Apple won't allow demos, trials, betas on Mac App Store

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Apple this week provided more information to developers regarding its forthcoming Mac App Store, and informed them that, unlike on iOS, trial versions of software will not be allowed.



Apple issued a handful of updates via its News and Announcements for Apple Developers Thursday evening regarding the Mac App Store. The software download destination for Mac OS X Snow Leopard is expected to launch by the end of January.



"Your website is the best place to provide demos, trial versions, or betas of your software for customers to explore," Apple wrote. "The apps you submit to be reviewed for the Mac App Store should be fully functional, retail versions of your apps."



That's a change from the highly successful iOS App Store policies, in which iPhone and iPad users can download free limited trials of paid software. For example, the popular 99-cent game "Angry Birds" has a "Lite" version that is consistently among the top free iPhone titles.



Apple also issued tips for developers on how to meet the Mac App Store guidelines. For example, Mac apps submitted to the App Store must ensure that files are written in the appropriate location.



"This avoids being confused when applications store data in unexpected areas of the system (e.g., storing databases in the user's Documents folder or storing files in the user's Library folder that are not recognizably associated with your application)," Apple's documentation reads.



Another update provides tips for creating custom controls in a Mac application. It reminds developers that they can create their own custom controls, if the one they need is not available, as long as the element or behavior supports Apple's interface design principles.



Since it announced the Mac App Store, Apple has been providing developers with more information leading up to its launch. In October, the Cupertino, Calif., company gave an initial outline of what developers will need to do to get their applications listed in the digital storefront.



Apple is expected to release its own updated iWork '11 suite alongside the launch of the Mac App Store. The three applications included in the bundle -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- will be available for purchase individually when the Mac App Store debuts, along with the existing applications in the recently updated iLife suite.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 113
    Spectacular decision. They apparently have learned from iOS.
  • Reply 2 of 113
    I for one like having the demo versions of some of the products on the iOS store. Really think Apple needs to rethink this decision...
  • Reply 3 of 113
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,223member
    Could they put up a lite version for 1$ and a pro version for the real price then want?
  • Reply 4 of 113
    Exactly. I mean, I've never heard that there were trial versions on iOS. You can not have a free app, and then "upgrade" to paid version. How is that different now?
  • Reply 5 of 113
    Apple sucks. This is the tyranny of platform monopoly.
  • Reply 6 of 113
    povilaspovilas Posts: 473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post


    Apple sucks. This is the tyranny of platform monopoly.



    Rethink your BS.
  • Reply 7 of 113
    povilaspovilas Posts: 473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple this week provided more information to developers regarding its forthcoming Mac App Store, and informed them that, unlike on iOS, trial versions of software will not be allowed.



    Apple issued a handful of updates via its News and Announcements for Apple Developers Thursday evening regarding the Mac App Store. The software download destination for Mac OS X Snow Leopard is expected to launch by the end of January.



    "Your website is the best place to provide demos, trial versions, or betas of your software for customers to explore," Apple wrote. "The apps you submit to be reviewed for the Mac App Store should be fully functional, retail versions of your apps."



    That's a change from the highly successful iOS App Store policies, in which iPhone and iPad users can download free limited trials of paid software. For example, the popular 99-cent game "Angry Birds" has a "Lite" version that is consistently among the top free iPhone titles.



    Apple also issued tips for developers on how to meet the Mac App Store guidelines. For example, Mac apps submitted to the App Store must ensure that files are written in the appropriate location.



    "This avoids being confused when applications store data in unexpected areas of the system (e.g., storing databases in the user's Documents folder or storing files in the user's Library folder that are not recognizably associated with your application)," Apple's documentation reads.



    Another update provides tips for creating custom controls in a Mac application. It reminds developers that they can create their own custom controls, if the one they need is not available, as long as the element or behavior supports Apple's interface design principles.



    Since it announced the Mac App Store, Apple has been providing developers with more information leading up to its launch. In October, the Cupertino, Calif., company gave an initial outline of what developers will need to do to get their applications listed in the digital storefront.



    Apple is expected to release its own updated iWork '11 suite alongside the launch of the Mac App Store. The three applications included in the bundle -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- will be available for purchase individually when the Mac App Store debuts, along with the existing applications in the recently updated iLife suite.



    Makes perfect sense. Demos only waste time both mine and Apple's anyway.
  • Reply 8 of 113
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,232moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ungenio View Post


    Exactly. I mean, I've never heard that there were trial versions on iOS. You can not have a free app, and then "upgrade" to paid version. How is that different now?



