Apple has made a minor, but somewhat significant change to how its apps are being displayed on the iTunes and Mac App Store. Apps that have been previously labeled as ‘FREE’ can now be downloaded by pressing on the ‘GET’ download button. As it turns out, the search-and-replace change is related to an EU ruling which says it’s misleading to call apps with in-app purchases “free”.
The European Commission has succeeded this summer in forcing Google to relabel apps that offer in-app purchases and now it seems that it’s Apple’s turn. But, if you ask me, ‘get’ is pretty vague and doesn’t necessarily explain the nature of the apps. The problem is that it’s more of a call to action than a price. If you ask me, I think ‘IAP’ or ‘Freemium’ for apps with in-app purchases would’ve been much better, but that’s just me.
However, Apple has simply relabeled all free apps across its desktop and mobile App Stores with “GET” buttons, even if some of them don’t offer in-app purchases. Maybe this is a temporary solution and Apple will differentiate free apps from those that come with IAP, but there’s no telling at the moment.
Apple’s Top Charts sections still features Top Free Apps and Top Paid Apps listed in both stores, but most likely the Top Free Apps one will be changed into ‘Top Apps’, just as Google has done it.
Apple has recently also created a Kids Section on the App Store with even stronger protections to cover apps designed for children younger than 13. iOS 8 also comes with an “Ask to Buy” feature which notifies parents before a child can make an app or in-app purchase.
Free-to-play seems to bethe dominant business model in mobile app stores, representing 92 percent of all revenue on iOS and 98 percent of revenue on Google Play in 2013.