A new strategy from Amazon lets users try out Android apps from the Amazon app store from within an app, giving users an easy way of finding out whether they want to purchase the full version of the app or not. Given that the iOS App Store has historically not been supportive of this approach, is it time for Apple to take a fresh look at their policies. The iOS App Store now has in excess of three quarters of a million apps available on it, which therefore makes it a pretty difficult task to make a decision to purchase one app over other apps that offer similar functionality.
According to the App Store Review Guidelines, Section 2.9 states that ‘apps that are beta, demo, trial or test versions will be rejected’. This means that it is difficult for developers to offer test versions of their apps for users to try out before they purchase. We’ve said ‘difficult’ and not ‘impossible’ because many can developers circumvent this rule by offering ad-supported free versions of their apps that allow users to test drive the app before purchasing the full version. However, isn’t it time for the App Store to start allowing apps that are full-version, full-featured applications, but are time-limited, to allow users to get a better idea what they will be purchasing?
Given that Amazon are now pursuing this strategy, it would be a good time for Apple to look at this again. Of course, given the phenomenal success of the App Store, one could also argue that Apple is obviously doing the app store pretty well as it stands, and making changes for competitors sake would not be the best way to go.
However, from the point of view of the consumer, time limited trial versions of apps on the iOS App Store would be an enormously useful resource, and would surely have a positive effect on sales of apps that offer them. Certainly, some of the more expensive apps without free, ad supported versions would benefit from this strategy and there’s nothing more frustrating than purchasing an app just to find out it is utterly crap.
As we approach 1 million App Store apps, there’s surely got to be a substantial amount of crap?