Apple’s idiosyncratic nature meant that entire categories of applications, like emulators
, were banned from its stores, but on top of that, developers had no way to get around the cut because Apple had implemented rules that prevented “steering,” meaning that developers didn’t even have control of their own signup process in Apple’s world.
(It was only slightly better in Google’s.)
But cracks have been showing in this model over the last year, thanks in large part to Epic Games’ suit
over the matter, and finally
—finally!—we’re starting to see some of those cracks break as Apple tries to save face.
comes as a result of a settlement with small-scale developers that agreed to maintain the smaller size of the cut Apple takes, requires Apple to maintain an objective search function, and gives app developers a way to contact users outside of the app to discuss payment options. It was a much smaller settlement than Apple let on, but it was a settlement nonetheless.
The second, announced last night, is a bigger deal, honestly: In an effort to get a Japanese regulator off its back, Apple has agreed
to allow developers of “reader” apps—which in this context could be basically any software-as-a-service app intended for content consumption, like Netflix or Spotify—to link outward to a webpage to manage their accounts, which would conceivably allow Spotify
to create a website where a user could set up an account and pay for Spotify without giving Apple a 30 percent cut.