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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,105member
    No free apps showing for me anywhere within the app. Maybe a US offer only?

    Edit

    Scratch that, restarted app and it showed up
  • Reply 2 of 41
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    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?
  • Reply 3 of 41

    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?

  • Reply 4 of 41
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,805member
    ascii wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 41
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,635member

    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.

  • Reply 6 of 41
    b9botb9bot Posts: 238member


    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.

  • Reply 7 of 41
    WTF?!! Link to other stores on Apple Store?!!

    How about a hand job for Jeff Bozo ... err ... Bezos too?!!
  • Reply 8 of 41
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    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.

  • Reply 9 of 41
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,949member

    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.



     


    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).

  • Reply 10 of 41
    seankillseankill Posts: 450member

    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.



    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.

  • Reply 11 of 41
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    ascii wrote: »
    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?

    gatorguy wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 41
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member

    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.

  • Reply 13 of 41
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,198member
    ascii wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 41
    helmuthelmut Posts: 12member
    I get "We're sorry. This service is momentarily unavailable. Please try again later."
  • Reply 15 of 41
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,198member
    crowley wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 41
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    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.

  • Reply 17 of 41
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,198member
    b9bot wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 41


    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.

  • Reply 19 of 41
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,795member


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

  • Reply 20 of 41
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,085member

    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. 

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