Application with a “hidden subscriptions” undermine the credibility of the App Store

In recent years, the application system based on paid subscriptions became incredibly popular on iOS. This led to the fact that some developers began to build “hidden subscription”, and thus to deceive the users.

The portal TechCrunch spent researching this problem and found that paid apps-utilities often offer functionality that is available in the free programs, but they still are among the most popular in the App Store.

One such application is called “Scanner” which, according to SensorTower, earns about 14.3 million U.S. dollars a year from subscriptions in the App Store:

“This application constantly offers subscriptions to services that cost from $ 3.99 a week to 4.99 US dollars per month. It is possible to start a free trial. A paid subscription is activated automatically after the free trial period. This is described in detail in small letters in the agreement but users do not read it. They obviously do not understand what you are agreeing to”.

The main offender was the Weather application Alarms, which Apple removed from the App Store last week, after the portal TechCrunch has proved fraud on the part of developers. The application used the so-called “dark pattern” to fool users, who agreed to a free trial, which was then translated into a monthly subscription, at a cost of $ 20.

Many developers say that these apps reduce the quality of the App Store in General.

“I have an incredibly frustrating how little was done to stop these scammers. This undermines the credibility of the App Store, which ultimately harm the Apple and conscientious developers, who use the system subscriptions,” said David Barnard, developer of Weather and Atlas Launch Center Pro.

“I firmly believe that this is not the future to which we should aspire” – added the Vice-President Readdle Denis Zhadanov.

Let’s see what steps Apple will take to improve App Store and get rid of the “dark schemes” paid subscriptions.

Clifton Nichols

Clifton Nichols

Hi! I’m Clifton and I am a full-stack engineer with a passion for building performant and scalable applications that are beautiful and easy to use.

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