After a week of back-and-forth jabs and some high-profile bickering, Apple and Basecamp have reached a “good compromise” over email app Hey’s continued existence in the App Store. Nothing has really changed, but both sides seem happy with the result.
The thawing began late last week when Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson tweeted that he was willing to work on a way forward. He reiterated that he wants Hey in the App Store and said he was willing to try “some of the other ‘many things’” that SVP Phil Schiller had offered for App Store approval.
The solution is quite simple. Basecamp now offers users a de-factor free trial when they download the app, even if they don’t already have a subscription. While there is still no way to sign up for a Hey email address, which costs $99 a year, Basecamp will allow users to “sign up directly in-app for a free, temporary, randomized @hey.com email address that works for 14 days.”
As part of the peace offering, the company also offered Schiller “an amazing @hey.com address” for free.
Apple is happy with that solution and has approved version 1.0.2 and 1.0.3 to the Hey app after previously rejecting attempts to update the app. In addition to bug fixes and the free trial, the new app also introduces Hey for Work for business accounts.
Basecamp co-founder Jason Fried is “confident these improvements will satisfy Schiller’s concerns about both the user experience and business model. Hopefully, this paves a predictable path for other multi-platform SaaS services like ours as well.”
While the changes to the Hey app allow Apple to publicly resolve the situation ahead of WWDC, Basecamp is clearly the winner here. The app functions the same for existing users, still doesn’t offer in-app purchases, and opens the door to future apps from Basecamp and others that are able to skirt Apple’s 30-percent cut. It’s also unclear whether these changes will satisfy future versions of Hey, as the Review Board told the company that they “look forward to working on a path forward.”
But for now, Basecamp is happy, the developer community is happy, Apple is happy the brouhaha is over.