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Apple Store app for iOS now giving away paid apps for free

post #1 of 42
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Apple began pushing free content to its Apple Store iOS app on Friday, with users now able to download a typically paid app for free.



Some weeks ago, rumors began circulating that the Apple Store iOS app would begin pushing notable paid content to users for free, and that feature has gone live. The Apple Store app was updated just over a week ago in order to enable the feature.

The first paid app to get the free app showcase in the Apple Store app is Color Zen, a puzzle game that usually sells for $1. Users of the app can download Color Zen for free by going to the Stores section of the Apple Store app. Color Zen should appear directly under the listing for a user's local store, with the headline "A game for you. On us."

Future free content may include other apps, iBooks, and other iTunes media. Apple will be updating the free content offering each week.

Apple has for some time now been issuing updates for the iOS Apple Store app, adding support for Passbook last year, as well as for Siri. In March, Apple added the ability for the app to check in-store availability and different per-item delivery options for a single order. Most recently, Apple added push notifications to the app to alert users to changes in pricing on iPhones and when deliveries should have arrived.
post #2 of 42
No free apps showing for me anywhere within the app. Maybe a US offer only?

Edit

Scratch that, restarted app and it showed up
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post #3 of 42
This kind of commercialism is a bit out of character for Apple. In the short term it will probably result in more people installing the App Store App, but in the long term it will lower people's opinion of the brand.

It's the CEOs job to look to the long term and the lower manager's job to look to the proportionally shorter term (depending on their level), so I wonder if Tim was properly consulted on this?
post #4 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

This kind of commercialism is a bit out of character for Apple. In the short term it will probably result in more people installing the App Store App, but in the long term it will lower people's opinion of the brand.

It's the CEOs job to look to the long term and the lower manager's job to look to the proportionally shorter term (depending on their level), so I wonder if Tim was properly consulted on this?

 

Commercialism? Lower opinion of the brand? They are giving away free apps. What are you talking about?

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post #5 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

This kind of commercialism is a bit out of character for Apple. In the short term it will probably result in more people installing the App Store App, but in the long term it will lower people's opinion of the brand.

It's the CEOs job to look to the long term and the lower manager's job to look to the proportionally shorter term (depending on their level), so I wonder if Tim was properly consulted on this?

Seems out of character to me as well. A little too "Amazon free-app-of-the-day" like. No biggie but a bit of a surprise.
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post #6 of 42

I don't really get what they're trying to do, get more people to install their Store app? Seems a pretty weak goal, I can't see that having people go in to Store app in order to get a free game is likely to result in them buying more Apple gear.


Just giving away from stuff from the main store will earn them more good will rather than setting up convoluted rewards.

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post #7 of 42

Not free that I can see. Says 99 cents for Color Zen. Don't see any promotion on the App store about downloading an App on us.

post #8 of 42
WTF?!! Link to other stores on Apple Store?!!

How about a hand job for Jeff Bozo ... err ... Bezos too?!!

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post

 

Commercialism? Lower opinion of the brand? They are giving away free apps. What are you talking about?

I mean that, Apple's style seems to be to make products and let them stand on their own merits. e.g. Like it or loath it, iPhoto is what is, pay your money or go home. But this is a case of encouraging people to download something not on it's own merits, but just because you get *something else* for free.

post #10 of 42
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Originally Posted by b9bot View Post

Not free that I can see. Says 99 cents for Color Zen. Don't see any promotion on the App store about downloading an App on us.

 

I was confused too.  However, if you read carefully, it says the "Apple Store" app (not the "App Store" app).  If you download and install the Apple Store app, and then go to the "Stores" section, you'll see the promo (that second step was where I got hung up).

 
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post #11 of 42
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Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

I don't really get what they're trying to do, get more people to install their Store app? Seems a pretty weak goal, I can't see that having people go in to Store app in order to get a free game is likely to result in them buying more Apple gear.


Just giving away from stuff from the main store will earn them more good will rather than setting up convoluted rewards.

It is not unusual for companies to do this. It works pretty well. People will see Apple as a company that likes to take care of its customers. This probably won't result in much due to the few people who will find out about it. But for me, the company giving a feeling of rewarding it's customers or appearing to give a damn, is a big deal. When I had trouble with my iPhone 5 lock button. Apple replaced it, no questions asked. (In fact apple replaced my iPhone 4 that was broken, out of warranty, and taken apart). These are reasons I go back to apple. Yea, they wasted 200 bucks by giving me a new iphone 4 they weren't responsible for. However, I will be buying AppleCare for my iPhone 6, I have bought an iPad and macbook pro retina since then. I may not have done all of this had they not amazed me. I was willing to pay the 200 for a replacement iPhone 4. However, they care. I dictate what products a lot of my family members buy (based on their needs) and since Apple did this, it resulted in 4 iPhones, 2 iPads, and likely 2 more laptops. 

