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Apple App Store update moves tipping to in-app purchase territory

14 June 2017, 06:43 | Kristen Gross

Apple App Store update moves tipping to in-app purchase territory

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Apple's newly published update to its App Store policies officially designates voluntary tipping via virtual currency as in-app purchases that Apple taxes 30%.

Before you get scammed by some app pretending to provide a service, why not get into the habit of checking what apps you might not need any more?

According to analytics firm Sensor Tower, 68% of all revenue in the App Store goes to games (it is even higher in Google Play, at 90%). Once the user rates the app he will never see that again. "These are the exact sort of apps that the App Store review process should be primarily looking to block", Gruber wrote on his Daring Fireball blog in response to Lin's research. Case in point: New York Magazine is reporting that some people recently tried to release a Pepe-themed game on the App Store, but they were summarily rejected due to the fact that Apple now recognizes Pepe as an offensive symbol.

Chinese online content aggregation app Toutiao and popular question-and-answer website Zhihu said they had reached a compromise with Apple. Unfortunately, Apple has no filter to sift through search ads as of now. Spirit Realm Games gave a statement to Vice, saying that they saw some Pepe memes and something "clicked", inspiring them to make an innocent game about a "silly and amusing idea" that they could show off to their friends. Clicking the Account link on the front page of the Mac App Store will do the same. According to a blogger on Medium website, scammers have now chosen smartphone application stores to target users by fraudulently making you pay money. It seems like scammers are bidding on many other keywords.

Under the new rules, developers will no longer be able to display review prompts however and whenever they'd like.

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The developers will have to determine for themselves whether they themselves take a cut of the tips or pass the full 70% on to the content creators.

Given the bad title of this app (inconsistent capitalization, misplaced colon, and grammatically nonsensical "Clean & Security VPN?"), I was sure this was a bug in the rankings algorithm.

For consumers, Lin suggests reviewing your subscriptions. Subscriptions are astonishingly easy to opt into via TouchID and exceedingly hard to cancel (PSA: instructions here).

Apple didn't respond to Mashable's request for comment on app subscriptions or whether those who had unwittingly paid exorbitant amounts for app subscriptions would get refunds.

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