Zac Hall Reporting for 9to5Mac:
Apple has introduced a small but interesting tweak to the way it markets apps on the App Store. As you can see in the screenshot above, non-paid apps are now presented with the word ‘GET’ rather than ‘FREE’. While the reason for the change in how Apple is presenting non-paid apps isn’t clear, it’s likely due to the popularity of ‘freemium’ apps and in-app purchases, something that has been the source of controversy for Apple in the past…
Apple has taken a great deal of flack from customers and consumer protection groups through the years over apps marketed as free that push in-app purchases. The freemium model has been used in some cases to circumvent the lack of app trials on the App Store. For example, a developer may make an app free to download, but require an in-app purchase to unlock the app’s full functionality. The new ‘Get’ labels seem to address such a use case where previously ‘Free’ could be misleading.
I am not sure ‘Get’ is the right term to use here and maybe ‘download’ isn’t the right term either due to it already being used for your previously purchased apps but I certainly like it better than ‘Get’. I’d bet this term will get changed again in the near future.
A Much Faster Way To Search The App Store
Let’s be honest, searching in the iTunes Store sucks, especially on the desktop. It’s often slow, and the results are difficult to navigate. Apple has tried to simplify things by displaying one result at a time in the App Store on iOS, but that approach also means that it can take longer to find the specific app you want in a sea of knockoffs.
A new web tool called “fnd” makes it easier to quickly search and navigate not just the App Store, but the iTunes Store in general.
A much quicker and more universal search across all of Apple’s digital stores. Super useful.
In-app purchases and crappy game clones have ‘soured’ Apple’s App Store
Once a fertile breeding ground for original content, the App Store has been reduced to a heap of free-to-play games and clones. Anyone who attempts to stray from the beaten path is typical met with little to no fanfare, hidden in the depths of the store while “endless runners, match-three puzzlers, lightweight city builders and strategy games” steal the spotlight. It has restricted creativity to the point where even reluctant developers are forced to retool their business models to stay competitive.
Agreed. There doesn’t seem much point to having a ‘Paid’ and ‘Free’ sections of the App Store now because of the in-app purchases that any app developer can take advantage off. Clones of apps are a plague to the App Store where wannabe developers are just trying to make a quick buck off the back of original content. It is becoming saturated to such an extent that the large quality of apps are disappearing so any real, original, quality apps find it hard get their head above water.
I used to make a weekly, regular visit to the App Store to look at the exciting new apps that had been released that week – I stopped doing that months ago. Apple needs to curate the quality control before just accepting any app – like when they said they would stop the barrage of apps of the same use case being accepted. I’m all for developers to make money, but there has to be a quality control in place to ensure that Apple’s ecosystem remains the best source for 3rd party apps in the industry.