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Unhappy with App Store, a group of developers advocates for free trials and better revenue split

2018 May 18
by RSS Feed

Friday, a group of developers penned an open letter to Apple demanding that the Cupertino technology giant make long-requested changes to App Store and Mac App Store in order to help full-time programmers make a better living as independent app makers.

The group, identifying themselves as The Developers Union, is pushing for free trials for iPhone, iPad and Mac apps, as well as a more reasonable revenue cut than Apple’s standard 70:30 revenue split.

The iPhone producer used to say that keeping 30 percent of proceeds was necessary in order to cover the costs associated with App Store bandwidth, marketing and infrastructure.

But that was in 2008 back when App Store was conceived.

Nowadays, revenue from these app stores is a major contributor to Apple’s massive Services business. That being said, however, I’m afraid Apple won’t be willing to leave more benjamins on the table to make developers richer.

Coincidentally or not, Microsoft recently made waves by undercutting Apple and Google with a new Microsoft Store revenue scheme that will result in Windows 10 developers keeping 95% of the revenue to themselves.

According to Wired, The Developers Union is also rooting for free trials for all iOS and macOS apps in App Store and Mac App Store by July.

“Today, we are asking Apple to commit to allowing free trials for all apps in App Stores by the tenth anniversary of App Store this July,” the group said.

Currently, Apple allows free trials but only for apps that offer subscriptions.

Developers have long demanded that Apple expand free trials to all apps so that customers could test their iPhone, iPad and Mac apps for a limited time before requiring payment.

The Developers Union (not to be confused with a real trade union) seems to be super interested in “bringing the voice of independent developers back into the spotlight”.

They’re planning to advocate for App Store sustainability and changes like “a more reasonable revenue cut” and other community-driven, developer-friendly changes.

The initiative is led by well-known developers and designers: Brent Simmons (of the MarsEdit and NetNewsWire fame), Jake Schumacher (the creator of the The Human Story documentary maker), Loren Morris (product designer) and Roger Ogden (software designer).


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