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Rules regarding Lite versions?

04-13-2010, 08:27 PM
#1
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 85
Rules regarding Lite versions?

I'm just about wrapping up work on the Lite version of an App that I submitted a few months ago.

The lite version is set up the same way as the full version except I disabled some buttons that would otherwise take you to the feature in the full version. When a user taps one of the disabled buttons I have a popup explaining what the disabled feature is and an option to buy the full app or continue with the lite version. The other thing I did was include a "nag" screen before entering the main gameplay that would last 10 seconds (with a timer being displayed) and no way of bypassing it. On the screen I have a brief description of the full version, a link to buy it, and advertisements.

I'm wondering, does Apple has any rules regarding what I'm doing?
04-13-2010, 09:20 PM
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avizzv92 View Post
I'm just about wrapping up work on the Lite version of an App that I submitted a few months ago.

The lite version is set up the same way as the full version except I disabled some buttons that would otherwise take you to the feature in the full version. When a user taps one of the disabled buttons I have a popup explaining what the disabled feature is and an option to buy the full app or continue with the lite version. The other thing I did was include a "nag" screen before entering the main gameplay that would last 10 seconds (with a timer being displayed) and no way of bypassing it. On the screen I have a brief description of the full version, a link to buy it, and advertisements.

I'm wondering, does Apple has any rules regarding what I'm doing?
There are specific rules that prohibit showing a 'disabled' feature, especially if the disabled feature is used to upsell. I've seen a few games that violate this to a great extent, so I'm not really sure how it is enforced.

Now on a personal preference level, displaying a banner that promotes the full version is acceptable to me. But displaying a 10 second nag screen is the best way to ensure that I will delete the game without even proceeding further. This is just my preference, and only my opinion. I am sure that thousands of other people will happily put up with a 10 second nag screen.

I get pissed when a game shows 600 splash screens with publishers, developers and technologies- the latest Guitar Hero games piss me off for this reason alone. Just let me play the ****ing game.

A ragdoll physics platformer:Flickitty
The artist: randall schleufer
Twitter: @FlickittyiPhone

04-13-2010, 09:29 PM
#3
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 85
Thanks for your information, perhaps Apple wont mind so much about disabled features, I to have seen games that have done this.

As for the nag screen, thanks for your honest input, I might rethink what I do with that. Perhaps I could allow it to be quickly skipped (and no timer). That would give me a chance to show them what the full version offers but at the same time not "force" them to wait 10 seconds every single time.
04-13-2010, 09:59 PM
#4
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Zgrunturos and San Francisco
Posts: 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avizzv92 View Post
Thanks for your information, perhaps Apple wont mind so much about disabled features, I to have seen games that have done this.

As for the nag screen, thanks for your honest input, I might rethink what I do with that. Perhaps I could allow it to be quickly skipped (and no timer). That would give me a chance to show them what the full version offers but at the same time not "force" them to wait 10 seconds every single time.
Speaking from experience ... our lite was rejected for having a disabled item. However, in our case, we really had it disabled, with no pop-up of any sorts. Where I have seen it used ... they generally do pop-up a message.

Now we just tread the route of safety and make sure the stuff just doesn't show up.

It all comes down to if you don't mind getting potentially rejected. Given that you released the full app a few months ago, maybe timing is not critical .

Go to where the basketball court and arcade go 1 on 1 with Hoops Madness!
04-13-2010, 10:09 PM
#5
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobileben View Post
Speaking from experience ... our lite was rejected for having a disabled item. However, in our case, we really had it disabled, with no pop-up of any sorts. Where I have seen it used ... they generally do pop-up a message.

Now we just tread the route of safety and make sure the stuff just doesn't show up.

It all comes down to if you don't mind getting potentially rejected. Given that you released the full app a few months ago, maybe timing is not critical .
I think I'm willing to take the risk, there's absolutely no rush and nothing to lose if we do get rejected. I'll just simply remove the disabled buttons completely, little more work since the UI will need to be reworked a bit but not a big problem...
04-15-2010, 08:29 PM
#6
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 25
You will most likely get rejected. I did for Mine Blast Lite, when I had some of the more advanced mines 'disabled'. If you selected one of them a small alert box would be displayed, explaining that this was only availabe in the full version (and a button to go to the full version in the app store).

They were polite about it and explained it fully to me, once I completely removed the 'disabled' mines, they approved it.
04-15-2010, 09:54 PM
#7
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,005
I think your chances of getting rejected are only 50/50. Apple is horribly inconsistent with regards to this sort of thing. They're far more likely to ding you for something in one of your screenshots than something that can only be seen in-game.

By the letter of the law, they could forbid you from mentioning any feature of the full version, something that almost every lite version violates.

A greyed out button that does nothing is far more likely to be noticed than a button that takes you to another screen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaneguay View Post
You will most likely get rejected. I did for Mine Blast Lite, when I had some of the more advanced mines 'disabled'. If you selected one of them a small alert box would be displayed, explaining that this was only availabe in the full version (and a button to go to the full version in the app store).

They were polite about it and explained it fully to me, once I completely removed the 'disabled' mines, they approved it.
04-16-2010, 05:35 AM
#8
We had a similar rejection from Apple for one of our Lite versions. The guidance they gave is that the Lite version should "stand on its own". I think it's fine to have a "for more fun/levels/etc get XXXX" and then link to your full version in the App Store from there, but they definitely seemed to find issue with menu items being disabled and marked "not available in this version".
04-16-2010, 06:56 AM
#9
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 437
10 seconds? Most people (including myself) are going to delete the app unless it really has potential, if I were you I would put more work into the lite version, make it ad supported, maybe include a menu option with more information about the full version and a link to the App Store, but remove all the popup stuff, that only annoys people and will lead to many quick deletes.
04-17-2010, 10:16 PM
#10
My first Lite version submission was rejected because of the "crippling" I've done. As Astraware pointed out, your Lite version should be treated as a Full version too and should not be too limiting to the customer. I suggest exploring other Lite versions and comparing your them so you can find out which approach is best for your game.