Hey Screwed
June 18, 2020 3:40 PM   Subscribe

Today, Apple doubled down on a decision to reject email app Hey (from the makers of Basecamp). Hey doesn't use Apple's in-app purchase mechanism and therefore doesn't share 30% of its revenue with Apple. According to the chairman of the House antitrust subcommittee, Apple is acting like a monopolist and a bully. This all comes at a time when Apple is facing two antitrust investigations in the EU.
posted by adrianhon (54 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
To provide context, Apple requires apps that sell digital services (i.e. not Uber or Etsy) to use its in-app purchase (IAP) mechanism, which gives Apple up to 30% of revenue. Developers are allowed to sell access via other avenues (e.g. you can get a subscription to MyFitnessPal through the iOS app and also through their website) but crucially, the iOS app cannot promote those other avenues, so you would expect many or most iOS users to use Apple’s mechanism.

There are some exceptions where apps can opt-out of using Apple’s IAP and require that users have signed up and purchased via another avenue. These are arbitrarily limited to “reader” apps (e.g. Netflix, Spotify) and “business” apps (e.g. Dropbox); and these rules have been inconsistently enforced, given the fact that paid email service Fastmail is functionally identical to Hey, but its app remains on the App Store – for now.

The reason Apple has been accused of monopolistic practices while not selling the majority of devices globally is that do hold a majority of active smartphones in certain markets (e.g. UK) and very much a majority in certain sectors (e.g. paid apps as a whole). So I would expect a $99/year email service like Hey would have a majority of its users on iOS, in which case they don’t really have a choice in whether they make an iOS app.
posted by adrianhon at 4:04 PM on June 18 [8 favorites]

As I understand it, they're rejecting it because the app directs the user to buy a subscription on the app's website, without allowing users to buy a subscription through the App Store. You have to either buy a subscription entirely on the web and not lead the users to it from the app, or you have to provide the subscription at the same price to the user through the App Store as well. This policy has been pretty clear from Apple since the beginning.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:15 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]

Not to defend Apple here, but there's nothing stopping Hey from making their website responsive if they absolutely have to be on phones.

Though I imagine an email client is probably less useful without the elevated permissions and access to contacts list that being a native application brings.

This feels like a tremendous self-own on Apple's part though. What with WWDC coming up and reminding developers the everyday, low-grade crappiness that is the dev experience with trying to get shit listed in the Apple Store.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:15 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]

Joakim Ziegler: No, the Hey app does not direct users to buy a subscription on their website.

fifteen: Right, web apps cannot tie into things like background notifications and Siri. Apple could theoretically add those hooks, but it won’t.
posted by adrianhon at 4:19 PM on June 18 [7 favorites]

A responsive website still doesn't get push notifications on iOS... so it's probably not going to be a good solution for a webmail service.
posted by Paragon at 4:19 PM on June 18 [5 favorites]

For those of you interested in a much more ethical view of tech culture (read: pay equally for people based on work, not location / VC funding is the devil and the vulture tactics are disgusting / 'crunch' is the enemy and avoidable / etc etc etc ), you could do a hell of a lot worse than giving DHH and Jason Fried of Basecamp / Hey a follow.

This is a massive fuckup on Apple's part. I hope that not only does Hey get into the app store (any app that doesn't have access to the App store and has been developed for scale is doomed to failure, sadly) AND that Apple is regulated to force reform and codification to their inconsistent, unspoken, onerous App store vetting process.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:48 PM on June 18 [21 favorites]

Also Hey looks fucking awesome. Seriously, the features are insane. They thought of so many pain points and fixed them, all while giving a giant middle finger to privacy invading spy pixels. As soon as my invite comes sometime in July, I'm saying farewell to gmail forever.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:49 PM on June 18 [9 favorites]

If Hey can survive this, I feel like this experience with Apple proves their point that email as we know it is broken and there's got to be a better alternative than to have all of our online activity governed by a tiny handful of companies.

