According to a new report from TechCrunch, the App Store is seeing an increase in apps that use “sneaky subscriptions,” taking advantage of the popularity of the subscription-based revenue model.
The report notes that several developers are using tactics to trick users into agreeing to App Store subscription pricing. For example, Weather Alarms used a “dark pattern” to trick users into agreeing to a free trial which is later upgraded to $20 per months. Apple removed this app from the App Store over the weekend.
This dark pattern is the best (stolen from full screen ads). The (x) close button animates in after a few seconds so that people don’t see they have a way to get off the page. Watch the upper left of the subscription page: pic.twitter.com/DaRJPvdu5Q
— David Barnard (@drbarnard) April 17, 2018
Most of these traps can be avoided by customers if they are more careful about reading the fine print. These apps continue to degrade the quality of the App Store, which ultimately hurts Apple.
What do you think of these sneaky subscription tactics that are used by developers? Let us know in the comments below!