    It's different because of the reason I said it wouldn't work when they announced the Mac App Store. If they allow any form of trial software, all that happens is that developers put the low cost/free version on the store for publicity and then direct users to their own site for the full version, which means they don't have to pay Apple 30% of the final sale price.



    This differs from iOS because you can't get apps from a website but you simply can't put that restriction onto a desktop OS (hopefully). The way Apple have chosen to do this is the only way it will work but it will still have a problem.



    When people see commercial software on the App Store, the natural tendency is to try it first as it will be expensive so they are going to visit the company website for the trial but there's nothing stopping the company hosting a cheaper version of the full software on their own site.



    For example,



    App Store:

    Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299



    You visit adobe.com for the trial and download it

    On the site, they have Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299-30% = $899



    So where will you buy it from?



    Even in that scenario, Apple will be used for publicity and buyers will feel stupid for buying through the store instead of directly. Obviously Apple can choose to remove developers who sell the commercial software at a lower price on their own site but that might not end well.



    They have to try these systems out though to see how they work and I think it will work to some extent as it will be convenient, ad-free, competitive etc so as long as developers don't try to shaft Apple over the 30%, it will be ok. I think they should have reduced the fee though - although the volume is lower, the value is way higher.
  • Reply 9 of 113
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "This avoids being confused when applications store data in unexpected areas of the system (e.g., storing databases in the user's Documents folder or storing files in the user's Library folder that are not recognizably associated with your application)," Apple's documentation reads.



    Microsoft and Steam will have to make a little effort to remove their ugly folders out of our document folders!
  • Reply 10 of 113
    technotechno Posts: 707member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Povilas View Post


    Rethink your BS.



    Maybe I am wrong, but I think he was being sarcastic. You know in line with the "Apple is doomed" posts we usually see.
  • Reply 11 of 113
    povilaspovilas Posts: 473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by techno View Post


    Maybe I am wrong, but I think he was being sarcastic. You know in line with the "Apple is doomed" posts we usually see.



    Could be, my sarcasm detector is not feeling well today.
  • Reply 12 of 113
    povilaspovilas Posts: 473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    It's different because of the reason I said it wouldn't work when they announced the Mac App Store. If they allow any form of trial software, all that happens is that developers put the low cost/free version on the store for publicity and then direct users to their own site for the full version, which means they don't have to pay Apple 30% of the final sale price.



    This differs from iOS because you can't get apps from a website but you simply can't put that restriction onto a desktop OS (hopefully). The way Apple have chosen to do this is the only way it will work but it will still have a problem.



    When people see commercial software on the App Store, the natural tendency is to try it first as it will be expensive so they are going to visit the company website for the trial but there's nothing stopping the company hosting a cheaper version of the full software on their own site.



    For example,



    App Store:

    Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299



    You visit adobe.com for the trial and download it

    On the site, they have Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299-30% = $999



    So where will you buy it from?



    Even in that scenario, Apple will be used for publicity and buyers will feel stupid for buying through the store instead of directly. Obviously Apple can choose to remove developers who sell the commercial software at a lower price on their own site but that might not end well.



    They have to try these systems out though to see how they work and I think it will work to some extent as it will be convenient, ad-free, competitive etc so as long as developers don't try to shaft Apple over the 30%, it will be ok. I think they should have reduced the fee though - although the volume is lower, the value is way higher.



    Adobe CS will not be allowed anyway.
  • Reply 13 of 113
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post


    Apple sucks. This is the tyranny of platform monopoly.



    So you'd rather have a store drowning in flaky betas, demos and free crap rather than tested, working software of value?
  • Reply 14 of 113
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,972member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    It's different because of the reason I said it wouldn't work when they announced the Mac App Store. If they allow any form of trial software, all that happens is that developers put the low cost/free version on the store for publicity and then direct users to their own site for the full version, which means they don't have to pay Apple 30% of the final sale price.



    This differs from iOS because you can't get apps from a website but you simply can't put that restriction onto a desktop OS (hopefully). The way Apple have chosen to do this is the only way it will work but it will still have a problem.



    When people see commercial software on the App Store, the natural tendency is to try it first as it will be expensive so they are going to visit the company website for the trial but there's nothing stopping the company hosting a cheaper version of the full software on their own site.



    For example,



    App Store:

    Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299



    You visit adobe.com for the trial and download it

    On the site, they have Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299-30% = $999



    So where will you buy it from?



    Even in that scenario, Apple will be used for publicity and buyers will feel stupid for buying through the store instead of directly. Obviously Apple can choose to remove developers who sell the commercial software at a lower price on their own site but that might not end well.