I'm not an app developer and was only idly interested in Hey when I first heard about it (I did sign up for the waitlist!), but the Twitter thread by DHH solidified my opinion that I no longer want Apple products to be my default. Next time I am replacing my phone and/or personal computer, I will not just reflexively visit the Apple website and buy newer versions of my current products. Signed, the lady who was running around her home in frustration yesterday because her stupid iPhone could only connect to one expensive pair of headphones and her stupid MacBook could only connect to a different expensive pair of headphones, neither of which she could immediately find.
posted by rogerroger at 4:55 PM on June 18 [10 favorites]

Hey seems like it does a lot of stuff I want from an email client, the lead guy really feels like a walking red flag to me though.
posted by lucidium at 4:58 PM on June 18 [4 favorites]

This has been a heck of a story to follow, given that the universal reaction from pretty much every single person to Apple's ruling has been "c'mon." I kind of agree with Gruber that if Dropbox and Netflix both get exceptions to the "have to be able to sign up in-app" rule, then the rule isn't about app categories, but about whether a company is large enough to be able to brute-force an exception.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:04 PM on June 18 [12 favorites]

Apple mobile devices are, quite simply, not a software development platform. They're a scheme to make mobile developers work and for Apple to get a piece of it for basically nothing.

Google's not that much better, but at least you can still install APKs on most Android phones if you want software that wasn't monetization-friendly enough for the Play Store.

Anyway screw Apple and their anticompetitive, after-market destroying, upgrade and expansion hating tax avoiding asses. And a hearty "f you" to Google as well for their many crimes.

Rant over.
posted by signsofrain at 5:07 PM on June 18 [16 favorites]

You can't tout the so-called 'benefits' of a walled garden over and over without also giving credit to the fact that giving the owner of said garden, who is by chance building said wall higher and higher, that much power isn't all flowers and lolipops.

Not that anyone cares but I'm moving away from the iPhone 7Plus whatever that was gifted to me and back to a Pixel 3XL thingy. I'm thrilled to be leaving Apple's garden after dipping my toes in and giving it a shot for almost a year. Google Fi's lack of all features enabled while on an iPhone was obviously part of my lack of joy but it was far from all of it.
posted by RolandOfEld at 5:17 PM on June 18 [4 favorites]

I used to be a champion for Apple but haven't used their products in a few years now* and shit like this is one of the main reasons -- that and their proprietary charging cable bullshit. Their laptops have some of the worst keyboards in the industry, the inability to customize an iPhone as you want it to be, and on and on. I just can't believe put up with their crap.

It feels like they used to have values when they were the little guy and threw them all out the window when they became one of the richest companies in the world, but maybe they were always assholes and I just was drunk on their Koolaid.

I really hope the governments regulate their bullshit.

* I still own an old Macbook Air, which I never use. An 11" from 2013 which was is an awesome machine and I still own an iPad because once every few months I need to run an app to update the firmware on my TextBlade, but when that device officially launches and gets its Android app going, I'll gladly ditch it.
posted by dobbs at 5:20 PM on June 18 [8 favorites]

> that device officially launches

Don't hold your breath. I ordered mine in 2016. It's a scam. They have no intention of ever shipping.
posted by dmd at 5:31 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]

I've always been an Apple fan, but they're just in the wrong here.

A couple of months ago, I wanted to watch a non-Prime movie on Amazon Prime, so I had to pay the rental fee. And of course Amazon wasn't going to pay Apple's spiff, so not only could I not just play it, Amazon could not just tell me how to make it playable. I know how this works though, so I fired up a web browser, logged into Amazon, paid for the rental, and then watched it on my Apple device. IIRC, a week or two later, Apple actually let Amazon start renting videos directly without paying the spiff, which was a surprising concession.

This is going in the opposite direction.
posted by adamrice at 5:32 PM on June 18 [6 favorites]

their proprietary charging cable bullshit.

This is the one thing that is pretty defensible from Apple. Every time Apple created a new charging cable, it's because the standards folks wouldn't get their shit together. USB 3 took FOREVER to finally come together, and in the meantime, phones needed more and more power while also transferring more and more data.

