A Programmer’s Guide To Auto Renewable App Subscriptions

3 min read

Mobile users are becoming more and more comfortable with app subscriptions. For a long time, “microtransactions” turned a lot of users away from paying for anything in-app. Then, it became clear that offering rich content upgrades and improved features could really help developers and users find a common interest and value in one another. iOS offers auto-renewable subscriptions in their In-App Purchase (or IAP) category to help developers offer different content to paid users. The process of setting up this feature and testing its effectiveness is easy if you know where to start, and that’s what we’re focusing on this time around. Let’s talk about auto-renewable app subscriptions and why they’re a great tool for you as a mobile app developer.

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What is an Auto-Renewable App Subscription and Why Should You Offer Them?

There are a few shared goals for anyone who explores how to create an app and make money. Firstly, you want to develop a loyal audience that finds value in your mobile app. Secondly, you want to ensure that those who encounter your app’s free elements have an easy way to buy into the premium experience. That’s where an auto-renewable app subscription comes in. Apple does a wonderful job of offering this option for users in-app and in the App Store itself. As a programmer, the process of setting up this feature is fairly simple. 

From a developer standpoint, you know that this is a great offer for your audience in terms of increasing revenue. From a user’s point of view, this is also a beneficial option to have. With Apple’s subscriptions easily organised into an easy-to-read folder in the App Store and in a user’s device settings, managing subscriptions is easy and transparent. If a user likes your app, then they can pay for it through Apple Pay and cancel at any point in the App Store or Settings. Users love the option to get a better experience and from a programming point of view, it’s simple to install.

Like other IAP types, auto-renewable functionality is essentially the same process. Using your top mobile app programming skills, you should be able to easily navigate the tutorials online that guide you through the process. Not unlike the Android studio tutorial materials you can find online, iOS developers have covered this feature’s installation time and time again. The process of implementing the actual feature into your app is straightforward but how does it work in terms of tracking users’ subscriptions?

How Tracking Auto-Renewable App Subscriptions Work

In terms of tracking auto-renewable app subscriptions in your app, there’s nothing built into iOS for this feature. Therefore, tracking who subscribes to your app cannot come from simple subscription detail data you can pull for all users. During the coding process, you’ll want to ensure you take advantage of a key API generated in iOS using a handy tip from Apple programmers.

The process of setting up this feature is easy if you know where to start, and that’s what we’re focusing on this time around. Let’s talk about auto-renewable app subscriptions and why they’re a great tool for you as a mobile app developer.Click To Tweet


iTunes Connect tracks users’ purchase histories and subscription information – and as one of the best operating system options around – it’s stored in an easily accessible way for programmers. Accessing the JSON object that holds purchase history is as easy as periodically retrieving JSON remote receipts and tracking the data. Doing so is possible through code or a BaaS provider. This way, you don’t just offer auto-renewable subscription services for your app. You can see who’s unsubscribing as well as when their subscription is running out. This is handy for trying to pitch the subscription to them one last time before expiration through notifications or in-app purchase offers.

The Influence of Subscriptions and the Mobile App Marketplace

Managing app subscription options is a big part of how to market an app in 2020. App revenue is coming off its biggest year ever in terms of growth and profitability, so it’s best to maximise every option. You need to be able to successfully gain subscribers and give them the option to auto-renew. 

When you seek out app developers to add these features to an existing app or build you a new application from scratch, it matters if they know these nuances. IAP testing has intricacies that increase user bases and enhance the in-app experience. Glance is ready to partner with you to take your mobile app offerings to the next level. Talk with us today about what your goal is in the mobile app marketplace.

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