App Store 'free' is now called 'get'

App store 'get' label

Resentment has been growing against apps that call themselves "free" but bulge with in-app purchases and related microtransactions, and today Apple altered a bit of its wording on the App Store apparently in response to that sentiment. If only it weren't so awkward. Apps and games that used to read "Free" in the button reserved for prices with paid apps now display "Get," which seems inelegant to, say, "Download" or "Install."

Apple implemented the changes both on the iOS App Store and on the desktop version, and the wording appears not only on the individual app pages but also on the top charts. Much as with the previous "free" label, the new "Get" label appears on every app that's initially free to download regardless of whether it has in-app purchases or not.

Apple hasn't said as much (in fact, it hasn't said anything at all), but it's likely that the change arises from pressures from the European Commission, which made headlines earlier this year when it successfully forced Google to label apps with in-app purchases differently (via The Verge). Later, the commission applied the same pressure to Apple. The chief concern, the commission said at the time, was that users might be mislead about the cost involved in downloading a particular app. Furthermore, there was some concern that some such apps were being directly marketed to children.

The iPhone maker did take some action on the matter earlier after working with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, specifically by requiring passwords before users can make in-app purchases and also by clearly stating that apps offered in-app purchases on their respective pages. More controls came with iOS 8, which lets parents approve of deny their childrens' purchases through Family Sharing. (And with good reason, too.) But if the latest development suggests anything, it's that all that work apparently wasn't enough.

(Source: | Leif Johnson)


17 Jan 2019 - 03:40

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