Notably, their phones don't have a proprietary wireless charging scheme. That's because that was actually standardized in a timely fashion!
posted by explosion at 5:33 PM on June 18 [12 favorites]

Had a big thing written out, but realized that we are supposed to be a wall of silence in public or whatever, so I'll just say "LOL" to all the "...and they don't even do anything.." comments in regards to App Store and leave it at that.

Oh and the WWDC keynote is at 10am Monday here, in case you want to see what the future is going to be like.
posted by sideshow at 5:36 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]

Notably, their phones don't have a proprietary wireless charging scheme. That's because that was actually standardized in a timely fashion!

That's actually because the EU threatened to make them.
posted by PMdixon at 5:37 PM on June 18 [9 favorites]

Gruber’s occasional criticism always rings kind of hollow to me. For all his ostensible criticism, has anything Apple ever done caused him to stop promoting Apple or, god forbid, actually stop buying Apple products? It sure doesn’t seem that way.
posted by mhoye at 6:15 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]

Honestly, if you're implying that the tech pundits who are heavy Apple users are doing so primarily because of some sort of ideological allegiance rather than because they find that, on balance, they prefer their products to those of competitors, I don't really know how to begin engaging in what feels such a pretty bad-faith conversation.

Like, you want to see people REALLY complain about Apple? Find heavy users of their stuff. They won't be shy.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:28 PM on June 18 [18 favorites]

Also, separately, I too have a TextBlade test unit, which I received several years ago now. I genuinely wonder at times whether they actually intend to ship one day, or if they're just going to keep on refining and adding new features here and there, forever. It won't be long before I can say that an entire presidential administration has happened between me receiving a TextBlade test unit and them actually shipping, if ever.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:31 PM on June 18

All you independent Mac developers: you’re all sharecroppers, and your rent just went up. Way up.

iOS is an incredible platform in a lot of ways but for many 30% has hurt from the start, along with the approval hurdles and search/visibility. There's aspects of security and curation that are clearly good for end users, but there's other policies that are much less so, and it's not even clear Apple does its best work in a position where they can collect vast rents on a popular platform.
posted by wildblueyonder at 6:31 PM on June 18 [5 favorites]

As a developer I’ve been fucked over by Apple for over a decade with undiscoverable apps, shifting apis, OS obsolescence and more. As far as I am concerned the only way to make money writing phone apps is to do it for hire. I’m bitter And angry about it.

All that said I will not use anyone else’s computing products for reasons I don’t need to reiterate for the dozenth time.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:54 PM on June 18 [4 favorites]

The condescension in the last section of the most recent follow-up is just so nauseating.

And yes, seanmpuckett - same boat re: using the products. It's a combination of infuriating and heartbreaking, it is.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:07 PM on June 18

in case you want to see what the future is going to be like.

LOL indeed. Future for you maybe, not me.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 7:32 PM on June 18 [5 favorites]

iOS is an incredible platform in a lot of ways but for many 30% has hurt from the start

30% is pretty standard the Industry (Google, Sony, Nintendo, etc all charge 30% rate) and way better than the pre-Apple days when it was 80%+ from the telecoms. Brick and mortar stores markups are also ridiculous high as it goes through all the middle men that take their cut. If you cannot afford a 30% markup, then I’m not sure your business plan is sound.

Yea that probably need to clarify the rules on viewer/not viewer better, but I don’t think Basecamp’s approach is going to work here.
posted by jmauro at 11:48 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]

The baseline for most indie OS X developers circa mid 2000s was more "we captured most of the revenue ourselves except for payment processing when we sold direct via the internet" than "30% is standard."

I recognize that there's a legit question of whether OS X is the best comparison or whether other handsets are the best comparison.
posted by wildblueyonder at 12:19 AM on June 19

I do think that one's view on the 30% really depends on context.

