Last week, we commented that Apple made some changes to the App Store's review guidelines, including and changing some rules for developers to publish their apps. Among these, the company added a standard regarding the app testing period that do not require a subscription, something that developers and users have long requested.
Although it was a positive move, this implementation raised a discussion about characteristics of the infrastructure of the App Store and the Mac App Store that do not contribute to developers publishing their apps with information and details of the period trial objectively. That's what the developer of the MarsEdit program, Daniel Jalkut, commented in a note published on his personal blog.
To better understand this situation, Jalkut used as examples applications currently available on the Mac App Store such as MindNode 5, Acorn 6 Image Editor and Sparkle, Visual Web Design. All were released for free on the Mac app store, however they do require an internal purchase to unlock important features. As in the Mac App Store, the iOS platform also has several apps that use the same strategy.
Applications that rely on this purchase method are popularly known as "Freemium" free programs to download, but that require an internal purchase to unlock all its functions or to advance in game phases, for example.
This form of charging, through internal purchases, became known after its implementation by several other apps (both for iOS and for macOS). In the fourth version of MarsEdit, Jalkut said that he adopted this method, applying testing options and several upgrade inside the app.
From the experience he had with MarsEdit 4, the developer created a list with some shortcomings of that format that allows the user to "try" an application and why some problems should continue even with changes to the review guidelines. Among these, he commented that paid apps listed as free can confuse the user; in addition, those who download a ?free? application are understandably irritated when they realize that it will cost a significant amount to unlock some essential functions of the software.
Another detail pointed out by the developer examines that Apple does not allow the user to obtain multiple copies of the same application for educational institutions, for example, and that internal purchases made by a family member are not made available to others within Family Sharing.
To solve these and other problems, Jalkut suggests some ideas that would make the testing period and other details related to internal purchasing much more transparent for users and developers. Among these, instead of listing an app as ?Free with in-app purchases?, the developer could identify the actual price and inform the testing period, for example, ?R $ 14.90 with 14 days of trial?.
In addition, free trials could allow users to download and use all the features of an application without having to deal with any bureaucracy that involves choosing which specific feature the user wants to test. According to Jalkut, users who experience excellent applications and have no problem with the period trial end up paying for them.
Jalkut didn't even address this in his post, but in addition to these problems with app testing, Apple still needs to address other long-standing requests from developers. One of the main upgrades that is, that new versions are launched with promotional prices for those who already had a previous one.