Matthew Panzarino did an interview with Apple’s Phil Schiller today about the Hey app controversy, which I’m sure you’ve heard all about by now. Here’s a couple of things that Schiller said:
“You download the app and it doesn’t work, that’s not what we want on the store,” says Schiller. This, he says, is why Apple requires in-app purchases to offer the same purchasing functionality as they would have elsewhere.
That makes sense to me.
One way that Hey could have gone, Schiller says, is to offer a free or paid version of the app with basic email reading features on the App Store then separately offered an upgraded email service that worked with the Hey app on iOS on its own website. Schiller gives one more example: an RSS app that reads any feed, but also reads an upgraded feed that could be charged for on a separate site. In both cases, the apps would have functionality when downloaded on the store.
I’m not sure if the developer could do that, but if they could, the point makes sense.
Schiller also noted the exceptions that Apple allows, which are mostly “reader” apps “that only display external content of certain types like music, books and movies.”
It seems like Hey can fix this by making the app usable on the App Store. It doesn’t sound like that’s what they want to do, so Apple is exercising its right to not allow it on the store at all.