If you're a small app developer with no brand, no existing channels and no b2b market relationships then 30% looks pretty good for access to the world's largest market for paid apps. Compared to what the distributor + retailer margin used to be for paid software or telecom cut used to be for phone software it's not bad at all. That's especially true for cheap apps with little backend. If you're selling an app for $5, it might not seem so unreasonable if Apple charges $1.50 to sell and distribute it for you.

On the other hand, if you're the Basecamp team and you're used to receiving most of the revenue from what you sell, you have a compelling brand built over years and you're selling a premium product, that's a bit different. Is Apple doing $30 per app sale worth of work to clear, distribute, and sell Hey? That's a much harder case to make.

The reality is that Amazon and Netflix get to do this because of their market power. If people want to watch Netflix and it doesn't work on their Apple device, they will watch it elsewhere and that erodes the positioning of the Apple brand over time because it forces people to use other devices. If people want to use Hey and it doesn't work on iphones… they probably just won't use it.
posted by atrazine at 12:56 AM on June 19 [11 favorites]

I don't think the comparison with Google/Sony/Nintendo's 30% cut is that convincing. Google allows apps (but not games) to use their own in-app billing mechanisms, so Hey's model works fine there, and of course Android supports sideloading.

As for Sony and Nintendo, there's a world of difference – those are gaming consoles, whereas iOS is a general-purpose computing platform. No one needs to use a console, but for literally hundreds of millions of people, it's the computer they spend the majority of their time with, or it's even their only computer. There are now entire industries that operate significant parts of their business via apps and to have a single company – or two companies – able to dictate terms is incredibly damaging and the entire point of antitrust.
posted by adrianhon at 1:07 AM on June 19 [11 favorites]

Gaming consoles tend to offer more of a service on their store than Apple do - from what I understand, they do their own QA pass, and there's more of an effort to promote than Apple offer.

On PC, there's currently a price war going on as Epic (they of Fortnite) started up their own store with a much smaller cut to try and force the cut of monopoly Steam down. Steam offer a host of additional features to developers - for a 30% cut.

Apple don't do enough to justify that cut, and I'm not surprised that they doubled down on their lack of service with deep, deep condescension. Of the big tech companies, I want Facebook to die first, but I'd enjoy Apple's death most.
posted by Merus at 1:43 AM on June 19 [8 favorites]

As an example, if you use the HumbleBundle widget to sell your app/game from your own webpage, they handle hosting your data & all the payment infrastructure for a 5% cut.

However, if you list your game on the HumbleBundle store & they make a sale there, they keep 25% of the revenue.

That’s the difference being able to bring a customer to make a sale makes - 20+% of revenue in the gaming world. (Steam charges 30% at the low end, but brings a host of other benefits including the ability to sell Steam keys elsewhere without taking a cut of that revenue.)

Apple is effectively claiming 25% of customer value for all of Hey’s customers, as if they were the ones driving all of Hey’s sales. BaseCamp (rightfully IMO) feels that this is grossly unfair: they have spent a long time building their brand and their customer base.

As atrazine says, for a small outfit with no real marketing reach, that 30% might be OK. It’s not OK to gatekeep access to your platform & charge 30% for the privilege of being a sharecropper.

See also: Microsoft Says Antitrust Bodies Need to Review Apple App Store. (oh, the irony)
posted by pharm at 4:08 AM on June 19 [10 favorites]

I'm an Apple fan. Pretty much my whole computing ecosystem is Apple-based, and for good reason. But this decision is just wrong.

However, having a desirable segment of the market is not the same as having a monopoly. I see, in other spaces, lots of (generally, I assume, younger) people trying to compare Apple's behavior here (or on other fronts w/r/t the iOS walled garden) to Microsoft's in the consent decree era, and it's just a silly comparison. Microsoft *owned* computing at that point. Apple is a minority player in a much, much larger market where mobile is concerned. It's not applicable. They're not a monopoly. They can act as they please within their garden.

