Apple blocks WordPress iOS app updates because they weren't getting a cut of free purchases.

pendragon1

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he should add a $1 "apple tax" and label it as such. let 'em take it and the flak.
 

WorldExclusive

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Apps are $3.99 on iOS and free on Android. I've seen this a few times.
The customer is being artificially overcharged to use iOS.
 

westrock2000

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Apple for no reason so what ever other than greed and evil......

While <creator> Mullenweg says there technically was a roundabout way for an iOS user to find out that WordPress has paid tiers (they could find it buried in support pages, or by navigating to WordPress’s site from a preview of their own webpage), he says that Apple rejected his offer to block iOS users from seeing the offending pages.

Oh, so in other words....just follow the normal rules and he would be fine.
 

1_rick

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Oh, so in other words....just follow the normal rules and he would be fine.

If I read that correctly, the correct way is to prevent iOS users from seeing those options...and he offererd to do that, and Apple said no.
 

DejaWiz

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This crap right here is why I don't own a single crApple device. Never have, never will.

No different a tactic than a schoolyard bully ripping off the smaller kid's lunch money.
 

westrock2000

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I don't understand the rationality for why so many people believe app developers are entitled to the 10's of millions of users on Apple's platform and not have to pay anything for it. Apple created the entire ecosphere that allows for this app (program) to exist, in exchange for that, they want 30% (and there are ways around this that are within the rules).

Comparing Apple taking 30% to Visa taking 3% is not a valid comparision. Visa's only role in commerce is the exact moment that a transaction takes place. Where as Apple is providing the customer, the retail space, the parking lot, the car, and the road. The app developer is just providing the product on the shelf. And in the real world, many different people would also get a cut from the sale of a product.

If Wordpress or Epic Fortnite think they deserve more of a profit, then it is their job to convince consumers to leave the Apple platform and any convenience that they get from that platform and go a different platform where developers can make more profit.
 

westrock2000

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You did catch how this is different from the Fortnitr case, yes? Apple blocked WordPress, a free app. This isn't a complaint about Apple's cut.

it said in the article that there was a way for customers to find out about purchasing things outside the app. Which is where the problem is. The developer said “ok you caught me, I’ll just remove it an we are good now?” Apple is saying no, make it available the proper way that you agreed to and stop trying to subvert the system....or don’t use the system. If developers do not want to pay Apple for the benefits they provide, then go somewhere else and convince customers to follow you.

SomehowI’m not buying that Apple is mean is the only reasonfir this problem as article is trying to imply. Why they feel the need to mention that Apple has a lot of money a couple times is to persuade you to not like Apple.
 

Shoganai

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it said in the article that there was a way for customers to find out about purchasing things outside the app. Which is where the problem is. The developer said “ok you caught me, I’ll just remove it an we are good now?” Apple is saying no, make it available the proper way that you agreed to and stop trying to subvert the system....or don’t use the system. If developers do not want to pay Apple for the benefits they provide, then go somewhere else and convince customers to follow you.
And you don't see anything wrong with this?
 

1_rick

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it said in the article that there was a way for customers to find out about purchasing things outside the app.

*Free* things. Things for which Apple couldn't charge a cut, because they were free. And he offered to hide those free things to iOS users.

Totally like Fortnite.
 

1_rick

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Techspot has an article about this that isn't poorly-written like The Verge's: https://www.techspot.com/news/86471-apple-allegedly-halts-updates-wordpress-ios-app-due.html

"What makes this situation so unusual is that the WordPress for iOS app does not contain purchases in the first place -- it's completely free to use. It merely offers users a way to create and manage websites.

WordPress does separately sell .com domain names, which seems to be what Apple is attempting to gain revenue from. However, again, these sales do not take place through the WordPress iOS app."

I have bolded the important part.
 

westrock2000

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Don’t forget the next part of the article, where the developer seems to understand the issue better then those getting outraged on his behalf.

Mullenweg, for his part, appears to be taking Apple's demands in stride. "I am a big believer in the sanctity of licenses," he wrote in a tweet. "We agreed to this license when we signed up for (and stayed in) the app store, so going to follow and abide by the rules. Not looking to skirt it, hence doing what they asked us to."
 