 

In the end, the company keeping me engaged is important. When they offer free apps, it gives a sense of "We don't want to rape your wallet for every dollar you make." I mean its a dollar per app. If they installed it, they own an iPhone. 650 bucks..... The $1 per phone won't kill them. 

 

It is also likely that some people will see stuff they want to buy and it may result in some sales for Apple. I bet they make money off of this in some shape or form.

post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

This kind of commercialism is a bit out of character for Apple. In the short term it will probably result in more people installing the App Store App, but in the long term it will lower people's opinion of the brand.

It's the CEOs job to look to the long term and the lower manager's job to look to the proportionally shorter term (depending on their level), so I wonder if Tim was properly consulted on this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Seems out of character to me as well. A little too "Amazon free-app-of-the-day" like. No biggie but a bit of a surprise.

Well this is just the beginning.

With the iPhone 5C pretty much confirmed we're are going to see a very different Apple going forward.
post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

This kind of commercialism is a bit out of character for Apple. In the short term it will probably result in more people installing the App Store App, but in the long term it will lower people's opinion of the brand.

It's the CEOs job to look to the long term and the lower manager's job to look to the proportionally shorter term (depending on their level), so I wonder if Tim was properly consulted on this?

Apparently, you don't have much experience with Apple because the iTunes Music Store has given away a free song every week now for years, The selections are different in Canada than the US but are free. Over the years I have been introduced to and collected 100s of songs that I would never have done any other way. Yes, and it has led me to purchase some (not all) of those artist's music.

 

It seems to me that this is going to be the same sort of things for the IOS App store. This weeks selection (in Canada) is BadPiggies HD, normally 99¢ but free this week.

See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

This kind of commercialism is a bit out of character for Apple. In the short term it will probably result in more people installing the App Store App, but in the long term it will lower people's opinion of the brand.

Out of character for Steve's Apple but he's gone so that is moot.

As for lowering opinions, perhaps. Or perhaps only yours. Others might not see it as crass commercialism as you do but a new and perhaps better tact on promoting their ecosystem. While at the same time giving some developers a needed boost in attention. Especially if they are monitoring what apps have already been pick of the week, Starbucks freebies etc and going for other titles.

As for Tim question, this strikes me as something he may have started. After all getting folks into the ecosystem so they buy media, apps and thus have a reason to stick with Apple hardware is a decent long term plan.
Edited by charlituna - 8/2/13 at 9:31am

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #15 of 42
I get "We're sorry. This service is momentarily unavailable. Please try again later."
post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

I don't really get what they're trying to do, get more people to install their Store app? Seems a pretty weak goal, I can't see that having people go in to Store app in order to get a free game is likely to result in them buying more Apple gear.

Just giving away from stuff from the main store will earn them more good will rather than setting up convoluted rewards.

If it also keeps folks remembering the app exists that can be a good thing. For one can book those all so important tech support appointments in the app (provided its not your iPhone which won't turn on). And other basic questions like store hours.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

As for lowering opinions, perhaps. Or perhaps only yours. Others might not see it as crass commercialism as you do but a new and perhaps better tact on promoting their ecosystem. While at the same time giving some developers a needed boost in attention. Especially if they are monitoring what apps have already been pick of the week, Starbucks freebies etc and going for other titles.

People like us who are aware of Apple's whole ecosystem could view it as some kind of legitimate cross-leveraging, but I don't think most people are (aware). It will appear as cheap commercialism I fear.

post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by b9bot View Post

Not free that I can see. Says 99 cents for Color Zen. Don't see any promotion on the App store about downloading an App on us.

Cause you are in the wrong place. As the article says it is in the Apple Store App, not the App Store.

What I don't get is why they don't have this baked into iOS. It's way more useful than the weather, stocks etc that most folks just replace with something else.

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #19 of 42

I don't think you even need to go through the Apple Store app to access the "free" app. I was in the regular ol' App Store and the app was already marked as free.

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When a company stops chasing profit and start chasing the betterment of their products, services, workforce, and customers, that will be the most valuable company in the world.
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post #20 of 42

I understand why they gave this color zen app away for free. It is really boring. 

 

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Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. 

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post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I mean that, Apple's style seems to be to make products and let them stand on their own merits. e.g. Like it or loath it, iPhoto is what is, pay your money or go home. But this is a case of encouraging people to download something not on it's own merits, but just because you get *something else* for free.

 

Uh, Apple has had "free app of the week" forever, as well as other promotions for the appstore. It doesn't lower the value of anything. It gives incentives to check the appstore more often, gives attention to interesting/highquality/new apps, and encourages higher usage. I see nothing wrong with also using this as a mechanism to increase the usage for apple's store app, and getting people accustomed to it, as I think they might be doing more with it in the future. 

post #22 of 42
I still don't see this free app on my iPhone 5 Apple Store app. WTF?!
post #23 of 42
Oh For chrissake. They are doing this to lock people into the platform. Unless the app is free on Android you have to pay to leave iOS.

They should also - and this may appear paradoxical - increase prices to a minimum of $1.99.
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post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post

 

Commercialism? Lower opinion of the brand? They are giving away free apps. What are you talking about?

