9to5Mac MarsEdit developer lists 8 problems with Apple’s approach to free trials of iOS apps
I certainly see some of the these points as valid – and apparantly licensing is always difficult – and I see this because I get to deal with really ridiculous licensing architectures like, iLOK. O M G! I’m compelled to use AVID’s ProTools, (as opposed to Apple’s Logic X), because Apple refuses to fix a fatal timecode flaw in that product, which would otherwise be a ProTools killer. But, I digress.
Digidesigns’ ProTools, even before they were scooped up by AVID, has always chosen the absolutely, most complicated licensing schemes they can get their hands on, and that alone kills what would otherwise be a perfectly adequate tool for audio professionals. (It’s like being kidnapped by outlaw bad guys and then being forced to dance around the campfire while they shoot at my feet.) I respect the right of all authors, whatever it is that’s being authored, to protect their work and to make sure there is proper compensation for all instances of it’s existence in the wild, but, what it all comes down to is, we, the end-users that actually shell out the $, are the ones that suffer. I think this article kind of gets to that point.
The word confusing pops up several times and that’s something that can turn users away. In the context of where the App Store is now, I see an interesting system where a developer will release a “lite” version and a “full”, or, “Pro” version. Sometimes the move from lite to Pro or Full can be made by an “In-App” purchase, or, the two installs are completely separate. For me this has generally worked very well, to the point that I really miss it when there’s a $10-$50 app that I think will be a useful tool, but, there’s no way to try it before I commit to it. Something else I miss on the App Store is the simple ability to download a trial version of an application that has a built-in time out feature. This allows me, the all important end-user, to try the app before I commit to it, and, gets me off of my butt to make a committment by the end of the trial period. All that being said, I’m glad there’s an attempt being made to provide trial versions.
To both the App Store and the Developers: Don’t make it confusing; don’t make it frustrating; don’t make it complicated; and, remember where the actual money comes from. We the end-users are watching. (This could be a good thing – make it so.)