8 Replies Latest reply: Jan 8, 2011 10:51 PM by deggie
rnawky Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
Why this wasn't done from day one is beyond me...

Apple should really consider giving developers the functionality to provide trial versions of their software to users. From a development standpoint, there will be next to zero (if any) changes done on your part. A developer could simply mark a paid for application as "tryable". After that, a user could download a trial version of that software (via a button next to the "Buy ($$$)") and the software will be downloaded. After the trial period is up (determined by the developer) the application will no longer function.

I see absolutely no cons to this whatsoever. Not only will it be beneficial to the user, but to Apple and developers alike. Users may be likely to make more purchases from the app store if they could try the application before they purchased it. Up until now, this could be done by the developer making a "Lite" version of their application. Not only does this waste the developers time (making, updating, and maintaining multiple versions of their software) but Apple's as well (more applications must go through the already slow and broken verification process). It would also mean higher product reviews for some applications. Most of the time I see reviews on an application that are very low, they're all because the user thought their first gen iPod touch had a camera and a GPS and they're angry because the app they just paid for doesn't work at all (do to missing and incompatible hardware). Had they been able to download a trial version, they could find out (before they buy) that the application is unsupported by their device, thus saving the developer a review from someone who couldn't read "NOT SUPPORTED BY 1st GEN iPod TOUCHES!" at the beginning of the description.

Also, if and when this feature does come out (I'm sure its been suggested before), please do not say this is a "revolutionary" feature.

Dual Quad Core Xeon, Windows 7, 16GB RAM 6TB RAID 5 HDD
  • roaminggnome Level 10 Level 10 (94,075 points)
    Tell Apple:


    Just because you do not see the downside does not mean that there is not one.

    Apple very likely has more information and resources to determine this than you.
  • Ziatron Level 4 Level 4 (3,815 points)
    I see absolutely no cons to this whatsoever.

    It would reduce income to developers. Most apps are so cheap an evaluation is a waste of time.
  • rnawky Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    You missed the part where I mentioned it would be up to the DEVELOPER if a trial should be offered. If a developer chooses to allow trials, they can specify the length of the trial period. After that, no further input is required from the developer and no code has to be changed. The application will be disabled after X days. After that time, the user can either opt to purchase it or remove it. Any future attempts to download the trial will be blocked (once again, done from Apple's side) unless the developer explicitly allows it (in the event they made some major overhauls and want to give people a chance to try it again).
  • roaminggnome Level 10 Level 10 (94,075 points)
    Many things seem easy until you are the one who has to do it.
  • rnawky Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    I don't follow. Are you saying it would be "hard" for Apple to add this kind of functionality? They made $14.01 Billion PROFIT in the 2010 fiscal year, I think they can handle it.
  • deggie Level 9 Level 9 (51,670 points)
    The developer would have to make the additions and write code that would disable the app. The hackers would come up with a tool to break that so you could get the trial version and continue using it.

    Currently developers can write a "Lite" version for use as a trial and many of them do. Some of these even let you do an in app upgrade.
  • rnawky Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Wrong. Apple would be responsible for disabling the application. The developer wouldn't have to change any of the code. The disabling of the application would be done on the OS level.
  • deggie Level 9 Level 9 (51,670 points)
    Wrong. You would have to have code within the app that would disable the app, unless you were suggesting that Apple disable the OS. Your method is currently used for shareware applications that run under Windows, Linux, OS X, etc. Has nothing to do with the OS.

    Also there is no way Apple would want to take on this liability, and rightly so. If someone does break the code then Apple is responsible for all of the stolen apps by all developers in the Apple Store who use the system. Could be a big bill. Of course Apple could include an indemnification clause resulting in no one using the trial period system.

    Finally, adding such a system to the iOS would be a major undertaking, cost a substantial amount of money, add complexity which carries the potential for bugs, and bloat the code resulting in slower execution times. I'd rather see them spend more time perfecting AirPrint.

    Again, I think the current method of developers offering Lite versions works better.