MBW 787: Prepare for Light Speed

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What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

I am inclined to 5-star vote any application that offers alternative payment methods just on principle.

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Does anyone remember when Epic started this whole thing by turning on the alternative payment in Fortnite? If anyone used it - what was the experience like? Was it cumbersome or awkward? In the articles I read that happened to include screenshots - I don’t recall it looking awkward and I don’t remember reading anything that suggested the process was anything other than convenient.

That really is the only example we have currently of how an alternative in-app payment system could be implemented.

This screenshot is on several articles. Looks simple enough. I assume you have to add a CC to Epic’s store the first time you use it, but easy after that?


I’m not sure I understand Alex’s issue if developers are allowed to offer an alternate method of payment? If you want to continue to pay the premium for all your subs being in one place, easy install on a new device etc. you can.

Or does the ruling allow devs to remove the Apple App store completely?

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The mock-up is what I always thought would happen. Users can pay 9.99€ directly with the developer or use Apple Pay and pay 12.99€, for example.

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If other developers are able to implement alternative payments in a manner as clear and simple as this, then I think it disproves the contention that it would be awkward or ‘inconvenient’.

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The only complexity I can think of is managing multiple accounts and payments to multiple companies, rather than just Apple. I do this now anyway. The only thing I’ve ever bought from the Apple App Store was a sub to Music accidentally when I forgot to cancel a free trial :roll_eyes:

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Which is what many people do already with Netflix, Amazon, and the big companies. The only people who can’t get away with doing this are the smaller developers that have built their business on top of Apple and iOS.

I’m normally one to not rain on someone’s parade but Alex’s view this week on the app store was totally off base. We do live in a civilized society. I myself am an Apple fanboy. I have an iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple Watch Series 6, Airpods Pro, and 16-inch Macbook Pro. The only app I currently subscribe to through the apple store is my Flexibits account and Pandora. Having an alternate method to pay isn’t going to make me ditch them. In fact it’s going to make it even easier to manage. My wife and I both kept our respective personal accounts when we married, but we have added each other as a joint member, depending on what the Charge is and what it’s for, depends on who pays it. Occasionally, if i need to move money around or save money in my account for an upcoming bill, I will use her hard to complete the purchase instead of my own. Alex’s instruction of 1-Star everything just isn’t going to fix anything.

Here’s my theory of 1-star everything…We’ll use Epic’s fortnite for example, instead of it being a developer that is highly rated and has positive reviews and pops up at the top when searching for it, it’s now at the bottom of the stack, even though people are looking for this because the rating has dropped so low. Now I’m a parent who has a child who just came home from school raving about this new game called fortnite that all the kids at school are playing. I go to the app store to look up this game and download it for them and I see that it has such a low rating. My first instinct is that this has to be a fake app, or this app has some major issues. Reluctantly I let them install it on their iPad and they get money for a birthday. They want to spend it on in game purchases…1-star app, do I give it my card and risk getting hacked or do I say no way?

@Leo hopefully if this topic comes up again you can utilize the above argument to reign some common sense in on him.

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I think you mean Alex, not Andy.

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Thank you @ChrisKez, that’s exactly what I meant to put. I’ve edited my original post.

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I appreciate the thoughtful comments. Regarding the first paragraph, and payment flexibility around which card you use— couldn’t you also put both cards into the App Store and periodically change the default as needed? Regarding the second paragraph about the 1-star tactic— it kind of sounds like the tactic would work as expected, in the Epic example by making people more reluctant to download it or give it access to a credit card. Maybe I’m not following correctly.

My point was that his tactic only takes away from Good developers when there is actual no issue with the app itself. Only that it supports alternative payment methods. I’ve had issues changing the default card on Apple more than once so it’s actually left a bad flavor in my mouth constantly adding cards and removing them. So my point was that his logic of 1-star everything was flawed because most non-techy people will not see the 1-star apps as just being a payment issue, but being a red flag to avoid all together.

I usually like Alex, but sometimes he is just way to stuck in the ways Apple does things to see how normal people think.

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Is there perhaps a path through arbitration that could lower App Store fees and slightly loosen some restrictions without necessarily breaking the whole system?

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The goal of the 1-star tactic is simply to bludgeon the developer with the only weapon consumers really have. It doesn’t matter if muggles know that the issue is IAP rather than something else, as long as the end result is fewer people rewarding the developer. When you boycott a business because they discriminate or they have abhorrent labor practices you don’t put an asterisk on the banner that says “but the food is still really good”.

Agreed 100%.

Alex has this version in his head of what an open IAP looks like and he a)won’t be convinced that it could look like anything else and b)doesn’t realize his version is EXACTLY what it looks like now with apps that don’t use IAP, where you have to sign up outside of the app, which is a horrible user experience.

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It’s not flawed logic. It’s exactly the result Alex wanted: force developers NOT to offer alternate payment methods by killing those who do with one-star reviews.

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If they offer both options, which is what I always assumed they would do, I don’t see why Alex has a problem with it.

If he wants to pay more and stay save and have everything simple and running over Apple Pay, why should it bother him, if the app also offers an alternative?

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They will not be offering a cheaper price. Apple will be billing their commission to these developers whether Apple’s store is used or not.

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I don’t see how they can. How will they know? The billing bypasses Apple completely, so they have no information about how many or how much was charged externally.

I also doubt it would be legal.