LOCO LAPTOP

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Apps are $3.99 on iOS and free on Android. I've seen this a few times.
The customer is being artificially overcharged to use iOS.
For your apps to on the app store (per account, not per app)

$99 yearly fee for iOS
$50 one time fee for android.

Yeah, so are the devs.
 

UnknownSouljer

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“While the app doesn’t make purchasing those plans a feature he later said “There are a few convoluted ways you can get to our web app from within previews, documentation, etc. We offered to block based on user agent server-side, but that was not deemed sufficient.” It’s unclear why simply blocking this possibility wasn’t enough for Apple, but the company decided this falls under the payment section of its developer agreement.”
https://www.engadget.com/wordpress-ios-in-app-payments-030422512.html
 

1_rick

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Since they didn't want to charge anything anyway, they should just have a single $1,000 "you really like us" IAP, under the expectation that nobody will ever buy it. Maybe if someone does, they get a link to a private YT video of the developer singing a song or something.
 

cybereality

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To get back on topic, the point was that the app is free, uses open-source software, and was not selling anything inside the app (with or without giving Apple a cut).

The fact that the company had commercial offerings on their website, unnecessary for the free app to work, is irrelevant.

Sadly the developer caved in, and you can't blame him, but this doesn't seem right at all. This is developer hostile.
 
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UnknownSouljer

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At the risk of wasting time, since you guys are either being intentionally or unintentionally ignorant...
To get back on topic, the point was that the app free, uses open-source software, and was not selling anything inside the app (with or without giving Apple a cut).
The issue here is that they had links in apps towards paid services. Techspot is inaccurately reporting details.

The fact that the company had commercial offerings on their website, unnecessary for the free app to work, is irrelevant.

Sadly the developer caved in, and you can't blame him, but this doesn't seem right at all. This is developer hostile.
The dev was caught with his hand in the cookie jar. If there wasn't links in app (albeit convoluted ones) he wouldn't be in this situation.
When the app dev himself is upset but a bunch of websites manufacturer anger then you can see where their agenda is. You got sold a headline, but this is no different than when Netflix or other apps tried to circumvent the app store by having all of their payment options be elsewhere.
 

cybereality

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Actually, Netflix is a good example of my point.

If I already have a Netflix account (for example I signed up on their website on my desktop computer) and then later download the iOS app, Does Apple get a cut? That seems strange.

And then if I get the Android Netflix app, does Google get another 30% (leaving only 40% for Netflix)? That doesn't seem right either.

Now we are getting into the territory where Apple is dictating what you can do on your own website, exactly the kind of monopolistic tyranny that Epic is accusing.
 

ChadD

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But but Apple has a right.... lol

Apple should be more thankful that developers give them an ecosystem to make money off. Sure they have a right to charge developers for access when there selling... however Apple seems to be getting harder and harder to deal with. The more developers they annoy and drive away, the more just drop iOS, reducing the size of their ecosystem and increasing the precised value add of their competitions. I am going to guess no on in Charge at Apple was around for the lean 90s years of Apple having to beg and pay software developers to bother supporting their systems. Its all fine to be boutique... but when you start making it hard for major free blog stuff to play nice on iphones it is going to cut into hardware sales no matter what Apple may think.

Wordpress should just dump iOS... and explain why to their existing iOS users. Apple trying to muscle their way into internet hosting plans ? I mean really fuck off Apple. Whats next.... is Apple going to start telling Wireless carriers with iOS apps that allow you to switch your data package via the app that they want 30%. lol Related godaddy has a ios app and many other web hosts... I wonder if Apple is taking 30% of every sale they make on that app, perhaps but I sort of doubt they are all paying Apple 30% everytime someone adds a domain, or renews a domain via the app.
 
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UnknownSouljer

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Actually, Netflix is a good example of my point.

If I already have a Netflix account (for example I signed up on their website on my desktop computer) and then later download the iOS app, Does Apple get a cut? That seems strange.

And then if I get the Android Netflix app, does Google get another 30% (leaving only 40% for Netflix)? That doesn't seem right either.

