Freemium apps have gotten a lot of flack in the past for being misleading. This has led parents to believe that these so-called free apps won’t cost them anything, only to find out that their kid has racked up thousands of dollars in in-app purchases. Now app stores like Apple’s iTunes App Store have evolved over the years to indicate that apps have in-app purchases, and the latest move by Apple is a step towards making freemium apps seem less misleading.
If you were to launch the iTunes App Store, you will notice that apps that were once labeled as “free” are no longer labeled as such. Instead, as you can see in the screenshot to the right, they are labeled as “get”. This makes it less misleading as it makes it more obvious that these apps aren’t exactly “free” per se.
According to App Annie VP Marcos Sanchez, he’s not completely sure if this could change buying habits, but acknowledges that there could be some impact. “I’m not completely sure, but one could argue that it is a more ‘action’ oriented, pro-active word, which could have a positive effect as a call to action. Small changes can sometimes have a positive impact.”
The change in the iTunes App Store follows in the footsteps of Google who in July, made similar changes to the Google Play Store in which freemium apps are no longer labeled as free, although these changes were applied to apps downloaded in Europe due to pressure put on the company by the European Commission.