Apple concerned about its users being tricked into subscribing to fraudulent apps

9to5Mac recently pointed out a change in Apple’s guidelines for mobile app developers. The change was concerned with giving out a warning to the developers to stop fooling users in the name of subscriptions. In case you are not aware, there has been a recent trend of turning everything into a subscription service instead of letting the consumers make a one-time purchase.

Let’s be honest, subscriptions are important when it comes to an app which needs to be updated regularly with addition of new features. A recurring payment revenue model helps the developers in continuing their work. However, this model is now slowly being adopted by almost every other developer.

Not only that, the chance to lure people into paying regularly for a service has also attracted scammers to putting out apps which require a user to subscribe before gaining access to the service. Such scammers use a number of ways to trick the users such as falsifying the free trial time, or tricking them into subscribing to one of their packages with false or incomplete information.

Although Apple’s developer guidelines previously had a section where such tricksters were warned about misusing the platform for their benefits at the expense of users, the Tech Giant has now made it perfectly clear that such behavior won’t be tolerated from here on.

As mentioned above, 9to5Mac spotted a few updates in Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines and App Store documentation. According to these updates, all information regarding free trial, correct prices of the monthly subscriptions has to be made perfectly clear beforehand. The long-term subscription plans need not to be stated comprehensively until an inquiry is made about them.
Related: App Store Developers Managed To Earn More Than $120 Billion
The problem with increasing number of subscription-based services is that a user can only pay for a certain number of such services before they decide to re-evaluate their choices and find a free or cheap alternative for these facilities. Some examples of such alternatives include Apple’s specific in-built applications or other free services offered by well-reputed tech Companies like Google.

While it’s unclear how Apple plans on dealing with fraudsters, it will do its best in educating the developers and consumers alike in regards to when a subscription makes sense and offers a real benefit and when a one-time purchase can be considered sufficient.

Photo: SIPA USA/PA Images
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