Now we are getting into the territory where Apple is dictating what you can do on your own website, exactly the kind of monopolistic tyranny that Epic is accusing.
So you’re arguing about stuff you don’t understand? Apple only gets a cut of things purchased through the app. People who continue to sign up for Netflix via their site circumvents paying Apple anything and that’s fine.


But but Apple has a right.... lol

Apple should be more thankful that developers give them an ecosystem to make money off. Sure they have a right to charge developers for access when there selling... however Apple seems to be getting harder and harder to deal with. The more developers they annoy and drive away, the more just drop iOS, reducing the size of their ecosystem and increasing the precised value add of their competitions. I am going to guess no on in Charge at Apple was around for the lean 90s years of Apple having to beg and pay software developers to bother supporting their systems. Its all fine to be boutique... but when you start making it hard for major free blog stuff to play nice on iphones it is going to cut into hardware sales no matter what Apple may think.

Wordpress should just dump iOS... and explain why to their existing iOS users. Apple trying to muscle their way into internet hosting plans ? I mean really fuck off Apple. Whats next.... is Apple going to start telling Wireless carriers with iOS apps that allow you to switch your data package via the app that they want 30%. lol Related godaddy has a ios app and many other web hosts... I wonder if Apple is taking 30% of every sale they make on that app, perhaps but I sort of doubt they are all paying Apple 30% everytime someone adds a domain, or renews a domain via the app.
It’s the other way around. And WP is more than welcome to not have an iOS app. But they’re continuing because they don’t need to listen to people in a forum about how they should operate their business.
 

cybereality

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People who continue to sign up for Netflix via their site circumvents paying Apple anything and that’s fine.
So it's fine for Netflix, but it's not fine if Wordpress has additional paid options on their own website?

If you see in the article, the WP app dev said he would remove any links to the website, and even that wasn't enough for Apple.

And then (since we are talking about Netflix) why are video streaming from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. fine for Apple, but game streaming xCloud, Stadia, not allowed?

https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/6/2...le-stadia-ios-app-store-guidelines-violations

Seems Apple is uneven and unfair with their policies, or decide on a whim what is approved or not, even for big companies like Microsoft or Google that could surely cut a deal.
 

ChadD

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It’s the other way around. And WP is more than welcome to not have an iOS app. But they’re continuing because they don’t need to listen to people in a forum about how they should operate their business.

No its really not the other way around. No one at Apple today remembers almost going out of business when they couldn't convince enough software developers to make their ecosystem viable back when they didn't charge a dime, but rather paid developers to support their platform.

Your right no one is forcing WP to maintain a free APP for apples devices. Considering that they are a open source project with a foundation that makes a very small amount of money off some web site plans to keep the lights on... yes they probably should just dump iOS if Apple can't pull its head out of its rear.

Problem for Apple is at some point after driving away major game developers, and major open source developers... and if Apple extends the same logic to wireless carriers and all the service type Apps Apple users use daily to access their cell plans, cable tv packages, pay their bank bills ect ect. Apple will be left with a platform with major holes in services. And even if Apple doesn't go after all that stuff for their cut. If I'm in the market for a $1000 smartphone today (and more and more carriers are not covering phone costs... one of the reasons the mid range XE / pixel 4a markets are booming) I may really think twice about jumping into the ecosystem (or continuing to swim in) run by a company that seems to have zero issues with driving away major software developers. I mean no fortnight ok I guess.... that only effects fortnight players. No word press ok I guess... that only effects word press users.

But as the poem goes...
first they came for the asshole gaming company, and I said nothing... cause fuck Epic
Then they came for the open source blog foundation, and I said nothing... cause fuck the vapid bloggers
but then they came for the software I actually used.... and Fuck now I have a $1000 smartphone that doesn't do everything I want. Knew I should have just bought a Pixel 4a.
 

Shoganai

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UnknownSouljer

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So it's fine for Netflix, but it's not fine if Wordpress has additional paid options on their own website?
Again, do you even know what you're arguing? It's also fine for Wordpress as well. Netflix was required to allow people to subscribe through their App on the App store. People if they choose can still choose to use their website to subscribe. This is literally the same thing going on in Wordpresses case.

