APPLE HAS LISTENED to the cries of developers is finally allowing developers to offer free trials for their premium apps.
Until now, while subscription-based apps have been able to offer iOS users a 'try before you buy' option, non-subscription apps have not been able to offer a free-trial period thanks to Apple's stringent App Store guidelines.
This constraint has likely made developers reluctant to offer in-depth, pro-level apps on the App Store, with users equally as reluctant to cough up for an app with no idea if it's any good.
This week, however, Apple quietly updated its App Store review guidelines, which now allows developers to let users download premium apps without paying, and use them for a limited time.
"Non-subscription apps may offer a free time-based trial period before presenting a full unlock option by setting up a Non-Consumable IAP item at Price Tier 0 that follows the naming convention: '14-day Trial," Apple's updated guidelines read.
"Prior to the start of the trial, your app must clearly identify its duration, the content or services that will no longer be accessible when the trial ends, and any downstream charges the user would need to pay for full functionality."
This is a big win for developers, and the move comes just weeks after a group of iOS devs formed The Developers Union, a "non-union union" that called out Apple's restrictive App Store policies.
In particular, the group called on Apple to offer free trials for all apps by the App Store's 10th anniversary in July.
"We believe that people who create great software should be able to make a living doing it," the union, which is currently backed by more than 400 apps and 300 developers said on its website.
"Free trials are a great place to start and gather the momentum needed to create significant change," the Developers Union Writes.
"Trials allow developers to show users their creation and establish value. Before iOS, Mac developers relied heavily on free trials, and they were able to make a living while making great software."
Further, to help struggling developers earn more money, the union plans to ask for a "more reasonable revenue cut" than the 70-30 split Apple currently offers. µ
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