Apple no longer lists apps as ‘free’ if they have in-app purchases – how long before Google follows suit?


iOS App Store get update vs Google Play

In some low-key changes that arrived with the rollout of iOS 8.1.1, it seems Apple has officially changed the wording of “free” apps and games in the App Store to simply “get.” Given the amount of “freemium” titles hitting app stores in recent years (apps and games that require additional in-app purchase to unlock more functionality), Apple’s not just trying to be more politically correct. In fact, the new move puts the App Store in accordance with new laws set in place by the European Commission requiring applications notify customers of their “true costs.”

So, what about Google? Back in July they welcomed the changes with open arms, even committing to remove the “free” listings of apps that contain in-app purchases by the end of September. While free apps on Google Play now disclose whether or not they have in-app purchases (directly below the install button) in an app’s listing, when browsing by category in the Google Play Store there’s still no telling how “free” a free app or game really is until you click.

We have a feeling it wont be too much longer before Google adopts a model more like Apple’s, there’s just no telling when.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I’d rather have the price to acquire, plainly listed. If it says “free” then I assume it’s free to acquire. That says nothing about additional options. I guess as long as the “pay for” apps are still listing the price instead of just “get” there maybe won’t be too much confusion, it just seems a bit nanny-ish and redundant to me.

  2. They already say install instead of free in the play store while the paid apps still have the button with the amount of money

    1. Yeah, I don’t know what the author is talking about.

    2. Also, Play Store has “In-app purchases” text below the Install-button.
      Basically Apple copied Google once again, notifying users of in-app payments.

    3. This isn’t the case for me. I only see “install” when I open the app page. When I do a search I still see lots of “free” apps.

  3. How are they categorizing the apps should be changed as well. Free to download but having in app purchases should remove it from the Free app category for example.

  4. Btw a little correction, this change did not come with 8.1.1 update..
    My iPad Air is still 8.1 and I can see the App Store has been changed from free to get..

  5. Why not just have a whole Freemium category?

  6. I really wish app developers would go back to offering a truly free and paid version of their software. I use to spend way more on apps and games when it was like that – now I don’t even touch apps/games that have in-app purchases or based on freemium models.

  7. Google does show “Offers in-app purchases” under the Install button.

  8. Since when did the word ‘free’ become so politically incorrect. What are we coming to?

  9. Why does google need to follow apple?

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