If you see in the article, the WP app dev said he would remove any links to the website, and even that wasn't enough for Apple.
My understanding regarding this is they moved from a free license to a paid license the moment they circumvented the app store to make money. Apple's response then was to tell them that they had to bring their app in line to their paid license.

And then (since we are talking about Netflix) why are video streaming from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. fine for Apple, but game streaming xCloud, Stadia, not allowed?
That is beyond the scope of this discussion. But my understanding is that Apple more or less doesn't allow stores within stores. If Microsoft wants to stream each title in its own individual app then essentially there isn't a problem.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/6/21357771/apple-cloud-gaming-microsoft-xcloud-google-stadia-ios-app-store-guidelines-violations
Seems Apple is uneven and unfair with their policies, or decide on a whim what is approved or not, even for big companies like Microsoft or Google that could surely cut a deal.
If anything it proves the opposite. That Apple is instead willing to remain neutral despite dealing with other companies that also make billions and enforce their policies despite leaving potentially 100's of millions on the table. It doesn't get more neutral than that, considering that all of these companies at the end of the day have one purpose: profit.


No its really not the other way around. No one at Apple today remembers almost going out of business when they couldn't convince enough software developers to make their ecosystem viable back when they didn't charge a dime, but rather paid developers to support their platform.

Your right no one is forcing WP to maintain a free APP for apples devices. Considering that they are a open source project with a foundation that makes a very small amount of money off some web site plans to keep the lights on... yes they probably should just dump iOS if Apple can't pull its head out of its rear.
Not sure what your point even is. That all new systems need support? Tell me a new system ever that didn't. But that matters not at all now for the context of this discussion.

Problem for Apple is at some point after driving away major game developers, and major open source developers... and if Apple extends the same logic to wireless carriers and all the service type Apps Apple users use daily to access their cell plans, cable tv packages, pay their bank bills ect ect. Apple will be left with a platform with major holes in services. And even if Apple doesn't go after all that stuff for their cut. If I'm in the market for a $1000 smartphone today (and more and more carriers are not covering phone costs... one of the reasons the mid range XE / pixel 4a markets are booming) I may really think twice about jumping into the ecosystem (or continuing to swim in) run by a company that seems to have zero issues with driving away major software developers. I mean no fortnight ok I guess.... that only effects fortnight players. No word press ok I guess... that only effects word press users.
No one has been driven away and the only people crying about it are websites (whose profit comes from clickbait articles, like every article posted in this thread) and Epic (and I guess Facebook). Not the vast majority of devs on the system. You want to know why? The App Store is literally more profitable than PC's at this point. It's literally more profitable to make a toilet game with in-app purchases for gems than it is to make a AAA Call of Duty title. Not only from a development standpoint but also a profit standpoint.

The guy that made flappy bird freaked out over how much money it made so he shut it down. It was a free app with adds and he was making 50k a day as a one man dev team using stolen assets. You tell me where else any dev has access to that kind of money?

Apple has made all of its terms clear and they have enforced all of its policies transparently and for the most part neutrally. There are some exceptions, but considering how many devs and apps - remarkably even handed. You want to bring up Epic or "Facebook Games"? They're more than able to submit each game as an individual app. That's the "only" thing that stands in FB's way. Apple just doesn't let people make a store inside of a store. If that's what you're referring to to driving game devs "away" that's on them. Square-Enix has over 20 titles on iOS. They've figured it out just fine.

But as the poem goes...
first they came for the asshole gaming company, and I said nothing... cause fuck Epic
Then they came for the open source blog foundation, and I said nothing... cause fuck the vapid bloggers
but then they came for the software I actually used.... and Fuck now I have a $1000 smartphone that doesn't do everything I want. Knew I should have just bought a Pixel 4a.
If it will keep you from posting absurd things in threads, I'm all for it. Just buy a Pixel and move on with your life. Pixel 5 is dropping in September. Go make moves.

But Apple can do no wrong! Or something ...
Considering that you guys have consistently incorrectly represented what has happened time and time again, I can't say I'm surprised.
 
