Skip to main content

The final days of Apollo bring a surge of support in protest of Reddit

Popular Reddit client Apollo will allow users to decline refunds for subscriptions they have recently bought, days before the app is due to permanently shut down. The move comes amid a public dispute between the app’s developer and Reddit after the latter sprung massive charges onto developers with little notice, leading to enormous protests from the site’s users.

Apollo is due to shut down on June 30, 2023. Ordinarily, the developer would be forced to refund any subscribers out of their own pocket, something Apollo creator Christian Selig said would cost him around $250,000.

Three iPhones side-by-side show the Apollo app for Reddit. On-screen are messages allowing users to decline a refund for their subscription, a thank you message, and a set of special wallpapers.
Alex Blake / Digital Trends

However, large numbers of users said they would decline the refunds in solidarity with Selig and in protest over Reddit’s actions, and the latest update to Apollo allows them to do just that.

Now, when a subscriber updates Apollo to the latest version, a pop-up appears titled “Decline refund option.” It goes on to state: “If you’ve been happy with Apollo and don’t need me to send a pro-rated refund out-of-pocket for the remaining subscription time, please choose this option. I thank you.” Users can tap the “I Don’t Need a Refund” button to send the remaining balance of their subscription to the developer.

As well as that, Apollo is also offering the “Goodbye Apollo Wallpaper Set,” a collection of over 20 mobile, tablet, and desktop wallpapers designed by supportive artists.

It’s reminiscent of a similar dispute between Twitter and the creators of third-party clients Twitterific and Tweetbot. After Elon Musk bought Twitter, the company drastically raised the price of API access, forcing many third-party clients to shut down. Both Twitterific and Tweetbot allowed users to decline refunds to show their support for the developers.

Public acrimony

The Reddit app icon on an iOS Home screen.
Brett Jordan / Pexels

The acrimony between Reddit and third-party clients was first made public by Selig on May 31, when the developer said that Reddit was planning to charge apps that used its API substantial figures for access — in Apollo’s case, this would be $20 million a year, far beyond what Selig felt was a reasonable amount.

Worse, Reddit only gave developers a month to comply. For Selig and many other developers, this was nowhere near enough time to find $1.6 million a month. The move led many to believe Reddit was simply trying to shut down rivals that competed with its own app, which is far inferior to Apollo and other similar products.

Bullying behavior

Three iPhones side by side showing the third-party Reddit app Apollo on their screens.
Alex Blake / Digital Trends

Reddit’s CEO Steve Huffman hardly covered himself in glory during this period, repeatedly making what appeared to be false statements and personal attacks against third-party developers. At one point, Huffman claimed Selig had tried to blackmail Reddit, which was disproved when Selig released audio recordings of his conversations with Reddit.

The furor over the actions of Reddit and its CEO’s seemingly unprofessional behavior led to massive protests on the site, including a 48-hour blackout involving some of the site’s largest subreddits. Among those to shut their doors were the Pics, Music, and Science subreddits, home to almost 100 million users alone. In total, it’s estimated subreddits totaling 2.5 billion users went dark during the protest.

While Reddit has succeeded in forcing third-party apps to close, it may be a Pyrrhic victory, with the company suffering widespread public derision ahead of its planned IPO later this year. Apollo, meanwhile, has generated masses of public support at the same time. For many users, declining a refund will be another chance to vote with their cash.

Editors' Recommendations

Alex Blake
In ancient times, people like Alex would have been shunned for their nerdy ways and strange opinions on cheese. Today, he…
This HP 2-in-1 laptop is discounted from $800 to $450
HP Pavilion x360 laptop in laptop mode.

Can't decide between tablet or a laptop? This deal on an affordable 2-in-1 laptop from the HP Memorial Day sale is really worthy of a look. It has a discount of $350 for the sale, taking its price from $800 to $450. That makes this one of the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy at the moment if you're on a budget. To go see this tablet laptop hybrid yourself, and take advantage of the great discount, tap the button below to find it on the HP website. Feel free to keep reading, as well, as we will break down all the details of the HP Pavilion x360 Convertible as well as examine why you will want to buy it.

Why you should buy the HP Pavilion x360 Convertible
At its base, the HP Pavilion x360 Convertible starts with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and 15.6 inch edge-to-edge 768 touchscreen. Note that all of these are upgradeable, with clearly displayed price changes for each upgrade. We won't go into the specifics of each upgrade, but it is worth noting that you can upgrade two or more of these categories without exceeding the $350 you're saving off of the original model. For example, going from 8GB of RAM to 16GB will only run you $90. Getting 1080p? Just $30.

Read more
Great for browsing, this Dell laptop is discounted to $300
Someone using the Dell Inspiron 15 on their lap.

If you want a super cheap laptop with a full keyboard, surprisingly good Wi-Fi, and impressive storage you're usually going to have a hard time finding one. But with this Dell Memorial Day deal you can easily. The Dell Inspiron 15 is usually $380, but has been marked down to $300 at this time, saving you $80. It's stats are surprisingly good for the price and it could easily be one of the best Dell student laptops for the upcoming summer mini-term, should you be attending. Check it out yourself by tapping the button below or keep reading for our analysis.

Why you should buy the Dell Inspiron 15
When you want to evaluate cheap laptops, you should start with the stat line (RAM, storage, etc.) to see if it is stomacheable and then progress onto the finer details that make that laptop special. And, here, the base stat line is quite incredible for a work, study, or browser computer. It comes with a 12th Gen Intel Core i3 processor, Intel graphics, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. You even get a 15.6 inch, 1080p at 120Hz anti-glare backlit screen. While it isn't a touchscreen, comparing this mentally to tablets of a similar cost in terms of what you would expect is a useful mental exercise. The storage, while not super expansive, is above average in quality and should work nicely for a non-gaming laptop.

Read more
Google’s AI Overviews are already off the rails
AI Overviews being shown in Google Search.

Google AI Overviews were announced a couple weeks ago at Google I/O, and they've already proven to be rather controversial. The aim to provide high-quality answers to your questions summarized from the web, but a recent X (formerly Twitter) thread suggests that it might not be pulling from the most accurate sources.

When prompting Google for an answer to the issue of "cheese not sticking to pizza," the AI Overview reportedly claims that adding nontoxic glue to your pizza to prevent the cheese from sliding off. The exact words the AI overview gave are as follows: "You can also add about 1/8 cup of non-toxic glue to the sauce to give it more tackiness." Where did the Google AI overview get the info as a source? It got it from an 11-year-old Reddit comment from this thread, in what was clearly a joke.

Read more