Apple is taking no chances after the bug-ridden iOS 13 rollout, and has managed to make the
seemingly as uneventful to run on at first brush as the current stable iOS release. It also introduced a new way of looking at apps, with App Clips letting you use a one-off feature without downloading the whole thing.
Its App Store policies, however, are under increased scrutiny by government lawyers, reports Bloomberg
today, as devs are forced to break their apps, according to the Wall Street Journal
, in order to avoid the 15%-30% cut Apple takes for each subscription.
If you remember, Apple released iOS 13.1 beta to developers before it had even pushed the retail to our iPhones and iPads, and we were already at the unprecedented iOS 13.3 beta 3 point two months after the release. That was not done so that we can all be a better person but rather because the iOS 13 development was still carried by the old software development rules over at Apple.
For the iOS 14 edition development, however, Apple's head of software development Craig Federighi has required all buggy and unfinished features to be turned off by default in the daily builds, and the testers can then choose to flip the switch at will, resulting in a much more streamlined process, ensuring everyone is on the same page. Thus, despite the drastic home screen and app categorization changes, the developer preview of iOS 14 runs smooth as butter.
Netflix, Spotify or Amazon break apps to escape Apple's tax, and the Feds are on it
Ever wondered why some iOS apps black out on you when you try to do a simple purchase? Netflix, for instance, gives you the infamous "Trying to join Netflix? You can’t sign up for Netflix in the app. We know it’s a hassle." warning. Ditto for Spotify, Amazon Prime Video, and a myriad of other apps and services that are trying to avoid the App Store's 30% or 15% cut from their revenue.
The crafty people at the Financial Times newspaper were the first upset to learn that Apple not only charges 30% of the applications' price tag in the App Store, but also takes a 30% cut of in-app purchases, which are enforced to, well, all subscriptions, and took their business outside the App Store way back in 2011. Economists and financiers know better than everyone else that we live in a world where a dollar saved is a dollar earned, and then a lot of other popular services followed suit.
Now, however, Apple's monopolistic practices and the resulting incomplete Netlfix, Spotify and other apps, are facing increased regulatory scrutiny. The DOJ has been meeting with developers big and small since last year, and is trying to get a complete picture for a case against Apple's practices.
The Justice Department has also been scrutinizing Google's Android, but the Play Store doesn't have nearly the same stringent approval guidelines as the App Store, where your bug fix update may be rejected if you don't agree to Apple's 30% cut on your revenue.
According to David Heinemeier Hansson, the founder of Basecamp, they were probed numerous times about their privacy-oriented subscription email app Hey:
We’ve spoken with the DOJ regarding Apple and the App Store twice. We shared our experience, relayed the experience of others, and put them in contact with a developer who didn’t want to go public with their story. I’m really glad that the DOJ is looking into this, because we need both legislative action, but also enforcement.
Facing this growing backlash, Apple said will loosen some of these restrictions, and won't ban bug fixes that go against its review guidelines but devs will be able to address those in future updates. It remains to be seen if that will be enough to escape the government's growing scrutiny over the Silicon Valley giants' business practices.