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D

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Jesus what is so hard to understand, Apple does not permit developers trying to offload users to 3rd party platforms to circumvent the app store. End of story.

It doesn’t matter if its a free app or whatever, the same rules apply for everyone. You don’t get to have a “free” app then try to hijack users away to your own platforms to nickel and dime them.
 

UnknownSouljer

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I don't really know what the big deal is.

If you're a developer, just put the link to your storefront on your Apple app, and redirect as many Apple users as you can to your website as quickly as you can. Once you get caught, ditch Apple and run home with your money and your new users.

Or wait, did you think we should be nice to poor, tiny little Apple? And their impoverished users?

It might sound brutal, but it's actually ethical to play with Apple however benefits you, while doing all you can to drain Apple of users and money.

The more people you free from the enslaving chains of Apple, the better off they'll be.
Face it: Do the Apple defenders in this thread really make sense in a logical, philosophically complete way?

Even if they point out small facts and little truths, the absolute end-point of their logical pathway is actually illogical, and will clearly lead to greater monopolies, even within the app store itself. None but the most popular apps will profit. Nothing could be more obvious. Apple is simply too malicious and greedy for their overall practice to be considered ethical.

The only ethically consistent way to spin it is to absorb as many users off Apple as you can, just as Apple does their best to leech users off other platforms. The difference is that Apple has incredible amounts of money and power, and you have very little of either, at least to the scale that Apple has it. Destroying Apple is good and just. They are not your friend. Just another business. They want money, and they want as much as they can get from as many people as they can trick.

Face it. Trying to argue with Apple people is like trying to argue with any other kind of cultist. They live by their own laws, written in stone, where the terms of service matter more than philosophically valid ethics and ideals suited for the betterment of all humanity.

It's best to focus on pointing out how Apple is simply as greedy and incompetent as possible. Because in the end, do you really think people will put up with a 30% tithe? That sort of profiteering works in the short-term, but over time, it drives out newer developers with less popular apps, and creates stagnation, as only the most disgustingly popular applications will thrive.

Apple will doom itself, and I will only laugh as they fall.
All I ask is that you be logically consistent. Since you have a problem with Apple for charging devs 30% you should feel the same about every other platform and should also be seeking to screw those platforms out of money.
Those platforms would be: Google Play (Android, Apple's direct competitor), Steam (better stop buying games there), XBox, Playstation, Nintendo (whoops I guess that's all consoles digital sales), the Microsoft Store, the Amazon App Store, and the Samsung Galaxy Store.
So, great of you to wax poetic. I expect that you'll start threads and go on diatribes just as much about all of those other stores right? If you won't, what does that say about you and your self-righteous position?
 

Aegir

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All I ask is that you be logically consistent. Since you have a problem with Apple for charging devs 30% you should feel the same about every other platform and should also be seeking to screw those platforms out of money.
Those platforms would be: Google Play (Android, Apple's direct competitor), Steam (better stop buying games there), XBox, Playstation, Nintendo (whoops I guess that's all consoles digital sales), the Microsoft Store, the Amazon App Store, and the Samsung Galaxy Store.
So, great of you to wax poetic. I expect that you'll start threads and go on diatribes just as much about all of those other stores right?

Yes, I do not use those stores or approve of them.

Did you think I did?
I don't. All stores that play the profiteering game at the expense of the developer or user can burn.

Ethical profits can exist, but do you think it is common?

Do you think I am naive and only point to Apple?
Let's not get hasty with your assumptions.
 

Shoganai

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Jesus what is so hard to understand, Apple does not permit developers trying to offload users to 3rd party platforms to circumvent the app store. End of story.

It doesn’t matter if its a free app or whatever, the same rules apply for everyone. You don’t get to have a “free” app then try to hijack users away to your own platforms to nickel and dime them.
Seems you neither read the article or the follow up in which Apple apologized to WordPress.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Yes, I do not use those stores or approve of them.

Did you think I did?
I don't. All stores that play the profiteering game at the expense of the developer or user can burn.

Ethical profits can exist, but do you think it is common?

