All PAID Apps should include a Trial Period/Demo ..

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by Khryz, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Khryz macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 7, 2007
    #1
    There are sooo many applications on the App Store that I really want to try, especially the ones where I have to pay for them.

    All the time I download Free apps and know within the first minute (literally) of using them that I want to delete it already. There is no way that I can justify even spending $0.99 on an App if I'm doing to delete it in a minute.

    I would probably spend a lot more money on Apps if I was able to demo them for a period of time to see if I really want to keep it and purchase it.

    Does anyone else feel the same? How could this hurt apple? I can only see it meaning many more people try out all the Paid apps which = more people seeing they like a paid app which = they buy them = more money for Apple.
     
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #2
    The problem with that philosophy is that some people will just stick with the demo and thus they won't pay the money for the full app. I do that all the time with demo apps because I don't have much money for those kinds of purchases.
     
  3. pogochamp113 macrumors member

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    Dec 19, 2008
    #3
    Good idea, but two cons

    1. That means even MORE apps in the app store, which makes it even harder to find good apps.
    2. People would just want to get the demo, so that would hurt developers

    Also, developers (for whatever reason) may not be able to make a demo. It could be an app where its the full version or nothing
     
  4. MacToddB macrumors 6502a

    MacToddB

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    #4
    ...and they delete it and rank it low whereas they'd be more likely to keep an app they paid for.

    And it takes resources to develop a stripped down version, where I'd prefer to put resources into enhancing the app.

    Plus we have a Flash demo (and soon, YouTube videos) showing how to use the app.
     
  5. shigzeo macrumors 6502a

    shigzeo

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    #5
    how bout no ability to rate if you have not paid for the app: demos are only that: glimpses. i too agree that it is often unfair to have an app that you have to pay for without knowing if it will be worth it for you or not.
     
  6. Khryz thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    There's no way for Apple to render the demo useless after a specific amount of time (~ 3 days)?

    And it doesn't have to be an actual DEMO .. but the full paid version that you can trial for a few days until it locks you out and you either have to pay for it or delete it because it's become useless.
     
  7. ayasin macrumors 6502

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    #7
    As a developer I'd love to offer a time limited or feature limited demo version. APPLE WILL NOT ALLOW THIS. If you try it your app will be rejected. Lite version is the best you can do. In a lite version, you can't time limit it and let people try the full app. You also can't gray out features to let people know what they could get with the full version. Basically you have to have 2 copies of your app and hope people upgrade. It works ok for some games, but not for lots of others.
     
  8. MacToddB macrumors 6502a

    MacToddB

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    #8
    It's not in their interest. If the AppStore wasn't successful, perhaps they'd consider something like this. I'm not saying it's a bad idea or that I disagree with you. But from their perspective, it aint broke.

    People are buying. After all, does Apple / iTunes let you sample a full length song, on your iPod, for three days? And then when you've moved on, get your money back?
     
  9. ayasin macrumors 6502

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    Jun 26, 2008
    #9
    Software and a song are not even close to the same thing. Additionally the best selling songs on iTunes are ones that people DO hear in full (on the radio for example). Also Apple could be making a lot MORE money and creating a sustainable eco system if they did allow demos. Most people will not pay $40+ for software they can't try, but lots of people will pay that for software they try and find to be that good. Additionally 0.99 apps (the price point most people are willing to throw away) aren't sustainable financially for developers leading to lots of abandonware (which is much worse for Apple than losing a few sales because people didn't like the app after trying it out).
     
  10. Khryz thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I'm sorry .. I never meant that it was the developer's fault .. I know it's Apple. And yeah I know of the Lite versions which for the most part do give the customer a taste of a premium version so I suppose that is the best option right now.

    Yeah I completely understand .. the App Store is obviously very successful and I know people are buying but I see reviews all the time of people that say they wished they never bought some Apps because they were falsely advertised, reviewed, described, etc.

    And I really don't see how your iTunes comparison really can work for this topic. You can listen to music on your computer on a website where you wouldn't be able to copy it or download it - but you NEED to install an App on your iPhone/iPod touch to try it out which means you need to pay for it first.
     
