iOS 13: iPhones now warn users about deleting apps with active subscriptions in latest Apple beta

Andrew Griffin

Apple's new iPhone software includes a hidden money-saving feature.

iOS 13 – which is available in beta now but will come to most phones in September – is reminding its users not to keep paying for subscriptions they don't use.

A wide variety of apps make use of subscriptions, with people paying either monthly or yearly to get features. Many of them do so through Apple's own system, which allows developers to use the App Store to manage those payments.

But lots of those subscriptions go unused, leading people to delete the app. In many cases, however, they might not realise or forget that the subscription will continue – leaving them paying for an app they don't even have, let alone use.

Now the company is giving people reminders to cancel those subscriptions if they are getting rid of the app they were bought for.

"Do you want to keep your subscription for this app?" the message, which pops up when you try and delete the relevant app from the home screen, reads. It then goes on to point out that users might still be making use of the subscription on other devices, and gives an indication of when it will renew.

Users are then given the option to either go to manage the subscription – where they can get more information, or cancel it – or to keep the subscription even after they've deleted the app.

Apple has been encouraging developers on the App Store to fund their apps through subscriptions as well as through the more traditional route of buying it for a flat fee. It has changed the pricing model, for instance, taking less of a cut from subscription revenues if users stick with them over time.

But numerous apps have abused that, sneakily encouraging people to pay substantial subscriptions in the hope that they'll keep doing so without realising.

The new feature is present in the latest beta version of iOS 13, which was pushed out to developers this week. While that software is still being worked on – and so the pop-up could disappear in future versions – it's almost certain to arrive when the new version of iOS is pushed out to iPhones and iPads later this year.