Sunday, December 23, 2018

Acceptable Renewable Subscriptions Pitch Screens

Greg Pierce:

Oh, nice. App Review got me a “misleading subscription” rejection for Christmas.

It’s clear from all the rejections that App Review was tasked with auditing renewable IAP subs - which was needed and not a bad thing.

It’s not clear that they were given any better guidaince than we have on what is acceptable, so they are repeating their mistakes.

Greg Pierce:

I have created this unofficial App Review HIG addendum showing acceptable renewable subscriptions pitch screens. Hope it is helpful in developing a screen which will get through App Review - while also minimizing your conversion rate.

Tim Schmitz:

I’m really starting to agree with whoever suggested that Apple should provide a stock UI for subscription product listings. I’m sure we’d have complaints about it too, but at least it would help with some of the scams and we’d avoid this unpleasant dance.

Greg Pierce:

Yes. It’s very hard to offer the trial and be specific about the price without creating the worry that they will be charged immediately.

Luc Vandal:

They’re pushing us towards subscriptions. They should do a better job helping us accomplish this. Let’s hope they’ll improve this in 2019. To me, it’s just another level of stress that I don’t need dealing with App Store Connect at the moment.

Previously: How to Game the App Store, Apple Pulling High-Grossing Scammy Subscription Apps Off the App Store.

Update (2018-12-23): Ryan Jones:

100% true.

For those lucky enough to not deal with this: you must include all the fine print (because Apple can’t seem to bill when the trial ends), you must include the price, and the term, on the button*

*unless you’re a top app, go look, I dare you

Update (2019-01-16): Ryan Jones:

Apple gave Apple Music a special payment screen - without price or recurring subscription term.

Update (2019-01-28): Mike Stern:

New and updated subscription design guidance and App Store marketing guidance

Ryan Jones:

Notice: The Apple designers themselves can’t fit the subscription benefits and the fine print on screen IN THE SPEC.

I’ve spent 100+ hours on @FlightyApp’s screen, so I’m quite familiar.

(I hope we don’t see rejections when/if using this exact format.)

Update (2019-02-05): Kontra:

If Apple wanted to protect users from subscription scams at the App Store, it would standardize the purchase screen (with immutable embedded rules) that all devs would have to use for transaction.

(In design, purpose + constraints → clarity.)

David Barnard:

If Apple wanted to protect users from subscription scams on the App Store, it would redesign the payment confirmation screen for clarity & fix the TouchID confirmation flaw (What developers do wouldn’t matter nearly as much if Apple fixed those 2 things)

Update (2019-06-17): David Barnard:

Apple is still letting top grossing apps (@calm) get away with things that they’ve been rejecting other apps for. I (and lots of other developers I’ve talked to) was told that the price has to be on the button and in a font of similar size/weight as the other button text.

Update (2020-02-24): David Barnard:

Before I could even tweet about how amazing it was for Launch Center Pro to go into review 30 minutes after being submitted, it was rejected for a BS reason . (My annotation on the left, the screenshot they sent me with their annotation on the right)

Update (2020-11-27): Greg Pierce:

Rejection followup: Based on my conversation with App Review, is it a new point of emphasis that pricing be presented “more prominently” than free trial info for subscriptions. Consider preemptively adjusting, or just take your chances with inconsistent enforcement.

Ryan Jones:

App Review is rejecting @FlightyApp because “pricing is not the most prominent element” on our paywall.


Bad actors ruin it for everyone.

@Strava is breaking every rule.

Apple: Without penalties, it will never stop! Imagine if laws had no penalty… useless.

Update (2022-08-04): Ryan Jones:

App Store rules don’t apply to Tinder apparently.

Fucking maddening. Not even close to compliant.

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