Now that Apple is allowing developers to use in-app purchasing in their free apps, local developers are busy rethinking their apps to add this new functionality.
Cheah Chu Yeow, the developer behind the app Singtel Data Usage, is one of those developers. “I'm going to be including in-app purchases for my apps from now on,” he said. He is planning to implement push notifications for his Singtel Data Usage app and making it a US$0.99 in-app purchase.
Games developer Gibson Tang is also thinking about implementing it for his game Piecehunters, which is currently available as a Premium version and a Lite version. As he notes, the advantage of this change is that developers don’t have to maintain two code bases, one for their premium apps, and the other for their ‘lite’ apps. Gibson is planning to incorporate in-app purchases into the lite version of his game later, to avoid the anticipated App Store approvals crush.
Apple’s new policy is changing the development plans for some developers. Local development shop 2359 Media is currently working on an app that would be monetized through the sale of digital content. “We initially had to release a paid version and a free version,” said founder Zhou Wenhan. “We will only be releasing a free version now since it has in-app purchase.”
The news, however, came just a little too late for Mugunth Kumar, who recently submitted an app called MKSync for Apple’s approval. “If Apple allowed this earlier, I would have changed the app to use the in-app purchases module.
“Currently, I'm looking at ways to make some features of the app ‘unlockable’ thru in-app purchases.”