But what they're doing here makes them look capricious and absurd, and it damages the enormous amount of goodwill that Apple has spent decades building. They should be ashamed of themselves, apologize, and reverse their position.
proprietary charging cable
Every time Apple comes up, this comes up. It's never seemed especially defensible to me as a complaint. I don't think there was a viable option for them other than priorietary when the iPod was introduced. My understanding is that the shift to Lightning instead of something open was defensible on similar grounds (for one thing, Lightning is flippable, unlike microUSB).

I had WAY more trouble getting cables for an Olympus camera I had that used a goofball and rare USB end that was, I'm told, still technically part of the standard, so being "open" doesn't mean "easy to get."

Now, it sure LOOKS like they're moving towards USB-C, since the top-end iOS devices use that today instead of Lightning.

(Dobbs, you mention your Textblade here periodically. I would not want anyone else to think that TextBlade is ever going to ship. They've been holding peoples' money for YEARS. It's not going to happen. They are a scam. They probably always were. Giving them positive attention is not a good thing to do.)
posted by uberchet at 9:31 AM on June 19

Meanwhile Apple Music on Android requires its own payment details to avoid Google 30% cut.

So they are arguing that it's OK for Apple to do this, but wrong for anyone else.
posted by Lanark at 9:38 AM on June 19 [7 favorites]

No one needs to use a console, but for literally hundreds of millions of people, it's the computer they spend the majority of their time with, or it's even their only computer.

Nobody needs to use this email app, either. The primary reason these practices from Apple are questionable is their effect on developers, not consumers.
posted by atoxyl at 10:15 AM on June 19

I think they should add a free tier, which is what Apple says they want in order to get the exemption. The free tier should only allow you to send email to one address, Phil Schiller's.
posted by jenkinsEar at 11:56 AM on June 19 [4 favorites]

Hey seems like it does a lot of stuff I want from an email client, the lead guy really feels like a walking red flag to me though.

Could you elaborate? (asking because I don't know)

posted by trig at 1:34 PM on June 19

Wrong. And the 30% debate is kind of a red herring. Here’s an illuminating response from Basecamp CEO Jason Fried on how Apple’s model affects customers.

I'm not sure I'm convinced by the argument he's making here. It sucks that Apple is placing a ceiling on your fantastic customer experience but they also provide a floor for everybody else's. I'm sure Apple would argue that this

Does the world’s largest company really get to decide how millions of other businesses can interact with their own customers?

is a feature and while this is self-serving I don't think they're always wrong about that.

On the other hand, if I didn't make it clear, I am very sympathetic to the issues from the standpoint of independent developers being able to succeed. And while I'm not sure strict control of the platform is all bad for the end user, discouraging people from developing for it in the first place certainly is.

It's also worth noting that Apple rather infamously sabotaged themselves in the past by being unfriendly to devs. They seem to think they now have enough leverage to get away with it but I wouldn't bet on that working forever.
posted by atoxyl at 4:26 PM on June 19 [3 favorites]

yeah, I'm approximately 1 million times more likely to subscribe to things when they go through Apple and I know it won't be a huge pain in the ass to cancel and I'm not going to get screwed over.

But I don't see why we shouldn't have the choice.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:08 PM on June 19 [3 favorites]

App stores need to be regulated and taxed like utilities. I don’t deny that Apple adds a value and by forcing apps to provide a unified purchasing experience there is value; but I don’t think it is reasonable for them to be able to take 30% for the service and I think it’s crazy that these goods are free of various local sales taxes. I also think we should not allow these companies to be the sole curators and enforcers of their random rules.
posted by interogative mood at 5:41 PM on June 19

All app stores? Good lord, that’s absurd.

What you suggest is possibly defensible in a monopoly situation, but only then. If you don’t like Apple’s terms, you’re free to go elsewhere.
posted by uberchet at 9:32 PM on June 19

If you don’t like Apple’s terms, you’re free to go elsewhere.

