Apple makes try-before-you-buy possible for app users


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The Independent Tech

App developers are being given the ability to offer free trials of their products to users of Apple devices.

The service, which emerged following the release of Apple's new Terms of Service agreement for iTunes yesterday, will be offered to consumers via in-app subscriptions.

Developers will be able to use the feature to encourage people to try their apps for a set period of time before being charged.

Such a move would give consumers a chance to test in-app subscriptions before making a decision over whether or not to pay.

Currently developers have to encourage consumers to activate a paid-for in-app subscription by paying up-front and some consumers may be wary of trying it without being able to see what they will be getting.

But this move will ask users to turn off the subscription if they do not want to pay.

The terms say: "Certain paid In App Subscriptions may offer a free trial period prior to charging your Account.

"If you decide you do not want to purchase the In App Subscription, turn off auto-renewal in your Account settings during the free trial period."

The change is likely to affect magazine and book publishers to a greater degree. Apple has become heavily involved in the publishing of books and magazines via its iBooks and Newsstand apps and publishers would be able to offer a free trial leading to a paid-subscription unless it is cancelled.

Recent figures show that men's magazines dominate the general digital publishing sector with Men's Health coming top with a total average net circulation of 7,779 and T3 second with 7,327.