Mac App Store and Lite version of my app

I’m preparing a Lite version of my application for the Mac App Store. Users will be able to add only a limited amount of data and several features are not available. I remember that we aren’t supposed to mention in the Mac App Store that life outside of it exists. But how am I supposed to get users to update to the full application? The easiest way would be to have an extra menu item “Upgrade to full version”.

How do others handle this?

  • Create a „Quick Start guide page“ on your Website and advertise it on first launch.
  • Add a FAQ link in the Help Menu.
  • Do not advertise your full App on these Pages, but make prominent Links to you main Page.
  • Try to get in direct contact with your users by adding advertisers for Maillists, Email Support, Twitter, Instagram, …
  • Don’t name your App XXX Lite, or they’ll start to “search” for the full version.

Thanks for the tips, Sascha. Of course, I have named my MAS version “Lite”. Why is this bad?

The ideas for linking to the full app are good. My question was more meant regarding how do I get the users to buy the full app with a reduced price? In Fastspring I can set up a variation of the main app. I don’t want to answer customer questions one by one “how do I update from lite to full”.

When a MAS Employee tests your App and you named it “Lite”, they assume there is a Full/Pro Version and will take a closer look at your Website. They do not like to see the MAS as a repo for stripped down Apps and they do not like to see users pulled to another Store for buying Apps outside of the MAS.

I am sure there are ways to check for a non MAS App if another Copy of an App is from the MAS, but i think the easiest way would to use a UUID created by your MAS App and use this to get a reduced Price in your Store.

But at the end i’d recommend to just try what fits best for you and see how Apple reacts. Then do changes as they request. :slight_smile:

Urghh… this sounds like the making an omelette without breaking eggs. I can’t avoid the “Lite” situation.

If you make it sound that the “Lite” version will help selling more full versions on the MAS, then I guess they may allow it. As far as I see it, Apple does expect to get a share in everything.

That’s the problem here. There will be only a Lite Version on the MAS and if you want to have a full fledged Version, you need to buy it on the Website. I understand that Apple does not like this. By the way, as a MAS customer it would also not like it. :wink:

Then what about a menu (“MyCompany Apps”) that directs the user to your products webpage?
In my free apps on the Apple Store I have it, and reviewers never objected to it although they had objected to a “Make a donation” menu linking to the Donation webpage on my website. And I agreed with them; in fact it was there from pre-MAS times.
Of course, my products webpage, and I guess Beatrix’s products webpage too, advertises MAS and non-MAS apps.

You could remove the Lite from the MAS Name and relabel your Web Version as Pro or so.

@Sascha S : I already have a Pro version. This also would confuse my existing users.

I guess it depends on the reviewer you get. Having a Lite version now means that at some point down the road, they might expect a Pro version on the App Store. Seems to me that even though as of now, you can still market your app outside of MAS, they might want a cut of what you market on their store.

Of course from my experience, Apple option would be to offer a Lite version on the MAS and then use In-App Purchase to offer the upgrades.

It’s kind of tricky with the App Store. What gets approved one day may get rejected the next.

Just offer it with a different name. e.g. “Moth Mail Archiver”.

Do not use lite. Use “Easy”, “Happy”, “newbie”…

@Michel Bujardet: “Easy” sounds good. Man, this is crazy. And the tea in my mouth almost ended up on my iMac.

EasyTCPSocket Server.xojo_binary_project

Not in the MAS (in Xojo Examples)… :wink:
(don’t Google for “Easy”)

Trixie - Apple wants you to sell your upgrade as an “In App Purchase”. That way, they get their 30% for the original and the 30% of the users’ upgrades …

The Mac App Store - generating incremental revenue and keeping Apple share holders happy since 2010 :D.

In the past (we’ll find out if it still works for us soon enough); we had the full version in MAS as well as the Lite. Apple accepted the Lite / Full split when both apps are on their store.

There are some “Promoted” developers who’re allowed to have a cheap/lite version on the App Store, and redirect customers to their own site for the Pro version. However if you or I try this; we’ll end up being rejected, and probably earn a black mark against our name.

Isn’t the direction Apple wants you to go (now) is a single deployment to MAS, with IAP to convert from a Lite/Trial version to a Full version? They now allow “trial” versions in MAS, although I read something about having to put a $0.00 IAP for that to work?

It makes sense from the developer point of view (in my opinion) since you only need to maintain a single code base

[quote=433860:@Dave S]Isn’t the direction Apple wants you to go (now) is a single deployment to MAS, with IAP to convert from a Lite/Trial version to a Full version? They now allow “trial” versions in MAS, although I read something about having to put a $0.00 IAP for that to work?

It makes sense from the developer point of view (in my opinion) since you only need to maintain a single code base[/quote]
This is pretty much it - you offer your app with IAP for the full product. Just peruse the Mac App Store and you’ll get plenty of ideas.

If you think about it, why would Apple offer their store, bandwidth and marketing with all their customers, if you’re just going to use it to demo products while the real products are available elsewhere?

While I’ve not yet tried their IAP free trial; in the past trying to use IAP to provide a trial of some sort was frowned upon. As far as Apple were concerned, the free product had to be a useful product in its own right (the definition of useful was undisclosed), you were also not allowed to promote ‘upgrades’ or have disabled features, nor were you allowed to have a time limited version. You could have an ‘Upgrade’ button, and when clicked it would tell people the reasons to why they should upgrade. But everything else had to be hidden until the user choose to upgrade.

We tried it twice and on both occasions it failed. In contrast (for us anyway) having a lite version that used the same mechanic, but when the user clicked on Upgrade they were taken to a separate product in the app store, worked far better than an upgrade via IAP.

For me personally; I don’t understand it, all I can conclude is that there is something psychological about buying a separate product and receiving a separate product, as opposed to ‘unlocking’ features already existing in the product you have.

We have a pretty aggressive plan this year to modernize all of our Photography products (death of 32-Bit and OpenGL will do that). So maybe we’ll try this new FREE trial on the App Store, if anyone else has tried it, I would love to know how it worked out for them.