Obviously, it's an enticement for people to visit the Store more frequently to see what latest free app they have.  That's a great idea.  Some people don't explore what's actually out there enough.

 

Make Auria app free, that's a $50 app on the App Store.  a FREAKING  48 Channel DAW for the freaking iPad.  You can't do that on a Android OR RT anything for any price.

post #25 of 42
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Seems out of character to me as well. A little too "Amazon free-app-of-the-day" like. No biggie but a bit of a surprise.

There's no evidence Apple is paying anything to "give away for free" these apps. In fact, for app developers, they may jump at the chance to have a promotional spot all to themselves and therefore be willing to offer their app for free.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #26 of 42
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Originally Posted by helmut View Post

I get "We're sorry. This service is momentarily unavailable. Please try again later."

Focus on the word MOMENTARILY.  

post #27 of 42
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Originally Posted by helmut View Post

I get "We're sorry. This service is momentarily unavailable. Please try again later."

This is the same message I've been getting all morning. Sheesh.
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Oh For chrissake. They are doing this to lock people into the platform. Unless the app is free on Android you have to pay to leave iOS.

They should also - and this may appear paradoxical - increase prices to a minimum of $1.99.

Lock people in with Color Zen. Just like Microsoft did with Office. 1rolleyes.gif
post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Oh For chrissake. They are doing this to lock people into the platform. Unless the app is free on Android you have to pay to leave iOS.

They should also - and this may appear paradoxical - increase prices to a minimum of $1.99.

The price is set by the party that submits it.

post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


There's no evidence Apple is paying anything to "give away for free" these apps. In fact, for app developers, they may jump at the chance to have a promotional spot all to themselves and therefore be willing to offer their app for free.

There's no evidence that Apple isn't paying them either.  I think this might be an arrangement Apple and the developer have reached, or maybe Apple IS selecting the product they want to pay for and the developer still gets what they would normally get if you paid for it.

 

We don't know what the arrangement is so all we can do is enjoy the free app and STFU.  ENJOY!

post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

There's no evidence Apple is paying anything to "give away for free" these apps. In fact, for app developers, they may jump at the chance to have a promotional spot all to themselves and therefore be willing to offer their app for free.

Pretty sure that's the same way Amazon handles it. I don't believe they pay the developer anything at all when the "app-of-the-day" is given away. All the dev gets is the exposure tho I imagine they have to agree to it (or request it?).
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post #32 of 42
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Originally Posted by drblank View Post

The price is set by the party that submits it.

The minimum price - and the price bands - are set by Apple.
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post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Pretty sure that's the same way Amazon handles it. I don't believe they pay the developer anything at all when the "app-of-the-day" is given away. All the dev gets is the exposure tho I imagine they have to agree to it (or request it?).

Probably just agree yeah. Great opportunity to advertise other apps within the free app. As well.
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post #34 of 42
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Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

Lock people in with Color Zen. Just like Microsoft did with Office. 1rolleyes.gif

Lock them in with 100 Color Zens 1rolleyes.gif
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post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Lock them in with 100 Color Zens 1rolleyes.gif

Sure, owning lots of software(paid for or not) is a disincentive to move to another OS. But no one is going to be locked in by 99 cent apps. Again this isn't a Microsoft Office situation here by a long shot. Apple does great hardware, software, its kind of their whole ecosystem that gets people to stay.
post #36 of 42

Had to update the app to make it work.

 

also it was weird, I went to a page to redem a gift card code to get it. The game was the same as the US, Color Zen.

Cool free stuff.

post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post


The minimum price - and the price bands - are set by Apple.

Price bands? What do you mean by price bands?

 

 

 

The developer picks what price to be charged for their particular software.  Apple doesn't tell what to sell it for just what the minimum price is $.99.  That's probably to make it worthwhile actually charging for a product since if the price was $.50, it's not even worth billing someone over something that small.

post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

Price bands? What do you mean by price bands?

You can only increment by a dollar. His argument's all flimsy.

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post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoonerYoda View Post

I still don't see this free app on my iPhone 5 Apple Store app. WTF?!

had to update the app....now I can get this free boring game!

post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You can only increment by a dollar. His argument's all flimsy.

Is flimsy the American for correct? If so, thanks. You have to choose free, $.99, $1.99 etc. in the US store. UK store starts at 59p, as I recall, for paid apps.

I'm saying bump that up - or inflation will make it even more ridiculous over time but also continue with free promotions.

It's funny how Apple attracts people who don't get their model - the ecosystem is the lockin. iOS 7 allows you to complete albums in the Music app and to buy there without going to iTunes.
That made me spend about £5 tonight. The video and music apps also show all purchases as does iTunes for all purchased apps. That's what iCloud is mainly for - not documents.

Even if people had 10 apps, 5 iTunes albums and 5 TV seasons moving is a loss. Hence the free stuff. There will be more of this.

iTunes is growing at 26% a year. That' apples biggest growth story right now.
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