Published On: Thu, Mar 28th, 2019

Apple News Plus doesn’t follow Apple’s own subscription rules

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Why won’t Apple follow its own rules? That’s the question running through my mind right now, as I write a post for The Verge about how — for the fourth time in four months — Apple is promoting its own content in ways that are forbidden to Apple’s own developers.

The last three times, Apple sent people unwanted push notifications promoting Apple Music and Carpool Karaoke, as well as Apple Music on Amazon Echo.

Apple News Plus, the company’s new magazine (and news) subscription service, is the latest offender because of how easy Apple makes it to subscribe:

Image: The Verge

Just tap that “Try it Free” button, confirm your payment, and you’re off to the races. Thing is, Apple forbids developers from making things seem quite this simple, as spotted by iOS developer Dave DeLong. Typically, Apple protects users from recurring fees by requiring developers to make those numbers so large on the screen that it’s painfully obvious what you’re getting into, how often you’ll pay, and how to cancel if you decide you’re not interested anymore.

Here are some screenshots from Apple’s dev website so you can see just how crystal-clear the developer “guidelines” are:

For whatever reason, Apple decided that a cleaner, more attractive layout, one that hides some of the information it asks of developers, was the right choice for Apple News Plus.

Maybe that’s not a huge deal to you, and you’ll probably figure out how to cancel if you need to. It’s not in the app itself, but you’ll find the option to cancel buried in the same place as usual: Settings > iTunes & App Store > View Apple ID > Subscriptions. (You can also find it by tapping on your profile photo in the App Store app, a relatively unintuitive place to look.)

But why create these rules if you don’t believe in them, Apple?

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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