Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

How to Flip an App for Profit

Becky Hansmeyer:

Background used to be a good app. You can tell from its early reviews that its users genuinely enjoyed browsing and making use of its hand-curated selection of iPhone wallpapers. In fact, its reviews are generally positive up until late June, when an update began causing some issues. From that point on it becomes clear that Background is no longer owned or updated by its original developer. It’s been flipped.

So how does an app get flipped? Read on to discover the ultimate secret to making millions on the iOS App Store.

I was one of those happy users of Background. I remember it always having an upsell component, but nothing as scummy as this. Subscription abuse is a part of the App Store I’d like to see Apple pay more attention to. For example, if an app experiences a sudden surge in subscribers compared to its history — and particularly after a change of ownership — perhaps that should set off a giant klaxon in Cupertino.