This is nigh indistinguishable from trolling.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:39 PM on June 19 [9 favorites]

Feel free to go see the literal federal cases about Apple's terms, in progress on at least two continents, for why.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:40 PM on June 19 [4 favorites]

I'm pretty sure that Hey could also be on the store if they made themselves a reader app, by which they mean, you could use it with any POP or IMAP email. I think that's a reasonable requirement and Hey should do that. Keep some things subscription-only — the hey address, maybe the spy pixel blocking — make an app that drives more people to you and tell Apple to fuck themselves.

Also DHH, one of the leads, is a weirdly interesting tale of a dude who was kinda a jackass slowly becoming woke and it is fascinating and actually pretty respectable.
posted by dame at 3:31 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]

I'm not as sure it's a reasonable requirement to provide a free product to people who are not your customers, who you're on the hook for supporting. I'm going to guess a lot of Hey's features are things that only work because it's a proprietary protocol, kind of like how booking meeting rooms on Exchange servers doesn't really work in anything but Outlook.
posted by Merus at 5:00 AM on June 20 [4 favorites]

Yeah frankly I think the idea that all software/all mobile software should have a free version is one of the reasons browsers are OSes optimized for adware. No one says that about any other category of product. It's OK for there to be software in the world that needs enough use of someone else's servers for a subscription model to be necessary without carving off some loss leader you think will manage to not cannibalize the thing you care about. Why do people think that whether Hey has a free tier or not is relevant here?
posted by PMdixon at 5:59 AM on June 20 [5 favorites]

An interesting part of this tale is the upswelling of discontented voices including: this.

I like some Apple products & struggle with others. I'm tying this one an iPad I carry as my preferred every-day-computing device. I used to write software for a living, now I do so to facilitate the role I currently fill. I would love to write native software on this device for this device but, well, it's not really a pleasant platform to develop for.

When I do pull out a dust Mac and fire up Xcode I'm met with:
  • incomplete documentation
  • poor road maps for API development, so who knows which API I should use, still works, got bug fixes, isn't slated for deprecation in the next os release
  • philosophical limitations in linkable libraries and frameworks; so much could be distributed but won't be because the platform vendor (Apple) doesn't want it to be
None of this is unique to Apple; mobile development sits at a crossroads. Sometime in the future I think historians will look back at the last decade-ish "moment" and recognize the transition where computers truly became accessible to the Many. For sure - not to the All, but certainly the first moment in history where software publishing could have been many-to-many instead of few-to-many. And it isn't being realized because the key facilitating technologies are hardware (cheap-ish portable reliable pocketable computing devices) and not software at all.

The hardware production market has massive barriers to entry. That's something that projects like the raspberry pi foundation are trying to address. But currently the hurdles required to produce, distribute and support mass-market hardware are immense. This limits the number of platform providers.

The available markets for selling software are limited by both developer and consumer access to platforms. Software shouldn't have to be sold but it shouldn't have to be free either. I don't want to have my contractor friend to have to charge me market rates to help me out with a neighbourly favour any more than they want me to be required to charge them market rates to troubleshoot a troublesome query that's holding up printing this month's invoices.

If we choose to exchange services that's great - neither party should be penalized by a monopoly or duopoly for having evaded a rent seeking tariff. And that's not even touching the issues of transparency or uneven enforcement.

When I go to the airport which (until recently obviously) happened pretty regularly I know to expect that this (mentioned above) iPad is going to cause me trouble. If I leave it in my carryon I will be told to take it out, if I take it out I will be told that I don't have to do that with the insulation that I am taking too long and holding up the line. This is annoying but it's not exactly dangerous because of it's annoying predictability. The stakes are low and the outcomes known.

The Apple App Store issues at hand are more akin to being told that I personally can't event get inside the airport today because I took an Uber to the airport instead of a taxi. Yes my airport isn't fond of Uber and my regional government isn't found of Uber and yes I can see that there are arguable issues with Uber... but it wasn't a problem yesterday or the day before and you didn't tell anyone that Rule interpretation was changing, nor did you enforce it for every traveller. And no, pointing out some clause that grandfathers in certain travellers no matter how they choose to travel isn't the same as good governance dear Airport Authority. Nor, Dear Reader, does pointing out that I could choose to take a bus or a train or a boat instead of going to the airport.

