More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder

App Rules Are Twisted to Absurdity

By Shira Ovide, New York Times, Tech
June 23, 2022

It’s not just you — what you can buy on your phone makes less and less sense.

Apps have become a huge economy, but the rules that govern them are nearly impossible to understand.

Apple and Google have twisted their decade-old rules for their app stores like a pretzel to the point where they may no longer make sense. This has made buying digital stuff in apps convoluted as heck.

One example: In theory, although not yet in reality, you can use your Amazon account to buy an e-book from Kindle’s iPhone app. You cannot buy an e-book in the Android version of the app. Until recently, Kindle purchases were effectively a no-go under Apple’s rules but fine under Google’s. Now it’s the opposite.

Confusing? Yep. Apple and Google have written long, complicated guidelines for apps and have frequently revised those rules to protect their own interests. (I’ve noted before that Apple’s app rules are much longer than the United States Constitution.)

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