Apps and Games

Users will be warned before deleting an app with a subscription on iOS 13

Great move from Apple

Apple will warn users that they have an active subscription before allowing them to delete an app, according to developers with access to the iOS 13 beta, with the second version launching yesterday (June 17).

In the new version of the operating system, Apple displays a new warning screen when users try to delete an app on their iPhone or iPad with an activate subscription, designed to put an end to “surprise” monthly fees from apps that tie users into a monthly contract.

The new pop-up requires users to either ‘Keep’ the app, or ‘Manage Subscription’ so that they can cancel their current in-app subscription before they go ahead and delete the app.

“Do you want to keep your subscription for this app?” reads the alert in the new iOS 13 warning window. “Your subscription to [APP] can still be used on other devices. It will automatically renew on [DATE] unless canceled at least a day before.”

It’s expected that the new pop-up will help to curb billing issues and unexpected charges that many iOS and iPadOS users face – bearing in mind that Apple makes it hard for people to easily manage their subscriptions, with many having to jump through hoops to access their Apple ID and subscriptions.

Some had hoped that Apple would overhaul this part of the system with iOS 13, but friction makes it harder for consumers to unsubscribe or cancel their in-app purchases, and therefore Apple gets to hold on to additional subscription revenue.

Apple has, however, made some significant changes to the App Store in recent years, and as well as pushing developers to subscriptions rather than one-off purchases, the company has been trying to combat problems with its current App Store fee structure, which has been heavily criticized in the past.

For example, Apple introduced new rules earlier in the year to prevent developers from tricking users into signing up for an in-app subscription – developers must now make it clear what users get in a free trial when they’ll have to pay, and how much they’ll be charged.

Are you looking forward to seeing these changes in iOS 13? Do you have an App Store horror story? Subscribe to an app that renewed without your knowledge? Let us know on Twitter @AppleMagazine, and check back soon for more Apple news, every weekday.

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