Recovering Non-renewable Subscriptions

Currently I'm working on an app for a social network, where users have to purchase premium membership to unlock some extra features. At first I used auto-renewable subscriptions, but my app got rejected. They told me to use non-renewable subscriptions and:

Non-Renewable Subscription content must be made available to all iOS devices owned by a single user, as indicated in Guideline 11.6 of the App Store Review Guidelines:

11.6 Content subscriptions using IAP must last a minimum of 7 days and be available to the user from all of their iOS devices

If you choose to use user registration to meet this requirement, please keep in mind that it is not appropriate to require user registration. Such user registration must be made optional. It would be appropriate to make it clear to the user that only by registering will they be able to access the content from all of their iOS devices; and to provide them a way to register later, if they wish to access the content on their other iOS devices at a future time.

The most logical way to transfer subscriptions in my case would be by using registration, as user can't view the content (or purchase subscriptions) without registering and logging in. So this means that registration is required.

Will my app get rejected again? If yes, then what workaround would you suggest?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answers


Yes and No.

  • If you force your user to register (especially with email address) = REJECTED
  • If you make registration optional and let the user to use your app with limited access = APPROVED

(The above statement was from my own experience and understanding. Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

First my app got rejected for using auto-renewable subscriptions.

But second time my app got rejected (this time non-renewable). The reason is, my app requires user registration. In apple's term, 'requires' means 'force'.

If you choose to use user registration to meet this requirement, please keep in mind that it is not appropriate to require user registration. Such user registration must be made optional. It would be appropriate to make it clear to the user that only by registering will they be able to access the content from all of their iOS devices; and to provide them a way to register later, if they wish to access the content on their other iOS devices at a future time.

From the above, the highlighted lines makes it clear that, the user registrations MUST be optional. If the user wish to access on other iOS devices, they can choose to register. But there is a catch again.

The catch is,

17.2 Apps that require users to share personal information, such as email address and date of birth, in order to function will be rejected

So what I'm going to do is,

  1. I would let the user to buy subscriptions without registration. But I will auto register the user with the unique ID to identify the user later. And showing the user, that, they have to register with an username and password in order to access the subscription among other iOS devices.
  2. I would not force the user to register with email address. Instead, I will use 'username' as mandatory and 'email' as optional, but stating that, it's recommended to enter the 'email' so that, it would be easier in case of password recovery.

This is my experience with apple's in-app purchase so far. Please correct me if I was wrong any where...


Auto-renewing subscriptions are only for periodical content like magazines, newspapers, etc that appear in the newsstand app. Apple will flat out reject any use of Auto-renewing for any other purpose. You have to use Non-renewing Subscriptions for "Services". Best info for this is http://developer.apple.com/news/pdf/in_app_purchase.pdf

As for the user registration chicken-and-egg scenario, you can get the app approved if it allows registration of anybody regardless of in-app purchases. That is to say, only allow the IAP after the user has registered. Your "Free" users can just have limited content.


I don't think that Apple would reject an app just for requiring registration, unless that registration's sole purpose was to allow a user to share their subscription across all their devices. In that case, Apple insists that you provide an optional method for the user to share the subscription.


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