Today, a newly formed group of independent developers has published an open letter to Apple asking that the company make a few changes to its policies — specifically in regards to free app trials and the revenue said developers receive from each app.
The group, dubbed The Developers Union, is currently being led by four individuals with backgrounds in general tech, app development, and programming: Brent Simmons, creator of apps like Vesper and MarsEdit; Jake Schumacher, director of App: The Human Story; Loren Morris, product designer and founder of Built in Boise; and Roger Ogden, software developer and blogger. In the letter they expressed how difficult it is to earn a reasonable living creating software due to Apple's current policies, and requested that the company alter its App Store protocol in order to help remedy this situation:
Today, we are asking Apple to commit to allowing free trials for all apps in the App Stores by the tenth anniversary of the App Store this July. After that, we'll start advocating for a more reasonable revenue cut and other community-driven, developer-friendly changes.
Historically, Apple has allowed free trials of some subscription-based apps like HBO Now. However, apps that only require a one-time purchase don't get the same opportunity, which could potentially cause interested consumers to hold off on buying an app they may have otherwise really loved (which, in turn, hurts developers). As for Apple's revenue sharing policies, Apple currently takes 30 percent of the money made from most apps, while other companies such as Microsoft are altering their systems so that developers get up to 95 percent of the revenue.
Though the union has yet to come up with a concrete bargaining strategy or any sort of membership arrangement involving voting or dues (they call themselves a "non-union union" in their FAQ), they are hoping to amass 20,000 members by Apple's WWDC conference in June according to Wired.
Apple has not spoken out regarding this story as of its publishing. However, feel free to keep an eye out here for updates. You can also follow The Developer's Union on Twitter.
Do you support The Developers Union, or do you think Apple's policies are fair? Share your opinion in the comments.
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