October 16, 2009
That sure didn't take long. Some developers have immediately jumped at the opportunity to include in-app purchases in their formerly paid apps. As of this morning, three relatively high profile apps have been reduced to free and have been modified to include additional functionality via in-app purchases. Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid is now available in the App Store free of charge, or at least the first chapter is. After downloading the game, you can purchase chapters 2-4 via in-app purchases for $.99 a piece. Chapters 5 and 6 are combined as a single in-app purchase for $1.99. That puts the total price of the full game at the same $4.99 price that it was at previously. You can also just purchase all chapters at once via a single in-app purchase for $4.99 if you already know you want the full game. Boxcar is another popular app that has been reduced to free, but this one seems more like a steal of a deal. Before yesterday's announcement, Boxcar was being offered at $.99, which included the ability to send Push Notifications for a single service. At that time additional services were available via in-app purchases for $.99. Today, however, Boxcar is available for free AND it still includes a single service. Additional services can still be purchased for $.99. UPDATE: As pointed out by ErichD in the comments section, additional services are now priced at $1.99, except for Twitter trends which remains at $.99. Comics by comiXology was another one of those apps that had to be priced at $.99 just to allow in-app purchases, but thanks to Apple's recent decision, that is no longer the case. Comics, the popular comic book reader, is now available free of charge and it still includes over 60 free comics, plus its new exclusive weekly series Box 13. Tons of other comics are available via in-app purchase at prices ranging from $.99-$1.99. So what do you think about Apple's decision now that we are seeing the effects? There may end up being a bit of confusion in the beginning, especially with how to rank and rate free apps that contain in-apps purchases, but the kinks and bugs will certainly be worked out in due time.