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jsgreen
Jul 10, 2008, 08:38 AM
ModNote: Merged thread for discussion of implementing trial versions or trial periods or any other "try before you buy" scheme for iPhone/iPod apps sold through the App Store. Please discuss all of that here, including yay, nay, how long is too long, how short is too short, etc. Thank you! :)

On other smartphones most applications are available with a short-term trial period (either a number of days or number of application launches) so you can see if it is worth spending $$ on.

Does anybody know if this is possible through the app store? I'm afraid to click the "buy it" button for fear of committing myself.



Galley
Jul 10, 2008, 09:20 AM
The developer of Trism said there would be a free demo available, but I don't see it. Perhaps the demos won't be uploaded to the store for a few days.

aerospace
Jul 10, 2008, 10:22 AM
I wish there was, but no. You should wait until we get some reviews, then download apps people agree are worth the $.

mdwsta4
Jul 13, 2008, 08:07 PM
with so many similar apps, i think it's kind of stupid that users can't preview how the app functions to determine which one they prefer. It's a waste to buy an app only to find out you don't really like it, then you have to buy another one!
you can preview songs/movies/etc, why not apps (and no, those screen shots don't count).

*end rant*

skubish
Jul 13, 2008, 08:08 PM
developers can provide a demo version for free if they wanted to...

Niiro13
Jul 13, 2008, 08:10 PM
Developers would have to program a demo version of their application.

Many people forget: the iTunes store (non AppStore) is all done by Apple. The AppStore is done by developers (localization, demoes, etc.). Not all the developers are like Apple that feel like there's a need to come out with a demo.

But demos would be nice.

firewood
Jul 13, 2008, 08:22 PM
Several developers have requested a trial app distribution method from Apple. No reply that I've heard about yet.

Rumor is that the App Store won't take "crippled" or demo apps; but will take "lite" versions, or fully functional apps with an advertising or online subscription component in addition.

ender78
Jul 13, 2008, 08:27 PM
It's not easy to make a buying decision based on a screenshot or two. Other than "Remote" I have yet to see any app that I can't live without. Facebook App isn't bad but it needs a lot of work. Why can't I easily write on someone wall !

badtz
Jul 13, 2008, 08:51 PM
agreed.

There's no way someone can make an informed decision off of USER-GEN reviews and ONE screenshot.

And assuming most developers want to provide a trial of their software (which apple isn't allowing at the moment), not every developer should have to create a "non-premium" version. Imagine the store littered with two versions of every app. Not feasible.

Hopefully trials will be implemented in the future, that's fair.

Not fair to buy an app based on the above criteria, only to find out usability bites and it's buggy.

Julien
Jul 13, 2008, 09:02 PM
Keep in mind that it is only day 4 of the App store. It will evolve and improve and demos could very well become a standard for most paid Apps. Just give it some time.

DiamondMac
Jul 13, 2008, 09:46 PM
Agree in a way

I have already bought 3-4 apps that I regret buying within 2 minutes of getting them

But, that is just the way it is. Win some, Lose some.

I am still happy on the whole

Red Sox
Jul 13, 2008, 11:19 PM
I think it's really stupid that there aren't any free tiral versions of the paid apps. I'm very hesitant to pay for an app without having any idea if it's any good or not. I'm pretty sure that I would be buying many more apps if I had a chance to try them first. Apple would probably make more money if they did this too.

LinMac
Jul 13, 2008, 11:46 PM
The programs have extensive DRM so why only trial versions with restricted features?

There should be a 24 or 48 hour trial period where one can try the full application before purchasing it. :cool: It isn't as if piracy is a big problem at the moment.

firewood
Jul 14, 2008, 12:02 AM
A lot of developers have asked for it, but Apple is not (currently) accepting trial apps into the App Store. So please send your request directly to Apple.

The funny part is: Apple already knows how to do time-limited DRM, as that's what they use for time limited movie rentals from the same iTunes store.

robbyx
Jul 14, 2008, 10:06 AM
I couldn't agree more. I bought a few apps from the App Store and the novelty wore off in about 10 minutes. Aside from OmniFocus, which I knew would be good, and Starmap, I'm pretty disappointed by the other apps I bought. I certainly won't be shopping at the App Store in the future unless the app is a companion to a desktop app I already know and love - or Apple implements trials. Otherwise, forget it.

