Apple is legalizing in-app tipping for content creators

Apple touts that it has paid developers $70 billion since the App Store opened in 2008.

Now tipping is only allowed via buying virtual coins from WeChat via Apple's payment system.

Storage space is always an important issue, so it's good to see Apple doing a lot with iOS 11 (including iCloud to help with other aspects of the software) to make it easier for people that might not have a phone with a ton of built-in storage. It's called "Offload Unused Apps", and it does exactly what the name implies.

The app was published on the App Store on April 14, likely capitalizing on the recent USA congressional vote to allow ISPs to sell their subscribers' browsing history and other data without gaining user consent.

The notion that something like this appears in the App Store - which Apple is supposed to keep close tabs on - is noting short of infuriating and inexcusable. The app was making $80,000 a month, according to data from marketing firm Sensor Tower.

A big update also is the removal of Top grossing charts which acted as an index for big App intelligence firms (like AppAnnie, PrioriData) to estimate revenues from the App store - this will make studying the competition and market even more hard for developers.

Second, Apple is taking a 30% cut of this fraudulent enterprise.

The app exposes several problems with the App Store now.

"Pepe Scream was rejected for violating section 1.1 of Apple's App Store Review Guidelines, which stipulates that apps can not "include content that is offensive, insensitive, upsetting, meant to disgust, or in exceptionally poor taste".

One of the most annoying things about iOS gaming is the prompt to review apps.

For instance, Lin notes that a search for Wi-Fi yields an app that promises to generate random passwords for you for the low low price of just $50/month. But Apple will look at it as another revenue stream. The app's "free trial" for an "anti-virus scanner" costs $99.99 for a 7-day subscription.

The new App Store, announced at Apple's WWDC earlier this month and coming out this fall, goes even further towards addressing discoverability. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple told Chinese social media apps to disable their tipping functions or be kicked out of the company's app store.

"They're taking advantage of the fact that there's no filtering or approval process for ads, and that ads look nearly indistinguishable from real results, and some ads take up the entire search result's first page", wrote Lin. Unfortunately, Apple has no filter to sift through search ads as of now.

We've reached out to Google for comment and will update when we hear back.

  • Joe Gonzales