Many frustrated with Apple’s App Store alternative attempts

App store - Man looking upset by what he's seen on phone - apple logo

What the iPhone maker delivered has made app developers even more frustrated than ever before.

Apple is now receiving developer requests for those seeking to be able to process payments from customers in the US without using the App store’s own systems.

Many application developers want to take payments without using the one Apple offers.

Software makers welcomed the opportunity for the change to receiving payments through their offerings in the App Store. Their hope was that an alternative option would make it possible to sidestep the fees that Apple charges to transactions for application purchases and in-app purchases. Those fees are between 15 percent and 30 percent.

App store logo - Person with phone - piggy bank on coins

Unfortunately, Apple quickly showed that its intent was not to provide developers with a way to skip the fee applied to transactions. Even with internet-based purchases, the iPhone maker has said that it will be capturing as much as 27 percent of each transaction, regardless of the fact that it was made outside the main marketplace.

Apple sought the App Store feedback of developers because of a legal battle with Epic Games Inc.

Epic Games Inc. launched an intense legal battle against Apple over anticompetitive practice claims. In that case, Apple mainly came out on top of the lawsuit, with the exception of the policy that was stopping Epic and other developers from being able to send application users to other transaction methods for purchasing digital products or subscriptions outside of Apple’s own.

That said, by adhering to the ruling from the court against the anti-steering provision, Apple was able to create a new set of web purchase restrictions that would make it unlikely that application developers would ever make an attempt to use an alternative. They did so by using software design that was carefully developed to lead to just that result.

For developers to be able to include a website link in App Store applications, sending users to an outside payment system, they must first complete a request form that they send to Apple. If they receive approval, the link can appear only one time within the application, it must look like a URL (as opposed to a button or logo), and the text must use one of seven possible templates.

Once that link is clicked, the user is warned that they are transacting with a third-party website, and this comes with risks. They are then provided with a “continue” or “cancel” button. The link must open in a browser, not in an app pop-up. As a result, many App Store application developers are strongly displeased.

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