Apple Promotes Subscription-Based Apps With Free Trials in the App Store

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has opened a new section of the iOS App Store that promotes subscription-based apps offering free trials (via 9to5Mac).

    Called "Try it for Free", the subcategory appears in the Apps tab and is currently home to just four apps, including USA Today, 1Password, Panna: Video Recipes & Classes, and Lake: Coloring Books. Tapping "Free Trial" next to one of the apps takes the user to a screen showcasing the subscription offer (if the app hasn't been previously downloaded), which details how long the trial runs, the recurring cost after the trial ends, and how to download the app.


    All of the apps in the subcategory have offered free trials for some time, suggesting Apple is renewing efforts to push subscription-based apps by encouraging users to try them out for a time before committing to recurring payments.

    Subscription-based apps tend to divide the user community, but adoption of the model has increased over the last six months. Apple began incentivizing developers to sell their apps for a recurring fee instead of a one-time cost when it made changes to its App Store subscription policies in 2016. Usually, Apple takes 30 percent of app revenue, but developers who are able to maintain a subscription with a customer longer than a year see Apple's cut drop down to 15 percent.

    Late last year, Apple also started letting developers offer discounted introductory pricing and time-limited free trials on auto-renewable app subscriptions, based on the idea that subscriptions provide a higher likelihood of an engaged audience.

    Article Link: Apple Promotes Subscription-Based Apps With Free Trials in the App Store
  2. BootsWalking macrumors 6502a

    Feb 1, 2014
  3. Stella, Jan 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018

    Stella macrumors G3


    Apr 21, 2003
    Nice! Fixes a big gap in the AppStore - try before you buy.
  4. vicviper789 macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2013
    I delete any app that pushes a subscription. I know servers are not cheap but when I have to pay $1-5 per app per month, it becomes very expensive.

    I noticed an uptick in apps where to use the apple pencil, you need to subscribe. Like Duet for example. flippin ridic
  5. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    All apps should have a "try before you buy" option. One of the most frustrating things is getting an app and it turns out its total garbage, or doesn't have one feature you really need.
  6. Ramchi macrumors 6502a


    Dec 13, 2007
    I think this subscription model for consumer mobile apps may not be a big hit. I can understand business houses pay for storage, support, security etc..for normal consumers, having iCloud or DropBox or One Drive is sufficient. There is so much you can do in a mobile app to substantiate subscriptions. If there is a big push by all app developers for this model, users might slow down their smartphone usage/adoption and might as well go back to web interface through workstations without subscriptions.

    Standalone apps for professional needs may keep charging subscriptions like Creative cloud, Office 365, etc..
  7. pete2106 macrumors 6502


    Dec 7, 2012
    The other day I put the App Store in my 'Garbage' folder. I rarely venture into it but it really is shocking what it has become in recent years.
  8. alexgowers macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2012
    I think we all agree freemium works for small developers. Micro transactions/pay to play works for gaming companies but is basically gambling, works but is horrid. Paid versions don't work, they rely on you knowing how the app functions.

    Subscriptions are horrible in all software I've ever used. PC or whereever! I hate them and so do most people. This is a terrible move that will push paid versions towards subscriptions that everyone hates in my experience.

    I'd have preferred apple to offer paid apps with a demo period, where they're fully functional for a period of days or months depending on the developer.

    This is VERY customer UNFRIENDLY and I expected better from apple.
  9. Mac-lover3 macrumors 6502


    Dec 2, 2014
    I'm against subscriptions but if the app is worth it it's fine by me if it stays under de 5$/month.
  10. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    The only types of apps that offer subscriptions that I think are fair are music services, video content services and cloud storage. I may start to minimize my use of mobile tech and begin getting cheaper phones if I have to subscribe to services that were previously free. I'm already paying a hefty monthly fee for a data plan and I'm not paying $5 a month to check the weather. No.

