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TinyGrab declines to sell subscriptions through the App Store


Add another name to the list of developers who are choosing to opt-out of Apple's subscription restrictions lately. Rhapsody and Readability were the first two we posted about, although Readability didn't so much opt-out as get rejected and decide not to play the subscription game. Now, a service called TinyGrab has posted that it won't be developing for the App Store because of "Apple's new greedy model." The company says that it was looking forward to providing its premium subscription-based file sharing service through the iOS and Mac App Store platforms, but Apple's restrictions on sharing user data and accounts that expire after a certain time are untenable for their business. The company is willing to pay the 30 percent cut, but unwilling to deal with Apple's terms that disallow any paid upgrades or features added to the app via outside subscriptions.

The company still plans to develop for the Mac and, in fact, is about to release a new version of its software this week. But TinyGrab says that Apple has effectively "locked us out" of the App Stores by asking far too much in terms of the restrictions.

Granted, none of these companies publicly fighting the restrictions are all that big, and we've already heard of plenty of companies who feel the rules are perfectly reasonable (and indeed, have already started making subscriptions available). Despite TinyGrab's objections, Apple is completely within its rights to make these requirements as long as they don't violate any antitrust laws. Still, there's definitely a growing number of developers unhappy with the deal they're being offered on in-app subscription purchases. Perhaps if Apple lowered the percent cut for services that happen to have content as a functional component of the service (as opposed to pure content plays like Kindle, Netflix, PopSci, The Daily, etc.) they would be more amenable to Apple's terms? TinyGrab will, at least, still be available as a standalone Mac application.

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