Apple has made significant changes to how apps on its mobile OSes work. Netflix is now taking users to an external page to sign-up.
Thanks to Apple’s change of stance regarding external links within “reader” apps on the iPhone and iPad, Netflix can now direct users to a sign-up page online.
While the change may appear minute, it is a major change to how Apple had forced apps to behave on its platform. Previously, users must go to Netflix’s webpage to sign up, after which they could access the app. Apple implemented the limitation to guard against app developers by-passing its strict commission on revenue passing through the App Store, which could be up to 30 percent.
However, the setup steps were awkward as new users expected to create an account through the Netflix app.
As reported by 9to5Mac, iPhone and iPad users will now find an external link inside the app which will take them to Netflix’s webpage where they can sign up. This means it is still not possible to sign up for the video streaming service from within the app.
When users click on the external link in the Netflix app, they will see a message informing them that they are about to leave the app and will land on an external website. Apple also takes the time to warn users that any transactions made outside the app have nothing to do with the company. The message reads:
“Any accounts or purchases made outside of this app will be managed by the developer “Netflix.” Your App Store account, stored payment methods, and related features, such as subscription management and refund requests, will not be available. Apple is not responsible for the privacy or security of transactions made with this developer.”
The sign-up page that Netflix takes users to allows them to enter their details, input their payment details, and select a subscription plan.
While the changes are already live in the app, Netflix’s support webpage still says users cannot sign up through the app. But the pages should be updated soon.
Apple may have relaxed some of its App Store rules, but it still has some strict instructions on how the app works. For example, developers cannot mention pricing information when linking to an external page. App makers also have to ask for an “entitlement” before being granted permission to include external links.
The Cupertino giant continues to face criticism for its tight grip on the App Store. Most developers are forced to use Apple’s payment system, which means forking over up to 30 percent of their revenue to the company. However, several nations are fighting this business model. For example, South Korea has mandated Apple to let apps process payments through third-party companies in the country. Similarly, the Netherlands has forced Apple to change the rules for dating apps within the country. The authorities slapped a weekly fine on Apple for as long as it defaulted.
There is more pressure on Apple regarding giving developers more freedom from the EU, which has proposed the Digital Markets Act (DMA) to prevent big tech companies from stifling competition from smaller ones. Google is already ahead of Apple, allowing developers to use independent payment options within Europe.