Simon Said, Now Apple Says…
It was only a matter of time before Apple, “the Mafia of the App World,” would change their policies once again. Up until this past year all Apps created (what Apple considers “Mass Produced” or “Templated Apps”) for Businesses by an Organization, like us at AMG, could be built under the actual Apple Developer Account of the App Developer. That was a mouthful. Since the dawn of apps this was the norm and really helped streamline the process for us and our clients, keeping them less involved. But Apple “wants clients more involved.”
There was a brief moment in the beginning of 2018 where Apple said they were not going to allow “Templated” Apps in there App Stores any longer which in essence was going to shut down hundreds of App companies doing this very same thing for thousands of businesses. Bigger companies than us like MIND & BODY (Booking), CHOW NOW (Food Ordering), MOBILE ROADIE (Music Apps) have designed their app business side of things around these “Templated Apps”. As a result of Apple’s Policy changes these companies have had to suddenly change their business model and no longer offer these types of apps to there customers. For example MIND & BODY now has one app with all of their clients in it as Apple advised them to, so it is more like a Rolodex which doesn’t really help give any one business a competitive advantage over the other, who wants that? If the client wants to try someone else they can see in the very same app the competition down the road great for the consumer bad for the business. While other App builders had to shut down there businesses overnight, we found a solution that Apple approved of which allowed us to carry on providing great apps to businesses with one minor stipulation…
“All pre-existing Apps would need to be moved to their own Developer Accounts if we wanted to update their code AND ALL NEW APPS would need to each have their own Apple Developer Accounts.”
I should also add they wanted apps to look more dynamic, which we already do graphically so that was never an issue with us.
Of course, while I don’t agree with the title “Templated” as we pride ourselves in strong brand imagery and unique features to enhance the business, apps like we make are no different than websites built on platforms such as Wordpress, Squarespace and Wix. The R&D has already been done to build these features or plugins which drives down the cost and we simply put them together like legos and create an incredible USEFUL and ENGAGING tool that helps the businesses grow. The “Web World” was never complaining about these “Templated Websites” but somehow the app world has different standards according to Apple? We are not buying that and most are not either. By the way Google (Android) has never once complained about this practice, they seem more focused on important things like copyright protection! For example, I once had Google reject an app, Hoopology, because there was a gallery photo of Kobe Bryant with the Coach whose app it was and of course he had permission to use it, it was from his phone. As for Apple it only goes to show you how much control they have over the App World and we can't do anything about it but play the game, as Simon once “said,” now Apple “says.” Sounds like a monopoly to me… but hey, we love our apps and so the show must go on! So go on we will together!
We lose Our Branding
I would like to point out the additional bummer for a company like ours is that our name will no longer be listed as the App Developer in the App Store. Instead it will of course show the App Owners “Entity Name,” great for that business, bad for ours. Often that is how we get discovered as the listed App Developer or it even can be perceived as bragging rights for making these awesome apps. As a brand we take tremendous pride in our work and our relationships for that matter with each and every client we work with and having our name listed means a lot. Right now if you typed in Applified Marketing Group in the App Store you would see EVERY APP we have made to date until they all get transferred. The more apps that appear the more validation of your work and more successful or popular you may be viewed. We have done quite well in this department. Time after time I have heard people say they discovered us in the App Store or they were impressed by our Apps. That all goes away. So, for a Developer, that may be the biggest oversight in all of this by Apple is the lack of branding and the “real accountability” for Developers making good or terrible Apps for that matter.
Additional Reading: This was a great article I read that put the new Apple Guidelines into perspective
The cost of an Apple Developer Account is $99 per year plus tax unless you are a non-profit or an educational entity of the sort then this fee can get waived. During the application process you can submit for the fee to be waived if you qualify. While Apple claims the new changes are to protect against Copyright and improve security by way of dealing directly with the client, one could also say it’s a cash grab and some do. For example say we had 75 apps under our Apple Developer account it would still only cost $99 for the membership. Force those 75 apps to each have their own $99 membership and Apple stands to make a lot of money with the new policy.
On the flip-side, I will say however, that they are right about these points to some extent. People have been abusing the App Store by creating apps that are not what they say they are, while others have even created apps that claim to be entities that they are not. All the more reason to get your app first so nobody else can impersonate your business. So, for the safety and best interest of us all Apple might be right by making this change. “One bad ‘Apple’ spoils the bunch” or in this case spoils the “Apple Store.”
The bottom line.. if you have an app, we need to create your own APPLE DEVELOPER ACCOUNT for it, if you don’t have one already. As of April 2018 all Apps built by us have been created under their own Apple Developer Accounts of which those clients are aware.
Note: Android Apps can still stay under a Developers Account like ours. So those are fine for now.
A FEW SMALL STEPS
Create Apple ID or use Existing One
Get D-U-N-S Number (Dun & Brad Street Number)
Enroll in the Apple Developer Account (Pay the Membership Cost $99)
Transfer Your App from the AMG Account to Your New Apple Developer Account
Update Your App with Our Latest App Source Code
Note: Your App will remain active during the entire process. This is all behind the scenes stuff.
We put together this slide deck to walk you though the process of enrolling in the Apple Developer Account. You can click on the hyper links to take you through the process.
Let us know if you have any questions or need help.