Free trials of games & other apps coming to the App Store

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 6
Granting a long-standing wish from developers, Apple this week updated its App Store guidelines to allow free trials for all apps, rather than just those based on subscriptions.

App Store on iPhone X


To enable trials, developers must create a free in-app purchase and set a definite expiration date, section 3.1.1 of the guidelines says. Apple notes that an app must also "clearly identify its duration, the content or services that will no longer be accessible when the trial ends, and any downstream charges the user would need to pay for full functionality."

Section 2.2 still claims that "demos, betas, and trial versions of your app don't belong on the App Store," although that now presumably refers to a narrow definition in which developers can't put out separate demo/trial releases.

Until this week, trials were officially limited to services like HBO Now or YouTube TV, which begin billing users automatically after their trial periods end.

Developers have complained that without the ability to trial regular apps, it has been unnecessarily hard to convince people to download apps that aren't from major publishers or otherwise well-known. Customers have either had to pay for an app or move on, often veering toward free software since paying cash to experiment can become costly.

A change that's likely upsetting some developers is Apple's decision to ban creators of remote mirroring apps from presenting a "store-like inteface". The rule was likely directly aimed at Valve's Steam, which was poised to let people play Mac and Windows games on iOS devices and the Apple TV through a Steam Link app.

Access to Steam also means access to the Steam storefront, and Apple may have been worried that its devices would become little more than terminals for PC gamers -- and that it would lose out on the 30 percent cut it claims from native App Store sales.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    asceganascegan Posts: 3member
    FINALLY. I much prefer to pay outright instead of paying periodically with subscriptions, but until this rule goes into effect there’s little motivation to “take a chance” on an app, relying only on user reviews. I hope most developers go in this direction, and I believe if they do, there will be more quality apps available.
    jony0
  • Reply 2 of 8
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,945member
    ascegan said:
    FINALLY. I much prefer to pay outright instead of paying periodically with subscriptions, but until this rule goes into effect there’s little motivation to “take a chance” on an app, relying only on user reviews. I hope most developers go in this direction, and I believe if they do, there will be more quality apps available.
    If you buy an app through the App Store and you don’t like it, then you can return for a full refund. I do this all the time. I think you have 14 days. 

    I quite liked this system because you use you have to give a reason for returning it. I hope developers can get feedback if a trial expires without a purchase. 
    edited June 6
  • Reply 3 of 8
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,676member
    How is this different from all the free apps that let you upgrade to full versions with an in-app purchase?
  • Reply 4 of 8
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,013member
    So Apple implemented some of the stuff in that developer petition everybody mocked. I’m sure it was stuff they were already working on but now that they’re allowing trials I’m sure the mockers will say it’s the greatest thing ever.  ;)
  • Reply 5 of 8
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,013member
    mike1 said:
    How is this different from all the free apps that let you upgrade to full versions with an in-app purchase?
    I believe this allows you to try out a paid app with full functionality for a period of time before you have to purchase. I think it’s a good idea for productivity apps that you might need to try for a few days to know if it’s going to meet your needs or not.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,544member
    mike1 said:
    How is this different from all the free apps that let you upgrade to full versions with an in-app purchase?
    Presumably because now the free trial version could give a person a time-limited fully functional app that would be useless after the trial period. That hasn’t been possible before, AFAIK.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,676member
    mike1 said:
    How is this different from all the free apps that let you upgrade to full versions with an in-app purchase?
    I believe this allows you to try out a paid app with full functionality for a period of time before you have to purchase. I think it’s a good idea for productivity apps that you might need to try for a few days to know if it’s going to meet your needs or not.

    mike1 said:
    How is this different from all the free apps that let you upgrade to full versions with an in-app purchase?
    Presumably because now the free trial version could give a person a time-limited fully functional app that would be useless after the trial period. That hasn’t been possible before, AFAIK.
    Thanks all.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    xbitxbit Posts: 207member
    mike1 said:
    How is this different from all the free apps that let you upgrade to full versions with an in-app purchase?
    Because some users leave shitty reviews when you use this method. They assume that the app is free and are pissed off when they realise that it isn't really.
Sign In or Register to comment.