Idea to allow demo's for apps

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by firewood, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. firewood macrumors 604

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    Silicon Valley
    #1
    Apple isn't allowing time limited demos, probably because it will severely cut into impulse purchase revenues in the App store, as well as create a lot more app cracking/theft opportunities.

    But here's an idea that will allow users to test apps, but won't let any apps escape onto the user's devices without them paying.

    Allow demo's to be downloaded to the iPhone demo models which are locked-down to tethers in the Apple stores. Apple can run some special OS configuration/provisioning on these devices so that they can either download for free, or reverse the App store purchase charges auto-magically after some demo period. Add a checkbox on the developer submit/control page so that developers can opt-in or opt-out of this demo opportunity, on a per application basis.

    Then, just like you can try-before-buy some new iPod model in the store (but not at home), you can try before buying most apps in the store as well.


    so?
     
  2. Jeremy1026 macrumors 68020

    Jeremy1026

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    #2
    It would be just as easy for apple to allow developers to time limit their lite apps. Actually, time locking apps could be accomplished in about 20 lines of code.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #3
    As I understand, you can demo apps to some extent at the Apple store, right? What are the limitations on this / how does it work? (I've never tried it) Do the store iPhones let you download anything for free, or do they just have a set of popular apps pre-installed? Letting anything be installed to the store demo iPhones would certainly also be a solution, and they can easily set themselves up to periodically wipe them if they get full or cluttered.

    But I don't understand what the big deal with the current Apple "Lite" version restrictions are -- it seems that the lite restrictions haven't stopped EA and many other major developers from making free demo versions of their games, so I don't understand why they would stop anyone else.
     
  4. NewGenAdam macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Or how about Apple developing a generic web interface which could be used by prospective buyers to run apps on web browsers, or maybe iTunes. Developers could upload full or partial versions of their apps to be demoed.

    That way they could show customers demos, while both retaining incentive for the to actually buy, and circumventing the whole piracy potential issue.

    That was badly explained. Meh.
     
  5. Jeremy1026 macrumors 68020

    Jeremy1026

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    #5
    Only problem with that is, the web browser/iTunes doesn't have multi touch, nor an accelerometer, nor guaranteed access to a microphone. 3 technologies often used in iPhone apps.
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #6
    Or any software, I think, that would deliver iPhone-level graphics via a browser. I don't think you're going to be playing Brothers in Arms in Flash....
     
  7. liptonlover macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    A proper time limit implemented by a developer would require a lot more than 20 lines of code. Sure they can limit it, but the player can then just delete and reinstall the app. Most users probably wouldn't do that for most demos because it'd be a big pain, but it's still not ideal. Time limited demos will have to be supported by apple specifically.
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #8
    But again, what I don't understand is this: if you take your game, offer a few of its levels or options (either a few levels, a few race tracks or cars, take out some of the weapons, etc, etc) with all features in the lite version of the game intact (nothing ghosted, etc), this completely complies with Apple's requirements, doesn't it? And numerous games both by large development houses and much smaller groups have done this. Why not? It's just a cost of doing business, and it's not an overly onerous one.
     
  9. iFerd macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I'm quite unlikely to make a special trip to an Apple store to try out an iPhone application.
     
  10. Jeremy1026 macrumors 68020

    Jeremy1026

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    #10
    Exactly, most people wont do it. And those that will, are more likely to just download a cracked version.
     
  11. firewood thread starter macrumors 604

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    #11
    Downloading a cracked version is a violation of copyright law in many places. There do exist people who pay attention to that fact.

    But downloading a demo from the App store is not a violation of copyright law. And once it's on your device, "fair use" may allow you to legally run the demo anytime you want, no matter if the EULA says something contradicting the law.


    but IANAL.
     
  12. Jeremy1026 macrumors 68020

    Jeremy1026

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    #12
    The point of my last post was to say. If someone is going to go through the trouble of downloading an app demo. Then take that demo and keep removing it and resyncing it to get by simple time locks. Then that same person would probably be just as eager to get a cracked version of the full app.
     
  13. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

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    Jun 25, 2008
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    USA
    #13
    Or, get this, offer free/lite versions of the apps to let people see what the app is all about before they go buy it. Then they can download the full version later. Kind of like a demo... Hmmm... Nevermind. I guess it's exactly a demo. Problem solved.

    It's the same method many PC game demos use. If you like the game/app, you'll pay for more than the use of 1 level or a crippled feature list. If you don't like/need it, then you won't. Doing this allows you to charge more for the actual app because you don't have to worry about people thinking that they won't risk spending so much on something they don't even know anything about.

    The lack of demos was a problem in July, but developers have already solved that issue.
     
  14. firewood thread starter macrumors 604

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    #14
    Except that Apple regularly rejects Demo apps. A Lite app must be a fully-functional non-time-limited app, with no dimmed out controls, or necessary but missing levels.

    Some developers have had to try submitting Lite version apps several times before figuring out exactly how to describe what the Lite app is missing to the customer, but without using words that imply to Apple that a feature is missing.
     
  15. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040

    ViViDboarder

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    #15
    Really? Damn. That's stupid. Sorry for the misinformation.
     

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