“Try Before You Buy” Section Hits The App Store!


In Apple’s latest attempt to thwart App piracy, a new section has been added to the USA App Store. The new section is wonderfully named: Try Before You Buy.

In the “Try Before You Buy” section, users will find many of the “lite” or free versions of paid apps that support a trial or lite version.

The section is appropriately named as many users who pirate apps have the tendency to say that they are only pirating the app to “try it before I buy it”.

So, Apple now has a perfect section that showcases the apps that are free or “lite” version in the App Store. With this new section now live, there is no point to pirating apps anymore, right? Oh, except for the fact that pirated apps are free. 🙂

What do you think of the new “Try Before You Buy” section?


  • vinnie

    I'd tell you IF I HAD AN IPHONE 4!!!!

  • roadcarver

    It looks like Apple is combating the Android Market Place's 24 hr trial offering.

  • Nick

    I think it's a good idea. I actually do end up getting a lot of apps free off appcake just because I want to try them, but I think they're the kind of app I would download from the app store, use once, and never use again, so I don't feel like paying the 99c for that.
    The only problem is there isn't a lite version of everything. I like how on Rock you can download 10 day trials of paid apps. That's how it should be. If you're still using the app 10 days later, then it's worth paying for.

    By the way, off topic.. I can't post replies on this forum from my iPhone. You'd think that's something that should be fixed right? I can type it up, but when i tap post as, nothing happens.

  • slicecom

    It would be better if you could try the full app for a limited time, set by the developer. Then the app will prompt you to buy it or it will vanish.

  • Yah, I have this problem too on my iPad (for the comments section, not the forum), something up with Disqus I think.

  • Judy

    Well I'll slap your ass and call you vinnie!

  • Ontopofip4waitinglist

    I think it's pointless. Pirating apps makes them free and you don't have to worry about wasting your woney on a game you'll be addicted to for a week then never play again. It's better being able to get it for free so that if you get bored you can delete it without throwing away money.

  • Mike

    Is this on the Canadian App Store? I couldn't find it.

  • Sparky

    Hey Nick. I thought I was having the same issue but I discovered that when you tap “Post as …” the signin box shows at the top of the page. So try scrolling to the top and you should see it. It'll be cut off a bit but you can still put in your email address and screen name.
    Hope this helps!

  • it says “US app store” 😛 they always get it first, we will see it a month or 2 later if it works well im sure.

  • This is a great idea. but ALL games should have Demos. Its hard to make a judgement call on like Splinter Cell. or Chaos Rings. which are 6.99-12.99 based on pictures. Nothing sucks more then to buy a game that is garbage, or if you own a 3G, Runs poorly.

  • Mike

    Pirating apps is also illegal (at least in the US) and shows zero respect for developers.

  • Mike

    That's what I thought, but this is iPhone in *Canada*, where naturally the writers and readers alike are Canadians, and the author asked what we thought of it. Thus my confusion.

  • Mike

    It's actually not all that it's cracked up to be.

    … Oh, wait. Yes it is. *hugs my iPhone 4* 🙂

  • Mike

    There's a model that some apps have been going for, but not enough, and it's one I think Apple should enforce for those that offer multiple pricing tiers. These apps are free, but most of the content is locked out like a demo, or there's ads. An in-app purchase then removes the restrictions (or the ads). It's a very elegant solution, it transfers your data from the demo to full version, and reduces a lot of clutter on the App Store.

  • Kathleen

    I don't understand why anyone would worry about 99 cents. Buy it, play it, use it or not, delete it. We are talking $1 for the majority of apps and even if it is more $5 $6 $10 – whatever! The entertainment value or productivity benefit FAR exceeds the cost. I guess I am just used to paying hundreds and even thousands for software. iPhone apps are a serious bargain – no matter what they cost.

