Apple allows in-app tipping for content creators

The new policy came two months after Tencent Holdings Ltd shut down a popular service on WeChat which allowed iPhone users to tip content creators.

Yet it was briefly riding high with $80,000 (roughly £63,000/AU$106,000) per month in revenue according to Sensor Tower, so how did it succeed?

Apple's newly published update to its App Store policies officially designates tipping to content creators as in-app purchases, with Apple keeping 30 percent of the revenue as commission. Lin's piece specifically hones in on an app called Mobile protection:Clean & Security VPN. It was written by an independent Thai developer and had been a top 20 grossing productivity app since April.

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In his article, "How to Make $80,000 Per Month on the Apple App" Lin highlights a troubling trend where search ads are being manipulated to promote unsafe apps. Lin also suggests a better user interface on Touch ID subscriptions, easier cancellations of subscriptions, and the introduction of fraud and abuse protections into Search Ads.

To be fair, search is a new frontier for Apple. The game doesn't appear to be an issue - only the use of Pepe.

"Given how many legitimate developers are still having problems getting their apps approved due to seemingly capricious App Store reviewer decisions, it's doubly outrageous that these apps have made their way onto the store in the first place". It seems like scammers are bidding on many other keywords.

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App reviews, which used to take days or even weeks, are often now completed in a matter of hours, with the average wait time being one day, according to third-party data from appreviewtimes.com. Apple has made efforts to reduce app review times over the previous year as part of its bigger efforts to make its App Store more developer-friendly.

Apple has been notoriously opaque about its review process, which has been a source of frustration to many developers over the years. Upon downloading and executing the app, Lin said it requests access, or "cccess" to the user's contacts; the only option provided is to agree.

"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. Subscriptions are astonishingly easy to opt into via TouchID and exceedingly hard to cancel (PSA: instructions here). To earn that amount the app would only need around 200 subscribers.

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