New purchasing system / policies

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#1
We just yesterday overhauled our in-app purchasing system for the first time since 2010, in response to Apple updating their rules on June 4th to permit developers of cross-platform apps to distribute stuff outside of the App Store as long we don't advertise that in-app + offer the same stuff within the App Store too.

Things you'll notice right away:
  • There's no longer any separation between iOS and Android; any Registration ID from either platform will work on both, and you can now buy all iOS and Android Pleco add-ons at our web store.
  • Likewise, all of your purchases are now lumped together in a single license with a single Registration ID, so you won't get a new one every time you Restore Purchases. (all of your old IDs will still work, they just all point to the same license now)
    In a few cases we may have lumped too many purchases under one ID, or given some purchases to the wrong ID, e.g. if you shared an in-app purchase with a friend by logging into your account on their device; we're going through and trying to find / sort out those cases manually now, and we've designed the system to ensure that even if everything doesn't match up, purchases that you made from your current ID will still restore, but if you see any weird behavior / add-ons you don't think you should have / missing add-ons you do think you should have please let us know. (also, if you did in fact share something like that but don't want your friend to have access to all of your purchases please let us know - we won't delete your account or anything, we just want to make sure everyone has what they're supposed to)
    Also, if you don't like the fact that you have dozens of different IDs associated with your account and would like to consolidate it to just one, contact us and we can now finally do something about that.
  • On iOS (as was already the case on Android), we now automatically restore purchases when you first open Pleco, no more accidentally-dismissed prompts or whatever. We also look for changes in your App Store receipt file + refresh your purchases when we find them, which will in most cases mean that when you buy something on one device it'll automatically activate on others that share that Apple ID without you having to manually "Restore Purchases." (you will still have to manually refresh purchases made from other places, though)
  • Purchases made on a different Apple/Google ID, or a different platform, or on our website, or on the Outlier / ABC Cantonese Kickstarters, or wherever else will now be attached to purchases made on your current ID; the upshot of that is that as long as we can find *some* previous purchase to restore, all of your other purchases should also come back, and you'll no longer have that situation where you hit "Restore Purchases" and the OCR or stroke order or whatever else you bought on iOS/Android comes back but the stuff you bought on Palm doesn't and you have to dig around in your old emails to find the ID to enter to activate that.
Within the next few days we'll also be rolling out a new free "Integrate Purchases" add-on on iOS; if you have a bunch of purchases but none from your current Apple ID, you can 'buy' that (it's free but gives you absolutely no new stuff) and that will attach your purchases to your Apple ID (by tying them to the transaction ID from that free purchase). Unfortunately, since Google does not allow free IAPs we can't offer a similar feature on Android at the moment. (but of course you can feel free to buy a new paid add-on to make this work :))

Also, the My Orders system is currently down for maintenance but when it's back online it will be nothing but a form you enter your email address on to have your purchases re-sent to you; no more passwords, since absent iOS/Android transfers there's not really any 'action' you might want to authorize. (we automatically turned old Palm / Windows Mobile licenses that had not yet been activated on iOS/Android into iOS/Android licenses with new Registration IDs) This has the added benefit of reducing our security exposure (no risk of somebody hacking our database / somehow unscrambling your reused-even-though-it-really-shouldn't-be My Orders password / using it somewhere else) and making it easier for us to comply with GDPR please-forget-my-email requests (which I don't believe we're actually legally obligated to do in the case of a customer order retrieval database but nevertheless we might as well make customers happy if they'd prefer that we no longer have a copy of their email address on our server).

Sometime next week we'll be rolling out support for activating purchases made outside of Pleco on-device (so if you buy something from Outlier or whoever you can just click on a link and it'll activate correctly on your device with your current Registration ID) and also adding some new payment methods to our online store (looks like it'll most likely be Alipay + WeChat Pay (note that these will only work for USD and maybe Euro accounts, they won't let us accept payments in RMB), Apple/Google Pay, and possibly also SEPA or Giropay or something else for our many German customers).
 
Last edited:
#2
Hello Mike,

these are excellent news. I have two questions. When I buy something in the new web store using my iOS Registration ID, will it automatically transfer to my different Android Registration ID, so that the newly bought product will be available on both automatically? <-- I think yes. :)

Will site licenses work in such a way that the institution will provide a certain set of Add-ons to the users, and on top of that, individual users will be able to buy additional features/dictionaries for themselves?

Regards, Shun
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#3
Yes - you can enter any ID and your purchases will be added to all of them.

Site licenses at the moment are set up so it's only one or the other - if a particular license is flagged as a bulk license, the activation limits are raised but you can't buy add-ons for it through any of the normal systems. We can consider revising that if we see a lot of interest in it, though.
 
Last edited:

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#5
Yes, but a good way - if you’ve bought any items on iOS / Android, Pleco will now automatically restore your old Palm purchases when it restores those, so no more need to fiddle around with Registration IDs.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#8
Update: activation code feature is off, we've realized based on the recent experience of another developer that this is probably likely to raise hackles with App Review. So activation codes will continue to be a thing you have to do on our website instead of in-app. (but at least your purchases activated that way should restore more easily than they used to :))
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#9
Update: Apple/Google Pay support at our store is live, Alipay theoretically just pending review by Alipay to make sure we're not selling anything prohibited by Chinese law (but who knows how that'll work out). WeChat Pay we'll probably only attempt after Alipay is sorted (if Alibaba gives us a hard time chances are Tencent will too). But USD only - they won't let us use any other currency as a US company.

SEPA seems to still be a closed beta we can't get access to, Giropay is doable but we're weighing whether we want to go the trouble of setting up to accept Euro payments (not otherwise accepted in any part of our website and requiring a bunch of extra infrastructure to keep up with exchange rates / maintain separate EUR accounts / etc) just for that.
 
Top