  • Blang

    What about the apps that are $30 – $80? Usually those apps don't have an trial at all. I love SlingPlayer now, but I was extremely disappointed with it when it was first released; almost to the point that I was thinking of demanding my money back. IMHO, “lite” versions SUCK! Apple just needs to develop a way for ALL apps to be full trials for anywhere from 24hours to 30 days. After that time, the app locks and is no longer accessible until you buy the full version. I promise, I would buy a lot more apps if full version trials were possible. I buy a bunch of apps through the jailbroken store “Rock Your Phone” because of the ability to trail all software for 10 days before buying. Just a thought!

  • Blang


  • IocanePowder

    Do you also wander into bookstores, read new books off the shelves, and put them back?

  • Blang

    I hate to say it, but it's comments like this that give jailbreaking a bad name. However, I do see where you're coming from, why pay for something that you're only gonna use (basically try out) for a week then never again. That's why I think Apple should introduce a trial period system. Give everyone the chance to try any app for a specific amount of time (maybe the time period is chosen by the developer), then lock the app after that time period and only unlock the app if the user buys it. That would completely solve the “try before they buy” crowd. But this is the best way to implement it. The way that Apple is doing it from this post doesn't really change anything, it's still the developer's responsibility to create a “lite” app. And the “lite” apps usually suck compared to the full versions.

  • Nick

    Hah! You're right! Good eye. They should fix that, considering that this is an iphone site and when you go to the site in safari it displays the mobile version made for the iphone… but until then scrolling to the top works.

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  • Half_Pint

    This makes more sense than just lumping a few “lite” versions of apps together like it was a new feature.

  • vinnie

    Yeah thats right!!!! lol..Thanks Judy!!!

  • Darek

    It's very easy to create a US iTunes account especially if you're only going after free apps.

  • Nick

    I still think it is outrageous that there is no way to return an app that is faulty. Free lite versions don't always help you discover this. When you buy a $80 app that doesn't work (e.g. a GPS Nav package that gives bad directions) , and you ask for a refund within 7 days, why can't Apple just wipe it out from your device?

    It should be illegal not to provide a return policy — at least for buggy software.

  • Probably couldn't wipe it from you device, because apple would see that as a security risk. Being able to lock you out of the app is a better idea. Prompting you with a “buy full version, or cancel” I think 7 days is to long as well. People would buy games, beat them, return them lol. That's why I said a couple hours. If there is a bug, people normally find them pretty quick.

  • Decent post

  • Katy

    If it doesn’t work, the productivity value is negative. $5 on not less than negative value. Even if they refunded the purchase price, and even discounting the time value of money, you’re out the time spent downloading and trying it.

    I guess I’m just used to sharing software (and source code) with my friends for free, so the idea of paying money for an unknown, and then not even being able to fix it when it breaks, is a gigantic step backwards. Of course, that’s not fair: it’s very different from a desktop or laptop computer. But the point is, until you can run desktop apps on an iPhone or iPhone apps on a desktop, you can’t compare iPhone apps to desktop apps.

  • Katy

    Why just games?

  • Kyle

    As a developer, I have to interject here. Copying commercial apps without paying is not at all the same as taking control of a ship at sea and raping and murdering the occupants. And copying our apps does show some respect for us developers: you’re using our work!

    You can tell the people who truly have zero respect for developers, because they shoot you, steal your helmet, go to the toilet in it, send it to our grieving widow, and then steal it again.

  • Not says just games. But from me experience games are normally the
    highest price. So if your shelling out 9.99 or something, and it turns
    out bad it kinda sucks. Where 99 – 1.99 apps i feel I just cut my
    losses n move on without a hitch heh

  • I agree with supporting our devs. They help keep our iPhone
    experiences fresh and exciting. But on the flip side, I also think at
    times they show some customers zero respect back.

    Double charging for apps. Buying a game to have to pay more to get the
    FULL game. Or shelling out $5 for an app with bugs, crashes, and do
    not reply to your emails reporting comments, some times taking months
    to fix while they are spending your money. So yes, in a perfect world
    support our devs, we need them, but some need to support us back by
    responding to some feedback, and timely updates.