According to a Press Release, subscriptions are GO in iOS. This is all well and good, as the convenience to users is always nice, and it looks like Apple’s trying to address publisher concerns about getting precious, precious subscriber data: they’re letting people optionally provide that info to the publishers. I can only imagine that we’ll be able to selectively hide that information from Apple, too, but there’s no reference to that as yet in this press release.
To the goddamn meat of things, though: Apple is explicitly requiring you to provide in-app purchasing on par (or better) with offers found elsewhere. So they’re saying that you can’t have some super special website-only deal, not even as some promotion, or anything. That’ll be sure to chap some asses, but more than that, is this:
In addition, publishers may no longer provide links in their apps (to a web site, for example) which allow the customer to purchase content or subscriptions outside of the app.
That pain you’re feeling, Kindle? That’s from where Apple just kicked you right in the balls.
Some folks will be quick to point out that this doesn’t prevent Amazon from selling Kindle ebooks that can be downloaded into the Kindle iOS software, which is true. However, Amazon has just been prevented from selling the books within the app on their own terms, and according to some reports, this will mean that if Amazon complies with in-app purchases of content (assuming this subscription model even properly applies to non-subscription book sales), they’ll be making no money at all from these sales, as their markup is rumored to be about the exact same as Apple’s new cut.
Is it against the App Store policy to have a page in your app that says “You have to purchase and download all Kindle books by going into your browser, by yourself, because Steve Jobs is a bunghole?”
If any of you out there are in need of a freelance tech writer, both myself and the guy whose hand is up my butt are looking.
E-mail the dude what sticks his hands in places at email@example.com if you think he or I can fill a need. Not a physical space, though, because his hand is already doing that.