple’s payment system, and a “use disneyplus.com” link, which allows users to sign up directly with Disney. Spotify, for example, may either send people to the web using its “sign up” link or retain its current arrangement and add a button for utilizing “Spotify.com.” It will be intriguing to see how developers incorporate these changes into their programs. Because this is a new area for Apple, there will very likely be issues with diverse implementations.
A web link will not be available for all apps. Consider the difference between a podcast player and a podcast subscription service. An app like Luminary, which sells original content subscriptions, might take advantage of Apple’s new policy by allowing users to sign up and manage their accounts using a web view within the app. Overcast or Castro, on the other hand, could not. That’s because they’re just “player” applications that display information from the web for free. Their memberships don’t only provide you access to material; they also give you access to premium features.
While this may appear to some developers as a minor change to Apple’s policy, it is actually extremely significant. It will assist Apple in its fight against antitrust regulators. The new regulation is far from ideal, but it will assist most of Apple’s primary service competitors that come under the category of “reader” applications. What are your thoughts on Apple’s new policy? Please let us know in the comments section below