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App Store developers (politely) rage against the machine ahead of WWDC

Apple ‘makes it very difficult’ for App Store developers to make a living writing software for the company’s portal. That’s according to an alliance of devs who’ve issued a plea to Apple to change its policies ahead of the forthcoming WWDC 2018 keynote.

The newly-formed Developers Union is initially asking Apple to sanction free trials through the App Store. From there, it will begin campaigning for a greater chunk of the revenue.

In an open letter addressed to Apple (via Wired), the group of developers wrote: “We believe that people who create great software should be able to make a living doing it. So we created The Developers Union to advocate for sustainability in the App Store.

“Today, we are asking Apple to commit to allowing free trials for all apps in the App Stores by the tenth anniversary of the App Store this July. After that, we’ll start advocating for a more reasonable revenue cut and other community-driven, developer-friendly changes.”

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The effort is being led by Jake Schumacher, who directed the documentary App: A Human Story, which chronicles the struggles of developers to make ends meet amid ‘the limitations of the App Store model’.

The alliance, which is supported by 81 apps at the time of writing, is focused on securing free trials initially. It says the trials enable developers to ‘show users their creation and establish value.’

In an FAQ, the union writes: “Free trials are a great place to start and gather the momentum needed to create significant change. Trials allow developers to show users their creation and establish value. Before iOS, Mac developers relied heavily on free trials, and they were able to make a living while making great software.”

A couple of years back, Apple made significant changes to the iOS App Store, which included offering more revenue to developers who didn’t offer subscriptions within the app. However, they didn’t go far enough to foster sustainability among some in the development community, according to the new group.

The union says it wants to engage in respectful conversation with Apple. So, it seems, the ball is firmly in the tech giant’s court.

Will Apple make more concessions to developers at WWDC next month? Will it share some of the love from its rapidly-growing services division? Let us know your thoughts @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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