Developers can now be notified when a user changes their subscription status

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Apple has changed its App Store subscription notification system to offer developers more granularity and control when a user changes their subscription status.

Previously, developers were only updated when a user renewed a subscription and new receipt data was received. Now, developers have a little more control of what data they can access, and what a user sees when managing a subscription.

Two notifications were added to the system:

  • DID_RENEW lets developers know when a subscriber successfully auto-renews.
  • PRICE_INCREASE_CONSENT notifies the developer when users agree to price changes

The first feature appears to deprecate and replace the old feature called RENEWAL. Developers will have to replace this system before March 2021 in order to maintain a seamless experience for users.

The second feature will allow developers to control the messaging around a price change. For example, if the subscription price goes up, it provides developers the change to encourage users to re-up the subscription.

It is not yet known how these changes will manifest on the user's end. Some controversy has occurred with Apple previously about how subscriptions were handled, and Apple has slowly made changes to make the process more clear. In iOS 13, for example, an alert was added to warn users that an app they were deleting had an active subscription.