Appropos of Nothing
Matt Mullenweg posted on Twitter on August 21st that updates to the WordPress mobile app have “been absent” because “we were locked by App Store.” The reason: Apple wanted in-app purchases to be available, although the app itself does not sell anything. 🤷
Matt told The Verge and commented on Twitter that he “wasn’t going to fight it anymore” and would add brand-new in-app purchases for WordPress.com’s paid tiers, which include domain names, within 30 days.
Fast forward to the next day, and Apple was backing off. The company provided a rare on-the-record apology. Here’s Apple’s full statement:
We believe the issue with the WordPress app has been resolved. Since the developer removed the display of their service payment options from the app, it is now a free stand-alone app and does not have to offer in-app purchases. We have informed the developer and apologize for any confusion that we have caused.
Apparently, this was news to Matt who posted his surprise on Twitter:
I am very grateful that folks at Apple re-reviewed @WordPressiOS and have let us know we do not need to implement in-app purchases to be able to continue to update the app. Bad news travels faster than good, usually, so please consider sharing that they reversed course.
There have been some other conversations asking if in-app purchases were intended all along or if very recent changes to the mobile codebase sparked confusion on Apple’s part.
It was a brief yet wild ride… and it comes at a bad time for Apple as they are dealing with potential investigations into anti-trust violations and activity regarding their mobile app store along with legal action from Epic Games. ⚖️