iPhone App Store Annoyance

Apple changed the terms and conditions (EULA, if you will) of the iTunes App Store.  They’ve added the ability to send apps as a gift, which I think is a nice feature.

However, this is not about that.

For a company that focuses on user experience as much as Apple, you would think making such a change wouldn’t be a hindrance to their users.  But, every time Apple changes the App Store terms and conditions, the iPhone doesn’t handle the user acceptance end of things very well.

I went to download a new app today (Fare City, if you must know), and this was the procedure to purchase it:

  1. Open App Store and search for app.
  2. Find app and press “Buy”.
  3. Sign into iTunes account.
  4. Get prompted about change in terms.
  5. Press button to agree to change in terms (which opens up the new terms).
  6. Read through new terms and conditions, then press “Agree” button at the bottom.
  7. Get prompted with a pop-up, have to press “Agree” again.
  8. Get told I have to try app purchase again.
  9. Return to App Store, press “Buy” again.

This is so backwards and annoying.  It should prompt you about the changes when you first open the App Store, and take you through the process before searching for and purchasing your app, not after you’ve purchased it, forcing you to go back in and purchase it again.  Or, at the very least, just continue where you left off downloading your intended purchase.

Also, why do I have to “Agree” twice?  I press “Agree”, then get prompted with a pop-up where I have to agree again (Apple’s EULAs for their applications on OS X do this too, it’s very annoying).  It just adds to an already convoluted process.

Here’s what the whole thing should look like:

  1. Open App Store, get prompted about the changes.
  2. Sign into iTunes account.
  3. Read through changes, press “Agree”.
  4. Get taken back to the App Store, search for app.
  5. Find app, press “Buy”.

Done.

Why am I making a big deal about this?  Because Apple is usually good about these types of details, and about making software that doesn’t get in the user’s way.  The process of agreeing to new App Store terms could not be more in the user’s way if they tried.  That makes this scenario stick out, and it makes it that much more frustrating to deal with.

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