Do you think I am naive and only point to Apple?
Let's not get hasty with your assumptions.
I also hope you buy zero console games in general as they also do 30%. GOG also does 30%. Go run along now and complain about all these problems in specific threads made for them.

Also make sure to call them “prime cultists” and “Microsoft cultists” and “android cultists” while you’re at it along the way. I’m glad you use no smartphone either. Have to be logically consistent there as well.

Also buy no music anywhere. Or movies anywhere. Definitely no books especially not digital ones. Pretty much media of any kind whatsoever.

I’ll wait. But so far I’ve seen you post precisely zero of these complaints in anything other than an Apple thread. Better get on it.
 
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Aegir

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I also hope you buy zero console games in general as they also do 30%. GOG also does 30%. Go run along now and complain about all these problems in specific threads made for them.

Also make sure to call them “prime cultists” and “Microsoft cultists” and “android cultists” while you’re at it along the way. I’m glad you use no smartphone either. Have to be logically consistent there as well.

You are 100% correct. I am actually logically consistent.

Yet there is one tiny issue: The people who use those other products do not behave like Apple cultists.
Note how you are defending a corporation for some reason. I don't see that very often from anyone other than Apple users.
Oh, you see an outlier? How nice, but let's not get off topic. This is about Apple vs WordPress.

Hey rich kid, buy me a fancy new Apple device so I can see what the hype's about, huh?
I build my own computers and install Linux on them so I don't know what it's like to just be given "THE PERFECT APPLE COMPUTER."

You're certainly rich enough, if you can dare laugh at the idea of utilizing ethics.
People like you can justify anything, huh? That's why you're in this thread defending Apple, when even Apple ended up apologizing.
 
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UnknownSouljer

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You are 100% correct. I am actually logically consistent.
No one is. To say you are would also mean to say you are perfect. While again, no one is. But I could tell three posts ago your ego and your arrogance make you think you are. We can talk about that at the end.
And as I've pointed out there is ZERO threads or posts from you complaining about any of those other stores. So no, even at this point you aren't.

Yet there is one tiny issue: The people who use those other products do not behave like Apple cultists.
Note how you are defending a corporation for some reason. I don't see that very often from anyone other than Apple users.
Oh, you see an outlier? How nice, but let's not get off topic. This is about Apple vs Epic.
Actually this thread was about Wordpress and Apple revoking their ability to have an app on their store.
I don't hear you making this much fuss about Google and the Play store literally doing the exact same thing though. Where is your Google vs Epic post?

Hey rich kid, buy me a fancy new Apple device so I can see what the hype's about, huh?
I build my own computers and install Linux on them so I don't know what it's like to just be given "THE PERFECT APPLE COMPUTER."
Okay?

You're certainly rich enough, if you can dare laugh at the idea of utilizing ethics.
People like you can justify anything, huh? That's why you're in this thread defending Apple, when even Apple ended up apologizing.
No. I just realize that in order for any of these things to be built up, it requires consistency and good product.
The irony of talking about ethics in a computer forum is that no matter what you do, you've failed to realize that, you're defending shitty practices somewhere.

You can't buy anything that doesn't have human rights abuses attached to it. Where did the steel in your cars come from? How about the rare earth minerals? What about your food? Who manufactured your clothes? Where did the dyes come from?
These are all products of globalization. Apple is in fact one of the more ethical corporations you could possibly work with. They also happen to have the most amount of eyes on them because they're now the most valued company in the world. Turns out, everyone hates a winner.

But in terms of hardware recycling, they're the best. Utilizing processes that don't damage the earth, class leading. Offering a fair and reasonable price to be on their platforms: consistent and neutral across the board. So while you're over there complaining, you should be selling everything you own and living in the wilderness making your own clothes and food. If you want to have the ethical and moral high-ground while you use hardware that was manufactured at least in part using slave labor, you're not really going to have much you can say. Which is basically the same situation we're all in.

Man. Maybe if you actually could watch a movie (which you can't because every service takes 30% or more) you'd be able to lighten up. Maybe it's also because you haven't listened to music ever in your entire life. I also assume you run away from all areas playing music because you wouldn't want to be a part of that system that rips off musicians either.
 
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