    The subscription model for password management seems particularly ludicrous to me.
  11. sinsin07 macrumors 68040

    Mar 28, 2009
  12. homonto macrumors newbie


    Nov 17, 2017
    IMHO it is not about the model (1 price or subscription) but about total cost of application.
    Question only is: for how long do we use the application before we leave it or before it has to get upgraded (that is also priced even without subscription).
  13. JOCO53 macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2018
    I don't know the number of free apps I've tried and then discarded. That is why I'm hesitant to buy an app. The app developers would probably sell more if they had a 7 day trial before you buy on their apps.
  14. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
    Two different things going on here:

    1 - Try before you buy. This needs to become the norm, not the exception.

    2 - Subscription model. That in itself often sucks.

    But, don't throw out #1 because #2 sucks.
  15. redgreenski macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2017
    I just use Apple maps. Not to mention most of the above apps double dip. They charge you subscription and also collect your emails, locations, etc and sell it to Facebook. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
  16. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    I actually really like this idea. It has the potential to address an issue with games on the App Store, where premium content stagnants quickly after release because there is no continuous flow of funds. As much as I hate F2P games, they do have phenomenal long term support by the developers, with frequent updates to content and stability. However F2P games are IMHO terrible from a gameplay perspective because they need to convince you to pay. For example, they frequently have grinding tuned to frustrate the player to pay as opposed to being rewarding.
    I’m ok with continuing to play for a app to be maintained and supported, but I will never pay micro transactions for consumable items in a game.
    That said, this has the potential to be easily abused. I remain cautiously optimistic.
  17. jimbobb24 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2005
    We were out a piano teacher for awhile so my children relied on a subscription app to keep their fingers nimble. Worked out much cheaper than the teacher.
  18. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Excellent. Developers prefer users who want to help pay the rent to cover the time taken to develop, then support and update apps over the long term. Why should we work for free for users who have no interest in painting our fences or weeding our lawns for free? If you find some free knock-off app covered with ads instead, go for it.
  19. subjonas macrumors 65816

    Feb 10, 2014
    Subscriptions should be the rare exception (continuous new valuable content, server maintenance, etc). For standard applications, just set a price for what you made and let me buy it if I think it’s worth it. If you improve it then charge an update fee and if I think it’s worth it I’ll pay again. That’s how it works in the real world. None of this regular monthly income regardless of what you put out, and regardless if it’s anything I want. If you try to lock me into a subscription when I don’t deem it absolutely necessary then I’ll simply look elsewhere for whatever it is you offer.

    My other gripe is when apps force me to sync my data to cloud servers for no good reason. The data doesn’t actually need to be in the cloud except so that they have an excuse to charge me a subscription and possibly for data-mining. I have plenty of storage on my devices and they all talk to each other just fine on my private home network. Let my hardware handle the storage and syncing, just let me buy your software.
  20. JRobinsonJr macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2015
    Arlington, Texas
    Indeed! It's too complex, convoluted and constipated. Not enough categories / sub-categories given the number of available apps. Finding something truly useful is nothing more than a crap-shoot. I end up googling for apps for a purpose then go to the App Store for nothing more than acquisition.
  21. SigEp265 macrumors 6502


    Dec 15, 2011
    Southern California
    One thing I like about android is that you can get a refund instantly if you don't like the app.
  22. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    App Store needs:
    1. The ability to demo a paid app for a week or something before purchasing.
    2. The ability for developers to discount upgrades. Customer loyalty means a lot.
    3. An actual search that works and is useful.
  23. vicviper789 macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2013

    I will happily pay for an app once and only once. I write software too and I know the difficulty and time involved to build an app from scratch. If the dev choses to write a new upgraded app and release that, I can choose to upgrade (like Star Walk). I refuse to pay a dev $1/month because they wrote an app that essentially parses NOAA data or it toggles a software switch to enable a feature that is already there.

    It's like having a buddy who did you a favor. You buy them lunch once, not every month for the rest of your life.
  24. xero9 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 7, 2006
    They really should have a window of like 3, 6, 12, or 24 hours where you can simply cancel the purchase and have the app removed. They can even go as far as making it a one-time per app basis, so it doesn't get abused.
  25. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I'd rather pay full price for a fully developed app than pay small amounts for a half-arsed app. Seriously. The whole subscription model is plain dumb and hurts consumers.

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