Friday, May 18, 2018

The Developers Union

Brent Simmons, Jake Schumacher, et al.:

We believe that people who create great software should be able to make a living doing it. So we created The Developers Union to advocate for sustainability in the App Store.

Today, we are asking Apple to commit to allowing free trials for all apps in the App Stores by the tenth anniversary of the App Store this July. After that, we’ll start advocating for a more reasonable revenue cut and other community-driven, developer-friendly changes.

See also: AppleInsider, Wired.

Update (2018-05-18): Brent Simmons:

Some of the press coverage about The Developers Union uses words like “angry” and “fed up.” These aren’t accurate characterizations at all. Nobody’s mad here!

But here‘s the deal: Apple controls the App Store and its economics. The system could be set up better to support high-quality apps, by indies, that last for years.

Update (2018-05-19): See also: Hacker News, MacRumors, The Verge.

Update (2018-06-02): Becky Hansmeyer:

My app, Snapthread, is a utility. In general, utilities aren’t great candidates for subscription pricing. So while devs do have the option to offer a free trial for their subscription-based apps, the only way to offer a trial experience for paid upfront apps is to implement some type of in-app purchase to unlock full functionality or upload a separate, “lite” version to the store. There’s really no good way for non-paying users to experience your app in its full glory without significant compromises.

Max Seelemann:

The freedom of offering re-trials on major releases. Bought with just a few months of engineering work

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