All the talks during and after the opening WWDC keynote was about what new software updates and changes Apple has made to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac but the most important change has been on the guidelines which govern the App Stores and how developers interact to work within its confines.
Now, every single app is able to offer a free trial of sorts, allowing all developers to temporarily unlock apps and feature additions for a period of time before re-locking them pending an in-app purchase.
The new rule modified to 3.1.1 says that apps can now have a free time-based trail that can be implemented as a free in-app purchase. Previously the only way such a method of offering a trail could be implemented as if there was a recurring subscription involved and developers wanted to offer a free period of usage ahead of the initial payment being taken. This has now been changed and effectively enables free trials for all apps on the App Store.
In reality, the folks at OmniGroup have already done the newly redefined guideline to great effect with apps like OmniFocus, something the company’s Ken Case confirmed via Twitter recently.
However, with the lack of an official mechanism for offering free App Store trials has long been something that developers have lamented and the arrival of one will be gratefully received by both app and game developers alike.
This news is now great which is equally good for users too, who are downloading paid apps from both the iOS and Mac App Store portals. With those who are on the fence about buying particular apps now likely to be able to take them for a test drive before making a purchase. If you’re ever stumped up the cash for an app only to find out it doesn’t actually offer what you need then you will know how desperately this move was needed.
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