Free Trials for All Paid Apps Now Possible Thanks to Updated App Store Guidelines

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple yesterday introduced updated App Store Guidelines, which bring a much-desired feature that both developers and customers have been wanting for some time -- free trial options for all apps.

    A modified 3.1.1 rule in the guidelines says that apps are now able to offer a free time-based trial period using no-cost in-app purchase options that will temporarily unlock app functionality.

    So, for example, you will be able to make a $0.00 in-app purchase in an app to unlock a free trial period that lasts for a set period of time, usually a few days to a week or two.

    With this change, all apps in the App Store will be able to free trials to customers should the developers choose to implement the feature.

    Prior to the guideline update, free trial periods for App Store apps were available only for subscription-based apps, where you had to agree to make a monthly or weekly payment to get access to a free trial.

    A lack of free trials for apps has been a major complaint for both the iOS and Mac App Stores, and especially so on the Mac App Store, where apps are often more expensive and offer more extensive functionality that customers may want to test before making a high-dollar purchase.

    Apple implemented several other changes to its guidelines, including restrictions on subscription apps that attempt to scam people out of money and new rules for remote mirroring apps like Steam Link.

    Article Link: Free Trials for All Paid Apps Now Possible Thanks to Updated App Store Guidelines
  2. LawJolla macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2013
    This story should have been written in 2012. But we'll take it...
  3. Corrode macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2008
    Calgary, AB
    Doesn’t this encourage developers to use IAP more often, making it more difficult for users to take advantage of Family Sharing? I hate when they do that.
  4. Mikey44 macrumors regular


    Mar 6, 2012
    Am I missing something or does this policy change seem like it means more apps will move to in-app purchases to unlock the full functionality of an app?

    I kinda don't like that, because it prevents family sharing, and then I have to buy it twice for me and my wife.
  5. nwcs macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2009
    I like the idea but this effectively kills family sharing as you'd have to re buy IAP for each family member.
  6. Lyoha macrumors newbie


    Mar 20, 2014
    Ha! Everybody has the same exact concern. Add me to the list.
  7. jeremiah256 macrumors 65816


    Aug 2, 2008
    Southern California
    I understand the concerns about in app purchasing, but I believe this will allow developers to offer two prices: one for individuals and a slightly higher one for family sharing. And I think that is fair and would be a great compromise.
  8. Pirate! macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2017
    Is that possible to do in app (offer a family price)? Could developers post two apps in the store, one for trials, one for purchase (basically use the free version for demos and “no ads” for purchase)?
  9. cppguy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2009
    SF Bay Area, California
    It was always possible to create two apps, free and paid, but it was rarely done. It's also a pain to manage both, and you lose your data (game progress, etc.) when you upgrade. Let's say you buy it for yourself, later you decide to share it with the whole family, you may need a special data migration facility as well. Every time they fix a bug, they need to get both reviewed and published. Then my purchase history is going to show both apps, and it's not immediately clear which one is which, or why I have two copies. It's a little bit of a pain.
  10. Shaun, UK Suspended

    Shaun, UK

    Mar 23, 2006
    Most cloud software have free trials so this move is long overdue.
  11. WannaGoMac macrumors 68020


    Feb 11, 2007
    While loss of family sharing is sad, the vast majority of developers dont make enough in the app store to maintain their apps. This may help devs from smaller outfits to survive and flourish(?)
  12. Dan Poynor macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2018
  13. jeremiah256 macrumors 65816


    Aug 2, 2008
    Southern California
    I may be missing something, but I don't see why not. The Curling Association releases a free or trial app that just gives news updates. In-app purchase for $50 gives you permission for one year to view one live stream at a time. Family purchase for $75 gives you three simultaneous live streams for three different devices/accounts.
  14. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    My wish is that devs wouldn't be able to put their apps in the free section if it's just a trial. Heck maybe the free apps with in app purchases should be barred as well.
  15. omihek macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2014
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Exactly, plus if you don't like the app after the free trial is over, it follows you around forever and ever in your app purchase history. They should just offer a free trial directly from the App Store that automatically ends and deletes the app (from your device and any history it might be stored in) unless you go back in and make the purchase.
  16. FelixDerKater macrumors 68030


    Apr 12, 2002
    Nirgendwo in Amerika
  17. drumcat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 28, 2008
    Otautahi, Aotearoa
    This is why the fam here has, and always will be, on a single account. This stupidity has never been sorted properly. One persona, and additional iCloud accounts for individual stuff such as personal calendars and emails.
  18. Mikey44 macrumors regular


    Mar 6, 2012
    Doesn't Android sort of offer this functionality? I've really been flirting with the idea of the Pixel 2 XL (I also like to play with the different OS's from time to time), after getting a Google Home especially. Sorry, side tracked, but I think this would be the more efficient way to offer this functionality. Every app on the App Store feels like it has that little note now, "In-App Purchases".

    My super scientific extra accurate sample test provides results:
    2 of the top 10 Paid Apps have IAP
    2 of the top 10 Free Apps have IAP
    6 of the top 10 Paid Games have IAP
    7 of the top 10 Free Games have IAP

    So, on average based on my sample size:
    20% of Apps that are not games have IAP. (or people are wholeheartedly rejecting the subscription model)
    65% of Apps that are games have IAP (I'm splitting the difference between the 2)

    I'm not expecting to pay for an App and wham bam I expect to be able to use it forever and keep getting free upgrades. I expect to be able to have the App supported at least for the next year or 2 if I am lucky. Any bug fixes or features that are pushed out to me after that time, I should expect to pay for.

    Maybe that's just me, and I reallllllly went on a tangent, but this is where I think Free Trials should come into play.
  19. ThisGuyBen, Jun 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018

    ThisGuyBen macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2018
    Free trials will be great, but we still struggle with offering subscriptions to schools who purchase our app via the VPP - where they can't do in-app purchases.
  20. cmaier macrumors G5

    Jul 25, 2007
    You don’t need to use IAP to prevent family sharing if you are a developer.
  21. Futurix macrumors 6502


    Nov 22, 2011
    A simple swipe hides it.
  22. Glassed Silver macrumors 68020

    Glassed Silver

    Mar 10, 2007
    Kassel, Germany
    IAPs aren't as easy to backup though...

    Oh well, don't use the App Store for paid software on Mac anymore anyways besides the stuff I already have.

    Glassed Silver:ios
  23. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Now I’ll be able to avoid a bunch of crap I shouldn’t have paid for and discover a bunch of cool apps that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. This is great for the customer and quality app devs everywhere. Can’t believe it took this long. As described, however, it seems a little cumbersome vs. just making a simple free trial button with the developer able to set a fixed length.
  24. mgauss7 macrumors regular


    Apr 23, 2009
    This is an honest step. About two months ago I purchased a $20 App which didn't work for me and I have to contact Apple and answer questions. Pathetic. Now it will be a pleasure to recommend great Apps to all my friends, now that I know that if they see benefit they will use it and if they do not they will not be harmed. It will increase the market tremendously.
  25. TracesOfArsenic macrumors regular


    Feb 22, 2018
    This seems like a sloppy way (from a user's UX) of doing trials. If I understand it correctly that means any app that wishes to allow a demo will have in-app purchases now. At least from my point of view, I give preference to apps that don't have IAPs when I'm browsing for something I don't know about. Now so many more apps will have that little icon/message and people will have to check if it's just the timed demo. Yuck.

Share This Page

55 June 5, 2018