Thursday, March 17, 2022

App Bundles As Upgrades

Christopher Atlan:

The idea was to bundle Kaleidoscope version 2 and version 3. This would enable users to get version 3 at a bundle price discounted for those who bought version 2.


If a user changes the country of their Apple ID, bundle pricing no longer works. We weren’t aware that this was even possible, and now we know it’s even not that uncommon.


You can’t set a fixed “upgrade” price. When a user upgrades to a two-app bundle from a single app in the bundle, the net cost to the user is exactly the difference between the bundle list price and what was paid for the original app.

Because of this, the upgrade “price” is not the same for everyone.


All apps in the bundle have to be available for sale. Ideally you would remove the old version from sale, so that users don’t accidentally buy it, but no matter what eye-catching graphics or font styles you use to warn customers not to buy an app, there will be some who don’t pay attention and buy the app.


It’s been more than a month now and we continue to get customer reports from users no longer able to re-download their purchase from the App Store. The App Store has had its share of usability and other issues, but “forgetting” a customer purchase is a fundamental problem, and there is no indication so far that this will be fixed.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Friends never let friends use App Store Connect’s Bundles system. It completely locks an app so you may never delete it (say, to re-claim an app name), and nothing you can do with Apple Developer Support will help. You can never remove an app from a bundle, either, once it’s in.

I had to jump through serious hoops to fix App Store Connect after Apple deprecated the ‘maccatalyst’ bundle IDs six months after launch, just so I could re-claim all my apps under their right names and drop my bundles.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

It is absolutely insane that bundles, which should be a temporary marketing feature, permanently taint your app record. Who in their right mind designed this system? What developer would ever use it if they knew?

If a bundle is affecting your ability to modify your app, you don’t even get proper error messages from App Store Connect, you get un-labeled and silent errors on the site and have to go through multiple levels of technical support just to figure out WTF is happening.


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