  11. MacToddB macrumors 6502a

    MacToddB

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    #11
    Of course songs are different than apps, but my point was Apple has been wildly successful with the AppStore so I don't think they see it as broken and needing such a revamp. Personally, I'd like the iTunes App categories and search to be much more fine tuned.

    And song sales, especially trendy songs, would suffer if you could add them TO YOUR iPOD easily, for free, for a few days. Going to a party? Download a playlist for free. Hear a trendy song? Demo it for free. When you're sick of it, it's gone. No charge. Like the Rhapsody model. Apple has rejected that.

    I doubt that Apple would make more money by offering demos. People would play games and 3 days later (or sooner) they would have completed every level. Did the user get $0.99 out of it? Sure... especially compared to a videogame arcade. Now, make it free for 3 days. Sales would plummet. Is that fair to the developer?

    I can understand the concern for a $40 app but how many apps warrant that price in the first place? If you're looking out for the consumer, don't charge $40!!! If you're looking out for the developer, or for Apple, free trials will cut into sales, especially games, and take resources.

    Let me add that I think games is the biggest area where such free trials would hurt, because people play them for a while til they master them and then they're done. Utilities, like mine, it's less of an issue. I agree that there are areas for improvement, and we have a Flash demo so users can have a better idea of what the app is. I wish we could have more formatting (even BOLD!) in the iTunes description, and the opportunity to use Animated GIFs instead of static screenshots.
     
  12. ayasin macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I strongly encourage you to read this. It does a great job of explaining issues with 0.99 apps and how the inability to charge a reasonable amount is holding back really well made apps (apps that would be worth $40). Allowing demos could fix a lot of the issues with customer fear. I personally would love to release a demo version of my app. I don't think it would reduce sales, and if it did then there's something wrong with my app. Not having a demo version just because you think people will try your app and decide not to buy it imo is ethically questionable at best. I agree that not all apps can have a time limited demo, maybe a feature limited demo would work. Maybe the developer doesn't want to provide a demo (how long is a fart app really going to entertain you) and that's fine. I'm just saying give us the option.
     
  13. MacToddB macrumors 6502a

    MacToddB

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    #13
    I've read that, and understand, but the problem is not the apps, it's the appstore. Of course valuable apps are going to get lost in the shuffle. It's the AppStore that needs more categories. If you'll allow me to use the music analogy again, imagine going to a record store and having one category, "Entertainment". And then only showing the top 20.

    Instead, you actually get to choose from R&B, Soul, Rap, Pop, Dance, Vocal, Soundtracks, Country, Jazz, etc...

    I think the problem is standing out in an overcrowded appstore where so many diverse apps are in the same category.

    For example, if they had Golf Apps as a category, your app would stand out. I also notice that you charge about $20/month to use your app, in addition to the AppStore price. So there are creative ways to recognize revenue outside the price of the app.
     
  14. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Colorado Springs, CO
    #14
    That's EXACTLY what I was thinking today. It's just so bloody hard to find anything without knowing the name to search for it (and even then it takes the servers hours to update the database when a new app is finally added).

    However I also agree with ayasin. The option of different types of demos are needed. It's held me back from buying some apps for sure. Reviews/videos can only do so much.
     
  15. ayasin macrumors 6502

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    Jun 26, 2008
    #15
    It's actually $20 a year ;). First year comes with the price of the app...but we're actually about to switch to giving away the mobile app for free with a premium membership (which will be $20). This way we can let people take the app on course and try it out before they have to pay for it. Just wish I could do something similar with iNeedStuff. I also agree that standing out is a problem...but allowing demos is a way for quality to be recognized.
     
  16. MacToddB macrumors 6502a

    MacToddB

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    #16
    This has been a VERY informative... and costly thread! I might buy your app now.. AND AN IPHONE FOR MY DAD!

    He's on his 4th Treo with Sprint (not because he likes it but it keeps failing and getting replaced) and I want him to get an iPhone so he can run my app! Somehow I thought your site said $20/month, but for $20/year I can get him an iPhone with the difference!

