Apple announces API to communicate billing issues to users within the applications

StoreKit now has API to get billing issues related to subscriptions and display them without leaving the application.

Operating system will provide default implementation to report billing issues.

Starting this summer, if an auto-renewable subscription doesn’t renew due to a billing issue, a system-provided sheet appears in your app with a prompt that lets customers update their payment method for their Apple ID. No action is required to adopt this feature. 

Apple Developer

Feature is available in iOS and iPadOS 16.4 and newer, Mac Catalyst apps also have access to this API.

StoreKit also provides messages and display to get billing issue messages and display them within application scene.

Apple Developer: Get ready to help customers resolve billing issues without leaving your app

Apple announce another ‘Meet App Store Experts’ series

Apple announces another series of sessions with App Store team from February 28 til April 13. Sessions include topics on app marketing, product pages, user acquisition, design, subscriptions, in-app events.

Apple to host sessions in multiple languages and different time zones to allow more users to participate.

Apple Developer: Meet with App Store experts

Apple Developer Events: Meet with App Store experts (schedule)

Apple recently allowed custom billing grace periods for in-app subscriptions

Apple updated approach it provides for subscription grace periods. Duration of grace period is not could be set manually (previously it was hardcoded for each subscription duration).

Billing grace period could be existing paid renewals or all subscription renewals (existing paid renewals and free offers transitioning to paid renewals).

Apple Developer: App Store Connect Update

Apple adds more price levels and conventions to App Store

Apple improves pricing approach for App Store apps and in-app purchases. Apple adds much more new price steps and conventions.

These new pricing enhancements will be available for apps offering auto-renewable subscriptions starting today, and for all other apps and in-app purchases in spring 2023, giving all developers unprecedented flexibility and control to price their products in 45 currencies throughout 175 storefronts.

Apple Newsroom
Apple Newsroom

Also, developers will have control on local prices in different storefronts. Most of new capabilities will be available in spring 2023.

Apple Newsroom: Apple announces biggest upgrade to App Store pricing, adding 700 new price points

Apple Developer: Apple announces biggest upgrade to App Store pricing, adding 700 new price points

Apple’s own subscriptions see price increase

Apple announces price increases for Apple Music and Apple TV+ subscriptions. This will affect Apple One costs.

Apple Music gets $1 price increase for individual and $2 for family plans (per month price).

Apple TV+ gets $2 price increase for monthly plan.

Apple One prices are increased $2 for individual, and $3 for family and premier plans.

Notably, iCloud storage prices remain the same.

Reference: Apple Increasing Pricing of Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple One

WeatherKit subscriptions are now live

Apple announced WeatherKit on WWDC22. Subscriptions are now available for developers who need more requests that minimum tier provides.

Apple provides several subscription tiers:

  • 500,000 calls/month: Included with membership
  • 1 million calls/month: US$49.99
  • 2 million calls/month: US$99.99
  • 5 million calls/month: US$249.99
  • 10 million calls/month: US$499.99
  • 20 million calls/month: US$999.99

Apple Developer: WeatherKit subscriptions now available

More notable apps switching to subscription model

Couple of notable apps recently switched from paid model to subscriptions. First, Pixelmator team announced switch for Pixelmator Photo. Next was Clip Studio Paint.

Pixelmator Photo still keeps an option to buy app, but provides monthly and yearly plans. Existing paid customers will not need to purchase subscriptions. Pixelmator team goes into details of their decision, explaining problems with paid app model.

Basically, their vision focuses on this issues:

  • Development is slowed due to money flow tied to update cycles;
  • Paid upgrades fears and lack of paid upgrade discounts on App Store;
  • Early adopters get more value for the money;
  • No free trials on iOS and iPadOS without subscriptions;
  • There is an expectation that mobile apps should not cost a lot;
  • No universal purchases between iOS/iPadOS and macOS.

Pixelmator Blog: Why Pixelmator Photo is switching to subscription pricing (and a sneak peek at Pixelmator Photo for Mac)


Apple invites developers to series of tech talks dedicated to App Store practices

Apple invites developers to attend series of online tech talks that cover app promotion best practices for App Store. Topics include TestFlight, in-app events, in-app purchases, subscriptions, family sharing and others.

Schedule and registration is available on Events website.

Apple Developer:

Apple could allow subscription price updates to be automatically charged

Apple is said to be piloting new feature that will allow to increase subscription price without having users to explicitly resubscribe.

Other developers noticed similar behavior for different subscriptions, and an Apple spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that it is running a pilot test on a new subscription system.
"We are piloting a new commerce feature we plan to launch very soon. The pilot includes developers across various app categories, organization sizes, and regions to help test an upcoming enhancement that we believe will be great for both developers and users, and we'll have more details to share in the coming weeks," the spokesperson said.



Sensor Tower report shows that App Store users spend on subscriptions twice as much as Google Play users

New report from Sensor Tower gives perspective on mobile spendings in 2021.

 The top 100 non-game subscription-based apps saw their revenue grow 41 percent year-over-year from $13 billion to $18.3 billion globally. This was 7 percentage points greater than in 2020, when spending in these apps climbed 34 percent Y/Y from $9.7 billion in 2019.

Sensor Tower