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ianwuk

How does this app use subscriptions within iOS?

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Hello.

 

As part of a case study for my company and I am looking in to iOS programming and implementing subscriptions. I want to know (because no Apple documentation tells me how) how it is possible for programs such as Geocaching to exist on the App Store and offer subscriptions both in-app and on their website when it goes against the supposed App Store guidelines?

 

I have found no documentation that tells me how to implement subscriptions for an app store app using your own server as I want it to work the same way that Geocaching does (download the app for free and can then sign up in-app and log in and purchase a subscription and get taken to an external site to process payment for the subscription or can purchase subscription from website and that syncs in app when logged in) so if any developers of Geocaching are on these forums then I would love to ask you a few questions if I may.

 

Furthermore, how is it possible to offer non-recurring subscriptions in-app but auto-renewable ones from your website? This is confusing me too. Basically my company has its own license server and we basically want to create an app for the app store that uses the same kind of subscription technologies as Geocaching (currently this is the only app that matches what we want) so if anyone knows of any relevant documentation to assist then that would be great.

 

Again, I apologise for the somewhat strange question.

 

Thanks again.

 

Ian

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Hi Ian,

 

I'm the mobile development manager for the Geocaching apps, and hopefully I can answer your question. It isn't terribly on-topic for this forum, but perhaps others are curious.

 

Apple has quite a few rules around offering in-app purchase, and they can be a little confusing. The fundamental rule is that you must use Apple's in-app purchase services to offer any sort of subscription or purchase of non-physical goods, which is what we do. When you purchase a subscription within any of our apps, you use your iTunes account and Apple charges you. They then pay us (after taking their cut, of course). You are free to offer purchases on your web site or through any other means, but there must be no way for someone to get to that ability within the app.

 

To use geocaching.com as an example, we offer the ability to purchase a subscription on our website. Since you can get to that ability from the Geocaching.com home page we cannot, for example, display the geocaching.com home page within our apps.

 

As far as renewing/non-renewing subscriptions, Apple has rules about what is allowed to be a renewing subscription. Basically, they have to be periodicals, "business apps", or media apps. So we cannot offer auto-renewing subscriptions within our apps.

 

If you have any further questions, feel free to private message me.

 

Thanks,

Casey

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Thank you so much Casey.

 

I have sent you a PM with more questions.

 

Thanks again - Ian

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Greetings Casey! I'm piggy-backing on your response to Ian with a related question (I, too, had wondered about that question!) I purchased the iPhone app a couple years ago and am getting ready to switch to an android phone. Will I need to repurchase the app for the new platform, or will my previous purchase carry over? Thank you!

 

~Christine

 

 

Hi Ian,

 

I'm the mobile development manager for the Geocaching apps, and hopefully I can answer your question. It isn't terribly on-topic for this forum, but perhaps others are curious.

 

Apple has quite a few rules around offering in-app purchase, and they can be a little confusing. The fundamental rule is that you must use Apple's in-app purchase services to offer any sort of subscription or purchase of non-physical goods, which is what we do. When you purchase a subscription within any of our apps, you use your iTunes account and Apple charges you. They then pay us (after taking their cut, of course). You are free to offer purchases on your web site or through any other means, but there must be no way for someone to get to that ability within the app.

 

To use geocaching.com as an example, we offer the ability to purchase a subscription on our website. Since you can get to that ability from the Geocaching.com home page we cannot, for example, display the geocaching.com home page within our apps.

 

As far as renewing/non-renewing subscriptions, Apple has rules about what is allowed to be a renewing subscription. Basically, they have to be periodicals, "business apps", or media apps. So we cannot offer auto-renewing subscriptions within our apps.

 

If you have any further questions, feel free to private message me.

 

Thanks,

Casey

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The Android app would be a separate purchase. If you have any questions please start a new thread, as this one is about the technical features of offering in-app purchases, etc.

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