Lexoticstylez02
Jul 14, 2008, 10:11 AM
I'm sure this will come in the future, give it time. The AppStore just came out.

aerospace
Jul 14, 2008, 11:32 AM
All apps should have a $1 trial version thats limited to 7 days for app, or 3 for game.

Apple makes money, developers make money, iphone users have the option to use if they wish, especially for the more expensive apps.

firewood
Jul 14, 2008, 11:44 AM
All apps should have a $1 trial version thats limited to 7 days for app, or 3 for game.

Many developers would like to do this, but Apple does not currently appear to be accepting time limited trial apps. Complain to them please. The more iPhone customers that complain to Apple, the better.

volsfan
Jul 14, 2008, 11:47 AM
Probaly because you could just go read a review. Quit whining and get over it:D

TomyDingo
Jul 14, 2008, 12:06 PM
Probaly because you could just go read a review. Quit whining and get over it:D

I have a hard time trusting a lot of the reviews. The Where app had like five 5-star reviews praising it right when the app store opened, yet no one has since been able to get it working without it crashing.

bacaramac
Jul 14, 2008, 12:34 PM
Same reason I cannot buy a PSP or Nintendo DS game and try, then return it. I think only the big platform games get trials (i.e PS3). I just don't see them doing it. If they did, it would be completely up to the dev's and it would probably only be on games that they know you would buy becuase it is good.

Trials could actully hurt the bad dev's as people would realize the app sucks and post bad reveiws on it.

Although, from a consumer perspective it would weed out the crap really fast.

robbyx
Jul 14, 2008, 02:11 PM
For games you get 3 launches or something like that? Apple could build a standard trialware system for all developers to use. I mean, if they can be the sole distributor of iPhone apps, they already have a ton of control. So adding a trialware option wouldn't be hard.

Pretty much any desktop software is offered with a trial. Why should the iPhone be any different?

Same reason I cannot buy a PSP or Nintendo DS game and try, then return it. I think only the big platform games get trials (i.e PS3). I just don't see them doing it. If they did, it would be completely up to the dev's and it would probably only be on games that they know you would buy becuase it is good.

Trials could actully hurt the bad dev's as people would realize the app sucks and post bad reveiws on it.

Although, from a consumer perspective it would weed out the crap really fast.

bvolt3000
Jul 14, 2008, 03:58 PM
Probaly because you could just go read a review. Quit whining and get over it:D

yeah right
ive seen so many "1 star-this game will suck" or "5 stars-i cant wait to get this"
apple doesnt filter out the owners from the morons
not to mention fanboys and bashers screwing the ratings
the only way is a demo

not a good idea, should have expected as such from a vols fan (go dores! :D)

TomyDingo
Jul 14, 2008, 04:06 PM
yeah right
ive seen so many "1 star-this game will suck" or "5 stars-i cant wait to get this"



Me too! I've seen people rate one app a 1-star and say "THE 2.0 SOFTWARE ISN'T OUT YET FOR MY IPOD TOUCH, FU APPLE!"

pooryou
Jul 14, 2008, 05:10 PM
All apps should have a $1 trial version thats limited to 7 days for app, or 3 for game.

Apple makes money, developers make money, iphone users have the option to use if they wish, especially for the more expensive apps.


Paying for a trial version would not make sense.

kjs862
Jul 14, 2008, 05:12 PM
I'm thinking that there would be trial versions in the future. Buying an application solely on a review doesn't cut it for most people, especially because there is no refund policy.

Red Sox
Jul 14, 2008, 07:45 PM
There are a ton of videos of Apps on YouTube now. It's a good way to check out an App before buying.

ref26
Jul 14, 2008, 08:02 PM
There are a ton of videos of Apps on YouTube now. It's a good way to check out an App before buying.

That's a pretty smart idea, thanks for the tip :)

DiamondMac
Jul 14, 2008, 11:47 PM
Win some, Lose some

Most apps I have paid for and downloaded are good apps that I am satisfied with

But, 2 apps really are terrible that I paid for and I would do anything to turn back that clock.

Vaphoron
Jul 15, 2008, 04:48 AM
I really hope they add trial versions in the future because its really needed. For example, I would like to get an app to track my mileage and calculate my average MPG for me and there are like 5 apps that do that but I'm not sure which to buy.

TonyHoyle
Jul 15, 2008, 05:12 AM
I really hope they add trial versions in the future because its really needed. For example, I would like to get an app to track my mileage and calculate my average MPG for me and there are like 5 apps that do that but I'm not sure which to buy.

