ASO news digest for August 2022
Taxes and prices in the App Store were increased in Ghana and Turkey. Google introduced the option to monitor deep links in one place on the new Play Console Page. The company also invited developers to participate in the Strike Removal pilot program for Android app devs.
1. Taxes and prices in the App Store were increased in Ghana and Turkey
2. French iOS developers filed an antitrust suit against Apple fees in the App Store
3. Google added the option to monitor deep links in one place on the new Play Console Page
4. Google now allows the use of third-party billing systems for the Russian audience
5. Google Play invites developers to participate in the Strike Removal pilot program for Android app devs
6. Google Play subscription policy update effective from September 30
App Store news
Taxes and prices in the App Store were increased in Ghana and Turkey
On August 19, Apple announced that from the following week prices of apps and in-app purchases (excluding auto-renewable subscriptions) will be increased in Ghana and Turkey.
In Ghana, there is a new value-added tax of 12.5% and a surcharge of 6%, and increased prices include this growth.
Furthermore, proceeds for e-publications in Estonia have been changed because of the value-added tax decrease from 9% to 5% for those who have selected the appropriate tax category in App Store Connect.
Your proceeds will be adjusted accordingly and will be calculated based on the tax-exclusive price.
French iOS developers filed an antitrust suit against Apple fees in the App Store
A group of French developers accused Apple of anti-competitive practices that give the company a monopoly on distributing their apps through only the App Store for iOS devices and the power to make developers pay high commissions for purchases in the apps.
In the complaint, it is said that a “supracompetitive” 30% commission, as well as Apple’s developer program fees of $99, reduces developers’ income while stifling innovation and consumer choice.
Developers are still not allowed to offer alternative payment methods according to Apple App Store rules, and they can’t distribute their apps to users outside the App Store, while on Mac, Apple is allowed to do it.
There are several French developers involved in this suit: Société du Figaro, developers of news apps Figaro, L’Équipe 24/24, developer of sports news and streaming app L’Équipe, le GESTE, a French association comprised of France-based publishers of online content and services, including iOS app developers.
This case is being handled by an American firm, Hagens Berman, that won the case against Apple of $100 million over App Store policies and recently filed a $1 billion suit against Apple over antitrust issues with Apple Pay.
Google Play news
Google added the option to monitor deep links in one place on the new Play Console Page
Google made it easier to monitor and solve problems with deep links with a new Play Console page.
You can see all information and tools that can help you to find link-related issues at a glance. With a new deep link page, you can check a short description of all problems with the links and steps that you can take for solving them.
This page shows all the web domains on the page from which your app is configured to accept traffic and information about the user experience in these domains. If user experience can be improved, you will see instructions on how to solve problems with code snippets.
New pages with links also offer a full run-down of your deep links app configuration, which lists all information about intent filters and sources they are configured to attract traffic from. You can see if each line item is constructed correctly and, if not, receive instructions on how to change it.
Google also stated that in the next release, scheduled for later this year, there will also be important URL links of websites that are not yet configured as deep links.
Google now allows the use of third-party billing systems for the Russian audience
Since March 10, Russian users have not been able to pay for apps or subscriptions — or purchase digital goods on Google Play.
As of August 2, 2022, the provisions of the Payment policy requiring the use of Google Play’s billing system do not apply to developers of Play-distributed apps requiring or accepting payments from users in Russia at this time.
This means developers will now be able to use third-party billing systems to receive payments for in-app purchases and subscriptions from Russian users. However, the company still blocks downloads and updates of paid apps in Russia and Belarus.
Google recommends checking this page for up-to-date information as the situation unfolds.
Google Play invites developers to participate in the Strike Removal pilot program for Android app devs
A new Pilot Program allows certain developers who received a suspension action against their app to take a training course and assessment focused on the policy their app violated. After taking the course, they could have the strike count against their account waived.
Successfully completing these training courses and passing the assessment will help to reduce the possibility of deleting the developer’s account due to multiple violations of the Google Play Developer Program Policies and Developer Distribution Agreement.
Developers who have a strike against their account and are eligible to participate in the program will receive an email. They will be notified that they have the opportunity to participate in the Google Play Strike Removal program and potentially cancel the strike count. They can waive the strikes mentioned in emails.
Furthermore, if the developer receives an additional suspension within 24 hours of the eligible strike, these strikes can be waived as well if the training course is successfully completed.
If the developer passes the course successfully, the app’s strike count will be waived. But the developer’s account should be in good standing and not be terminated. It may take up to 48 hours for the strike count to be waived.
Read more information about the Program on Play Console Help.
Google Play subscription policy update effective from September 30
From September 30, updates on subscriptions in Google Play will come into effect. According to this update, if you sell your subscriptions in apps, you need to ensure that your app clearly shows how the user can manage their subscription and cancel it. You also need to include access to user-friendly online methods for canceling subscriptions in your app.
You can satisfy this requirement by including a link to Google Play’s Subscription Center (for apps that use Google Play’s billing system); and/or direct access to your cancellation process.
You are responsible for notifying users of any updates to your subscription, rules of canceling and refunding, and ensuring that these rules are consistent with the relevant laws.
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