If you’ve recently checked the iOS App Store or the Mac App Store, you might have noticed that apps labeled as ‘Free‘ are gone and now the button says ‘Get‘. This doesn’t mean that there are no free apps anymore – it’s just another way Apple is trying to protect itself from lawsuits from parents whose kids spent thousands of pounds on in-app purchases. Plus it may have something to do with the EU regulations designed to protect children and their parents from reckless in-app purchases.
We’ve all heard about this. A seemingly unsuspecting child keeps getting in-app purchases in a favourite game using the parents’ credit card and then nearly ruins the parents’ mental health and financial stability with a thousand pounds bill. In the past, Apple has agreed to issue refunds to these customers and added warning labels to free apps with in-app purchases.
By labeling free apps with ‘Get‘ Apple tried to distance itself even further from potential consequences and striped the ‘Free‘ pricing tag from all free apps. Even those free iPhone games that don’t contain in-app purchases are labeled with ‘Get‘ instead of ‘Free‘ now. Google did a similar thing by changing ‘Free‘ to ‘Install‘ earlier this year.
It’s a big question whether this change will affect the way people download apps. While the price tag is removed and the App Store doesn’t say that the app is free, you can view the word ‘Get’ as a call to action (stronger than Google’s ‘Install’). So despite some developers’ fears, the change may actually boost your downloads especially since people are already in the ‘Get!’ state of mind because of the upcoming holidays.