    They have to try these systems out though to see how they work and I think it will work to some extent as it will be convenient, ad-free, competitive etc so as long as developers don't try to shaft Apple over the 30%, it will be ok. I think they should have reduced the fee though - although the volume is lower, the value is way higher.



    You nailed it. This post should end the thread, because it's so clearly right.
  • Reply 15 of 113
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    For example,



    App Store:

    Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299



    You visit adobe.com for the trial and download it

    On the site, they have Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299




    I changed your example just a bit.



    In this example, I would ALWAYS buy it from Adobe, never from the Mac store, even if the prices were the same between Adobe and the Mac Store.



    Reason? Because I CAN get a demo version on the Adobe site and try it out before I commit. At that point if the prices are the same (assuming), then I'm already doing business directly with Adobe and would never use the Mac store for that app.



    I'm seeing zero advantage to me in a Mac store, except for giving me the ability to search for software that I might not know about from smaller software vendors.
  • Reply 16 of 113
    I have an app in the iOS app store, and I don't mind paying 30% there. Well, there's no alternative, anyway.



    30% for inclusion to the desktop app store looks way too much, because there are lots of much cheaper alternatives. The fee should be 10-15%



    I will think about the tip for pricing the app store version higher... for now it looks like this will not work, because such app will get loads of negative reviews. This may work if the app store edition is actually different from the website edition. For example, put a simple cheap edition into the appstore (simple but fully functional within its set of features), and have a "pro" edition on your web site, which costs slightly more that the appstore edition... have to think about that...
  • Reply 17 of 113
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    1) I don?t think large apps from MS, Adobe et al. would work for the Mac App Store (MAS) as it would require them to use Apple?s modern Xcode and keep up to date at Apple?s pace, not their pace. However, some simpler versions of apps could suit many people?s needs and yield a solid profit. I think these companies would be remiss to completely ignore this additional revenue stream.



    2) With an alternative to the MAS already in place I?m okay with it not having trial version, but I think this is sorely needed on the iOS App Store.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post


    Apple sucks. This is the tyranny of platform monopoly.



    Which monopoly position in the PC market are you referring to? Also, are you saying that Apple should force all developers to only use the MAS for their software instead of telling them that other, unregulated by Apple method for obtaining apps is where devs need to put their demo, trial and beta apps? Do you see how you have that back-asswards?
  • Reply 18 of 113
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by techno View Post


    Maybe I am wrong, but I think he was being sarcastic. You know in line with the "Apple is doomed" posts we usually see.



    I think you're wrong. He's serious.
  • Reply 19 of 113
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    It's different because of the reason I said it wouldn't work when they announced the Mac App Store. If they allow any form of trial software, all that happens is that developers put the low cost/free version on the store for publicity and then direct users to their own site for the full version, which means they don't have to pay Apple 30% of the final sale price.



    This differs from iOS because you can't get apps from a website but you simply can't put that restriction onto a desktop OS (hopefully). The way Apple have chosen to do this is the only way it will work but it will still have a problem.



    When people see commercial software on the App Store, the natural tendency is to try it first as it will be expensive so they are going to visit the company website for the trial but there's nothing stopping the company hosting a cheaper version of the full software on their own site.



    For example,



    App Store:

    Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299



    You visit adobe.com for the trial and download it

    On the site, they have Adobe CS 5 Design Premium - $1299-30% = $999



    So where will you buy it from?



    Even in that scenario, Apple will be used for publicity and buyers will feel stupid for buying through the store instead of directly. Obviously Apple can choose to remove developers who sell the commercial software at a lower price on their own site but that might not end well.



    They have to try these systems out though to see how they work and I think it will work to some extent as it will be convenient, ad-free, competitive etc so as long as developers don't try to shaft Apple over the 30%, it will be ok. I think they should have reduced the fee though - although the volume is lower, the value is way higher.





    What you're describing is no different to the current situation - people shop around for the best deal and purchase accordingly. If the app store is another source, then what's the difference? You're not restricted to purchasing only from the app store, and there are other sources for demos and of course the developer's own web sites. Why would a developer shaft apple? They are going to want to take advantage of sales, not prevent their own software from selling.
  • Reply 20 of 113
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spunkybart View Post


    I changed your example just a bit.

    I'm seeing zero advantage to me in a Mac store, except for giving me the ability to search for software that I might not know about from smaller software vendors.



    The advantage is for smaller software houses and developers to get a better sales channel. Also an advantage for customers who might discover software they might not have found otherwise.
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