There aren't any free ones? Wow. Time for me to crank up the coding skills over the weekend... :p (I reckon about 2 hours to write an app like that, maybe 3 or 4 because I'm not that familiar with cocoa).

ayzee
Jul 15, 2008, 07:09 AM
I went into the apple store today, and the games on the demo iphones, had "demo" versions of the games? Im guessing the demo versions would be free so I wonder if these are available to us. The games were CroMag and that Water Dropplets game

triplefinger
Jul 15, 2008, 01:50 PM
I'm thinking that the iPhone apps should provide a 1 day trial. especially for the more expensive ones.

there are a bunch I'd like to try and would certainly buy if interested but... many I may NOT buy because I can't evaluate them.

Anybody else think so?


Cheers, Mike

cyclingplatypus
Jul 15, 2008, 01:57 PM
I'd like to see a day trial as well.

razorianfly
Jul 15, 2008, 02:02 PM
14 Days.

Thats just enough time to evaluate whether I want a reasonably quality application.

We all know Apple can implement this.

I mean look at iTunes Movie rentals. Expiration files. :cool:

R-Fly

ucfgrad93
Jul 15, 2008, 03:06 PM
I voted for one day, but think a 2-3 day trial would be more reasonable. It is tough trying to evaluate them, but I look at screenshots, read the reviews, and visit the developer's website as part of my evaluation process.

KittyToy
Jul 15, 2008, 03:15 PM
One day would be good... all I need is 20 mins to figure out whether or not the app is going to be the one for me.

Vaphoron
Jul 15, 2008, 07:49 PM
I would say 3 days to a week because people are very busy and can't always get to things right away. It should also start after the app is first launched on the device not from the point when it was synced.

mattmccarty
Jul 15, 2008, 07:57 PM
We don't even need trails at this point but trailers for the games, like with the movies section.

Some games screen shots don't tell the story of the game. Like with De Blob it looks boring with the screens but the game is actually fun, I had to wait until Touch Arcade (http://toucharcade.com/) posted a video of the game before I bought it.

triplefinger
Jul 15, 2008, 08:04 PM
why not trials?

everyone uses things differently.

some programs may not live up to their promotion. trials will make for better software IMHO.



We don't even need trails at this point but trailers for the games, like with the movies section.

Some games screen shots don't tell the story of the game. Like with De Blob it looks boring with the screens but the game is actually fun, I had to wait until Touch Arcade (http://toucharcade.com/) posted a video of the game before I bought it.

mattmccarty
Jul 15, 2008, 08:11 PM
I am not saying trails wouldn't be great it would just be quicker for the developers to at least post a video of the app.


Plus it would probably require an iTunes update to add a trail version, or you could have both the full game and a trail version and flood the app store with duplicates.

jecapaga
Jul 15, 2008, 08:39 PM
Totally agree. What a waste of money on super monkey ball or whatever it's called.

ChrisN
Jul 15, 2008, 08:44 PM
Sounds good why not.

ChrisN

Balty
Jul 15, 2008, 10:40 PM
A 1 day trial would be cool, since you could try it out at the school/office/or wherever :cool:

DeaconGraves
Jul 15, 2008, 10:42 PM
Nothing stopping the developers from creating limited feature demos in the free app store...

triplefinger
Jul 15, 2008, 11:12 PM
i think it could be built in by the app store, since it uses your itunes ID to load/manage your apps, even the free ones.

seems like there would not need to be 2 versions, just one that would remove/lock after a trial period

Nothing stopping the developers from creating limited feature demos in the free app store...

GoCubsGo
Jul 15, 2008, 11:14 PM
A trial would certainly help. You can preview a movie, why not a game or app? At $10 a pop, maybe more, I'd like to try before I buy.

monke
Jul 15, 2008, 11:19 PM
One day would certainly be enough in my case.

After one day, you pretty much know if you would like to use it more or if you would never consider buying it.

Some of the screenshots are misleading, don't carry enough information, or the other case, they show of one or two screens of the best app pages, and that is all you're really paying for.


I'd at least like a preview or something. Maybe it could be somehow imbedded into the iTunes Store? It could be one of those little iPhones that developers got in the SDK that you could use.

stockscalper
Jul 16, 2008, 08:26 AM
Agreed. It is commonplace to get trial downloads for software. And this is especially needed for this new platform where a lot of the programs are buggy. I have already wasted a lot of money on programs that were either useless or buggy and I had to remove them from my phone.

