Here's a few thoughts without a strong or clear thesis, but I still wanted to share.
1. Apple has solved one of the biggest problems of the web and no one noticed.
The problem is: How do you make money when everyone expects it all to be free and it's really difficult to move people from this place of free free free to "I'll pay for that". Well Apple found a way and that way is iPhone apps. You may argue that apps aren't the web but I'll argue that they are. They are "the web customized, focused and curated" and we're paying for it. Just like that, we didn't pay, now we pay. Isn't that interesting. It feels like there hasn't been enough acknowledgment or interest in this shift.
2. Why are we paying for it?
Because it's instant, easy and comfortable. I don't have to enter my credit card info and I trust Apple. Taking the effort, process and fear out of the purchase allows us to relax and just do it. Remember the tickets you bought at the fair to get on the rides and throw balls at cement filled bottles? The operators of the fair knew that if they made the experience less like spending money, we would do it a lot more and a lot more quickly. When I buy an app, I enter one password, I don't get a confirmation page restating the cost of the item, I just say yes and it starts downloading and I don't even get the receipt for at least 3 days. Is this bad? I find it smart and actually what I want. I have online purchase fatigue, I'm so so tiered of entering the same info over and over. I just want to click a button and be done with it. Apple knows this.
3. The app makers and Apple get away with murder.
How can all the rules of buying just fall to the wayside so quickly and why aren't we demanding more. Here's what I mean. When you buy an app you don't get to try it, you barely get to see it (just a couple screenshots) and you can't return it.
Have you ever bought an app, used it a couple times and realized it wasn't what you wanted, didn't work as promised, was buggy, difficult to use or just not that great? What did you do? Probably moved it to the last screen of apps or just deleted it. You may have gone to the app store and given it a bad review but I doubt it. It was only $2.99 who cares. I've also noticed I justify it as ok because I use so many other things on the web for free, I feel like it's my contribution to the web. Funny, but not cool. I want Apple and the app sellers to provide better customer service. I want to download a trial version, I want more screenshots and better descriptions of functionality, I want better notification that an update will completely change the product I use everyday so I can choose not to install it, I want to be able to return it for a full refund if it sucks. Don't you?
4. I bought it in black with the buttons on the front
To elaborate on the point about application updates above. The apps I use regularly are a serious part of my life. A few of them I access a multiple times an hour. It's so frustrating to run an update and have it change the entire experience without even asking me. It's like I bought a radio in black to match the room with the buttons on the front to fit on a certain shelf and the manufacturer paints it yellow and moves the knobs to the top when I take it in for service. It's crazy and unacceptable for app makers to so fully change a product I purchase. Updates should be separated into two types "Security, Performance Updates" and "Function, Interaction Updates".
What are your thoughts on these topics?
photo credit: mastrobiggo