Apple is fixing a big subscription billing frustration on your iPhone
No more diving into the Settings app.
Apple has issued a note to developers to explain a new feature that will make it easier for people to deal with App Store payment issues without having to delve into the Settings app to do it.
Currently, people who have a billing problem when making a subscription payment are left with no option but to go and find the issue and fix it themselves in the Settings app. That's all changing so long as those people are using iOS 16.4 or iPadOS 16.4 or later.
Apple also says that there is no need for app developers to do anything to implement the change.
Apple shared details of the tweak in a post to its developer website, saying that people will soon be able to fix their own billing issues right from within the affected app.
"Soon it will be easier than ever for your customers to resolve payment issues, so they can stay subscribed to your content, services, and premium features," Apple says. "Starting this summer, if an auto-renewable subscription doesn’t renew due to a billing issue, a system-provided sheet appears in your app with a prompt that lets customers update their payment method for their Apple ID."
Right now the same payment fix involves opening the Settings app and spelunking through the Apple ID section.
The iOS 16.4 and iPadOS 16.4 updates are already available for download — iOS 16.4.1 and iPadOS 16.4.1 are the latest available at the time of writing — so developers can be relatively sure that this mechanism will be available to their users.
The feature will of course also be part of the iOS 17 update that is expected to be announced at WWDC23 in June. That's the software that will power Apple's best iPhone of the year, the iPhone 15 Pro, as well as the rest of the iPhone 15 lineup when it goes on sale this fall.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.