PMB
Jul 16, 2008, 09:06 AM
i think an hour is enough, but yeah, i want to try em before i buy em

Scooterman1
Jul 16, 2008, 09:11 AM
I agree on a week, or two. If you get using the App for a few days, and like it, you're more apt to get hooked and buy it.
I think a Trial is needed because most websites for these new Apps, don't describe their product enough. They tell you just a little bit to try and get you to buy the App, but not enough to show you that features are missing that you may want in the App. A trial would answer most questions in your mind.

eplchamps0304
Jul 16, 2008, 03:24 PM
I noticed that all the apps are not offering any sort of trail period. This is unusual for downloadable software.

carve
Jul 17, 2008, 01:06 AM
1 day would be perfecto

triplefinger
Jul 19, 2008, 03:34 PM
i think an hour is enough, but yeah, i want to try em before i buy em

I tend to agree here. after trying, a few moments was really enough with the simpler apps. (how long is a moment?)

complex ones, should be longer

gadgetmacfreak
Jul 19, 2008, 03:56 PM
I would like a preview - for me one day would be sufficient. But the phrase "be careful what you wish for" also comes to mind. My guess is that if we had previews, games that are $5 would be $10, etc.

I prefer lower overall prices with no previews (base my decisions on reviews) to previews that lead to higher prices.

I agree with other comments that I probably would not have bought monkeyball if I had previewed it. I actually have gotten better at it, but at first I could not control it at all.

gkarris
Jul 19, 2008, 04:02 PM
Intelliscreen gives you 14 days - that's pretty good.

opticalserenity
Jul 19, 2008, 06:20 PM
This is the same trend as regular software for pc's. At first, no trials, then they discovered they can sell way more with trials. Give it a few weeks. The smart vendors will do it.

03sho
Jul 19, 2008, 06:27 PM
1 day would be nice but I doubt it will happen.

JAT
Jul 19, 2008, 06:33 PM
I would like a preview - for me one day would be sufficient. But the phrase "be careful what you wish for" also comes to mind. My guess is that if we had previews, games that are $5 would be $10, etc.


Why? I agree with some others, previews will bring in more purchases, not fewer. I mean, if the app is good, obviously. Not sure how that raises prices.

fbboi999
Jul 19, 2008, 09:07 PM
I think the amount of time should depend on the app...

gadgetmacfreak
Jul 20, 2008, 10:50 AM
Why? I agree with some others, previews will bring in more purchases, not fewer. I mean, if the app is good, obviously. Not sure how that raises prices.

If the app is good then they probably will bring in more purchases, but they will also be more confident to charge a higher price. With no trial people may not want to pay to try it so the vendor charges a lower price. With a trial, lots of good reviews and high quality on their side they would have good reason to raise the price.

Lets say that it is not a really good app, or to put it more kindly, the app has a small group of people who consider it a diamond in the rough - then they might raise prices to make up for lost revenue.

Those are both reasons why the prices might go up. There are also reasons not to raise the price -- I am just saying that it might happen.

triplefinger
Jul 20, 2008, 11:58 AM
In my book higher prices are worth it for a better game. trials would put more pressure on developers to improve their games. which would be good.


I would like a preview - for me one day would be sufficient. But the phrase "be careful what you wish for" also comes to mind. My guess is that if we had previews, games that are $5 would be $10, etc.

I prefer lower overall prices with no previews (base my decisions on reviews) to previews that lead to higher prices.

I agree with other comments that I probably would not have bought monkeyball if I had previewed it. I actually have gotten better at it, but at first I could not control it at all.

littlewaywelt
Jul 23, 2008, 07:40 AM
After downloading a $15 weather program (My Weather) only to discover that you are limited to the cities in their database (very limited) and can't add/search via zipcodes or add anywhere out of the country I felt ripped off.

The biggest problem with app store is that they don't have trial versions. All the big windows mobile software sites and companies offer trial versions of their programs, anywhere from a week to a month long, so you can evaluate whether it will meet your demands.

The App store and programmers need to make this a reality. I don't see any reason why they wouldn't want to since it works so well for WM and makes for happy purchasers.

Tallest Skil
Jul 23, 2008, 07:43 AM
What was wrong with the free one that Apple gave you?

