iPhone In-App-Purchase for Free Apps Can Enable Smooth Transition from Lite to Full App Versions

There are a couple of really annoying things regarding the iTunes App Store…

– Difficult to provide evaluation copies for reviewers (nothing to do with the new FTC rules)
– Impossible to provide a reduced upgrade price to current users of an app
– No way to provide a trial version that can transformed into a full featured version (separate release and installations required)

It looks like Apple’s new In App Purchase for free apps may solve the third issue in my list above. Her’s what Apple noted in their announcement to developers…

You can also simplify your development by creating a single version of your app that uses In App Purchase to unlock additional functionality, eliminating the need to create Lite versions of your app. Using In App Purchase in your app can also help combat some of the problems of software piracy by allowing you to verify In App Purchases.

So, developers could, for example, release a multi-level game for free with 2 levels available. You could then opt to pay, say, $4.99 to unlock the other 98 levels.