    Maybe the answer is UTILITIES need to be treated differently. For example, there are security apps (for X10 and webcams, etc.) that charge a lot, deservedly, but they'll never be in the top 20. And they could benefit from time-limited fully functional trials. I'm not a game developer, but I think games would stand the most to lose from time-limited fully functional trials.... like trendy music.

    In the meantime, a Flash demo is a good way to demo an app. It can help someone who might not even have an iPhone "demo" it and justify an iPhone purchase, like my dad for your golf app!

    And your model, if you adopt it, is smart. Give it away (or $0.99 if you want to stand out in the paid category, perhaps with one month free), and recognize your revenue directly, outside of iTunes.

    The lesson is, if you rely on iTunes alone, you're not going to see results unless you get ranked... so pretend that's just out of your hands.

    Finally, for just a second, pretend the AppStore is just the checkout register... like PayPal. Pretend it didn't offer any searching, or categories, or Top Lists. It was just a way to complete the purchase.

    You would have to do a heck of a lot more marketing. You would need a good web site, newsletter, press releases, Flash demo (or animated GIF for viewing on an iPhone), offer promo codes to get reviews, newsgroup participation, get magazine and blog coverage, do search engine optimization plus online and traditional advertising.

    Do the above and you might get lucky. I did... 100sounds is #8 in Entertainment and #58 overall. Not bragging... I know I've been extremely lucky and it could all end tomorrow. But I've done the above steps and of course, I feel we've created an app that "is a better mousetrap", and delivers more than it promises, and is backed by pretty good service as my reviews on my site indicate. Enough tooting my own horn! Gotta sleep...it's 1:30am and I'm headed to the Consumer Electronics Show in the afternoon!
     
  17. okaive macrumors member

    okaive

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    #17
    Ahh, but they can have a time limit on the demos. Such as a week of play after it is downloaded.
     
  18. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #18
    Which would frustrate the user, that would be a double-edged sword tactic.
     
  19. dougdawson macrumors member

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    Aug 24, 2008
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #19
    We would LOVE to be able to offer a demo version of our upcoming app. Use it for two or three weeks, get used to it, then decide whether you want to keep it. This is not a game app, BTW. The game devs might be concerned about the audience getting bored, but that only applies to apps that people might get bored with.

    Doug
     
  20. Bingbonghoho macrumors member

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    #20
    I agree totally but it would just never happen?
     
  21. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #21
    Microsoft got this one right on Xbox 360 by forcing developers to produce a demo version of all Xbox Live Arcade titles. It's a shame Apple didn't follow this excellent lead.
     
  22. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #22
    An online demo - you can try it out in the iTunes Store.

    Limited to 2 minutes worth, and if you like it, buy it.
     
  23. MacToddB macrumors 6502a

    MacToddB

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    Rochester, NY
    #23
    Interesting idea. Maybe they could make the iPhone Simulator available to purchasers. They could limit it to Macs, which might encourage users to buy Macs vs. PCs! They've already done that for developers! So you can try s/w but only if you have a Mac! But certain things, like accelerometer, multi-touch would be hard to demo.
     
  24. SFC Archer macrumors 68000

    SFC Archer

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    Troy, MT
    #24
    A fully operational Demo is the answer to this major problem. The "Lite" apps do and can hurt the Dev because someone might be satisfied with just the light version and thus continues to use it. With a Demo version...it is the exact same thing the Dev creates and sells with one simple addition...termination code. This way he does not have to make two entirely different apps. The Demo would self destruct after 7 days...plenty of time to try something out...and then would self terminate just like the rented movies. Its so easy and is already being done by apple and rentals.

    I am sure move developers would appreciate this method over the current and by allowing users to try full working versions for 7 days would basically entrap the user into buying the real thing .vs a half operating app that the user gets to try and does not know what else it does so decides not to buy because he is still not sure it will do what he wants.

    7 Day self terminating demo's is the answer.
     
  25. ayasin macrumors 6502

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    Jun 26, 2008
    #25
    I'm not sure why people keep arguing that demos would hurt devs. This isn't the case in any other software market...shareware thrives (as a matter of fact MOST Mac software is shareware).
     

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