To steer this painfully overladen metaphors back to the beginning of my comment; the particularly interesting part of this debacle is that developers who have so much to lose are speaking up. In the Airport Authority context the airlines and vendors and unions and transport companies are starting to say, effectively, "we pay you rent, we facilitate your business, without us your platform as an airport is suspect at best. You can't take from all sides and come out on top forever. Even if this is industry standard behaviour for all of your competitions leaving us with no alternatives." Hence, See you in Court Apple. Make that multiple courts.

Tag line; market barriers mean that the ideals of free markets aren't ever realized. This is why, among other things, regulation is a facilitating public good (not an impediment to commerce) and the market for governance shouldn't be supplied by a monopoly. If the Invisible Hand is all you've got (instead of an important part of an ecosystem of leadership, governance and oversight) you're gonna get punch in the face and you won't even see it coming. If you want to choose how to be regulated then don't aim to accumulate more wealth & purchasing power than any entity in the history of ever. Apple is the subject topic today but the principle applies universally.

See also: "If consolidation is good for healthcare providers because the benefits of economies of scale should trickle down to the populace then the ultimate end game ought to be a single payer system" and "Self regulation is a good thing for individuals, but in larger systems it's more aptly called Regulatory Capture Regardless of the order-of-operations"
posted by mce at 9:42 AM on June 20 [4 favorites]

John Siracusa weighs in:
Apple has never given up on its dream of an App Store filled with great apps that make everyone happy and make lots of money for both Apple and developers.

Today, Apple’s stance seems to be that if they just hold the line on a few key provisions of the App Store rules, companies will build their business models around Apple's revenue cut in the same way companies built their business models around the costs of brick-and-mortar retail in the pre-Internet days. Apple seems to firmly believe that its ambitious goal state can be achieved with something close to the current set of App Store rules.

This belief is not supported by the evidence. Years of history has shown that Apple is getting further away from its goal, not closer. Witness Netflix abandoning in-app purchase, Apple having to strike a special deal with Amazon, and all the apps skirting the existing rules as best they can, to the detriment of the user experience and both Apple’s and developers’ revenue. And this is before even considering the customer support situation, which has always been dire, or the existence of businesses like ebook sales that will never have an extra 30% handy to give to Apple.
posted by adrianhon at 9:55 AM on June 20 [7 favorites]

We don't really know why some companies get exemptions.

It just as well may be that the CEOs are pals and not just any schmuck is welcome to join the boys club. The motive in keeping the small players small is certainly there, as is doing all they can to slow down growing EU and Asia based competitors.
posted by romanb at 10:12 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]

> Could you elaborate? (asking because I don't know)

He's probably a lovely fellow, and it's just my knee jerk response, but there's a certain surety of opinion in his posts that I've read that signals an incoming rage meltdown to me.
posted by lucidium at 11:46 AM on June 20

It's okay to say you just don't like someone. You don't need to justify by pretending to be able to predict the future of someone's mental health state.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:05 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]

I don't think it is okay to just not like someone based on a brief reading of their internet posts, and I apologise for not making that clearer.
posted by lucidium at 5:16 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]

Apple has now approved the Hey app after all, and Jason Fried says the next update will include an option to create a randomized free email address that disappears after 14 days.
posted by theodolite at 7:23 AM on June 22

I'm glad Hey now has a future on the App Store – it's better than not existing at all, but the whole episode has been absurd.
This new version introduces a new free option for the iOS app. Now users can sign up directly in-app for a free, temporary, randomized @hey.com email address that works for 14 days. Think of it like a temporary SIM card you buy when traveling. Or for when you don’t want to give out your real email address, like a short term “for sale” listing, like Craigslist does it.
This, in particular, is just ridiculous. A whole new feature, designed and developed in haste over a weekend, simply to satisfy Apple. But then we've had to do that ourselves in our own apps, and no doubt thousands of other devs have their own stories.
posted by adrianhon at 7:33 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]

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