Reading reviews before purchasing is as close to demos as we'll get, I'm afraid.

Luap
Jul 23, 2008, 08:01 AM
I would guess there are no trial versions for exactly the same reasons as last time someone asked why there were no trial versions, only a few days ago..

littlewaywelt
Jul 23, 2008, 08:07 AM
I would guess there are no trial versions for exactly the same reasons as last time someone asked why there were no trial versions, only a few days ago..

sorry missed that.

littlewaywelt
Jul 23, 2008, 08:10 AM
What was wrong with the free one that Apple gave you?

Reading reviews before purchasing is as close to demos as we'll get, I'm afraid.

I read the reviews. None of them indicated this limitation.

The stock app is incredibly lame - highs and lows
It oesn't give you radar, % chance of precip, humidity, wind or tell you if it's going to rain at 2pm or 10pm.

mattmccarty
Jul 23, 2008, 08:33 AM
There are "demo" versions of software. They are called Lite Versions. They are basically slimmed down version of an app to give you a good example of what the app is.

Here's an article (http://www.appstoreinfo.com/?p=91)

We need to pressure the developers into making more of these.

Full of Win
Jul 23, 2008, 12:43 PM
This is my biggest issue with the App store... by far.

MacGeek7
Jul 23, 2008, 12:45 PM
After downloading a $15 weather program (My Weather) only to discover that you are limited to the cities in their database (very limited) and can't add/search via zipcodes or add anywhere out of the country I felt ripped off.

The biggest problem with app store is that they don't have trial versions. All the big windows mobile software sites and companies offer trial versions of their programs, anywhere from a week to a month long, so you can evaluate whether it will meet your demands.

The App store and programmers need to make this a reality. I don't see any reason why they wouldn't want to since it works so well for WM and makes for happy purchasers.

There's also a free version of WeatherBug that works rather nicely

Niiro13
Jul 23, 2008, 12:50 PM
I believe Apple isn't really allowing the timed DRM (like they do for rentals).

But of course developers could create Lite versions like Twitter did.

ucfgrad93
Jul 23, 2008, 01:54 PM
Reading reviews before purchasing is as close to demos as we'll get, I'm afraid.

This is my biggest issue with the App store... by far.

Agreed. This is part of the reason I haven't bought too many applications.

severe
Jul 23, 2008, 02:06 PM
I think I've bought just one app, and it was $.99. However, once downloaded I noticed it's functionally was just out of whack. The company was even aware and promised fixes/upgrades soon, but the time to be informed of this is not after the purchase.

Sure, one could do some Googling/research etc, on each app, but that's a little ridiculous. This information should be readily available on the product page of each app and it should be specific.

It cost me a buck to find this out, others aren't so fortunate. Had it been more, I'da have to open a can. ;)

Vaphoron
Jul 23, 2008, 02:56 PM
I really hope Apple comes up with something soon because there are a few apps that I would like to try out so that I can decide what I want to buy. I am willing to pay good money for good software but I really need to be able to try it to know.

krye
Jul 23, 2008, 03:10 PM
Me too! I've seen people rate one app a 1-star and say "THE 2.0 SOFTWARE ISN'T OUT YET FOR MY IPOD TOUCH, FU APPLE!"

Yeh, I think you shouldn't be about to leave a review unless you downloaded it or bought it. Some of those comment pages read like a forum.

krye
Jul 23, 2008, 03:15 PM
Also, the game demos should maybe just give you the first few levels to try. If you were to get your hands on something like Super Monkey Ball for a day trial, they'd make no money because you'd be able to beat it.

Mal
Jul 23, 2008, 03:20 PM
I agree with those who agree that you shouldn't be forced to buy an application to post a rating type message to let others know about other similar products that work well, but what if they were simply marked or categorized? That way you'd know if the person has used the software or if they've simply posted about something else.

jW

Imola Ghost
Oct 1, 2010, 02:19 PM
I didn't read all of the comments here but will say what I think.

What about having all the applications run in full version for a specified period like 2-3 days unless the developer has a trial or lite version?

I agree with the poster above about the ratings and that I myself won't buy anything unless I read the reviews. So allowing any one to post a review if they bought it and allow people to post comments about other applications available so every consumer can make an informed decision before they buy.

The way the App Store is setup up now is like the candy/magazine aisle as you go pay for your groceries, it's all a impulse buying decision. You can't really make an informed decision about most if not all applications.