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Does Apple allow demos now?

07-08-2010, 05:54 PM
#1
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 303
Does Apple allow demos now?

I'm a big fan of this game but wondered when/how the rules changed re demos (which is essentially what this is as you only get 60 minutes free play).

Anyone know what the current position is? Anyone got any views on whether it's a good or bad idea?

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-ultimate-alphabet/id357031202?mt=8
07-08-2010, 09:03 PM
#2
The 'Lite' version of Football Manager Handheld is identical in nature to the approach taken for our 'demos' on other platforms - you can play for a set (game) time period in-app and then you have to either purchase the game (in which case you can migrate your save to the full game) or start again.

Apple insist on them being called 'Lite' for reasons better known to themselves - but beyond that I think you're pretty much allowed to make them as 'demos' .. its a 'semantics' thing with them on the naming is all.

As to which approach works best, no idea my knowledge base on such things is restricted to just the app I've made so not extensive enough to really say.

07-09-2010, 01:10 PM
#3
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 303
Thanks Marc

I imagine that if everyone were to do likewise, the rule would suddenly tighten up! It's so difficult to interpret some of Apples rules and falling foul of them doesn't look too professional. Having said that, it's certainly worth considering as this might be one way to get around the problem of some customers being so delighted with the lite version that they don't bother upgrading.

Pam
07-09-2010, 03:12 PM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Vaughan View Post
The 'Lite' version of Football Manager Handheld is identical in nature to the approach taken for our 'demos' on other platforms - you can play for a set (game) time period in-app and then you have to either purchase the game (in which case you can migrate your save to the full game) or start again.

Apple insist on them being called 'Lite' for reasons better known to themselves - but beyond that I think you're pretty much allowed to make them as 'demos' .. its a 'semantics' thing with them on the naming is all.

As to which approach works best, no idea my knowledge base on such things is restricted to just the app I've made so not extensive enough to really say.
No, Apple's policy for Lite versions has always been "self-contained and fully functional application" with no time-bombs and no grayed-out buttons indicating missing components.

Lite version can promote full version, but should do so non-intrusively.

Those are the guidelines, it's entirely up to luck if your app gets approved while breaking them one way or another. Occasionally you see Lite versions which are closer to traditional demos, but that's most likely due to the huge volume of submissions and the QA people interpreting the guidelines subjectively.
07-09-2010, 08:10 PM
#5
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 722
Also, I think you're allowed to cheat a bit if you're a big name dev. One of the big rules is that you can't have an obvious reduction of functionality, ie, saying 'These levels are locked because it's the lite version!'.

Check out Star Defense Prelude, by ngmoco. They have big obvious lock icons on the 6 planets that are locked because it's the lite version. Not only that, it's shown in the SECOND FRIGGIN PICTURE of their 5 screenshots! Can't be a coincidence IMO, no one would be able to miss that.


Lite versions happened because initially, Apple didn't allow demos. People made free 'Lite' versions instead to get around that, and it caught on before Apple could stop it. So yes, demos are allowed, you just have to not use the word 'Demo', and follow their rules about Lite versions.

As for getting your Lite approved, my experience is that you're safest if you put the 'Buy Now!' stuff somewhere Apple won't see it. Gomi Lite initially got rejected because we had the entire world map visible, but the Full Version levels were in greyscale. It was in the title screen, and the Apple guy caught it. However, it also has a big "Buy Now!' splash page in it, but it's at the end of the last Lite version level, so the Apple guy probably didn't play through that far and never mentioned it to us.

Last edited by spacecowgoesmoo; 07-09-2010 at 08:19 PM.
07-09-2010, 10:10 PM
#6
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,404
Then games like Thumpies break the rule? They have 'greyed' levels that need to be unlocked by purchasing the full version, sounds like it's against what Apple said?

Four most influential games: Papi Jump, iDracula, Fieldrunners, Flight Control.
07-10-2010, 01:01 AM
#7
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
There are tons of games that break Apple's inconsistently-enforced rules in this area. It's not uncommon for an update to a game to get rejected for something that was part of the last 2 approved updates, because a (different) reviewer applied a different standard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by don_k View Post
Then games like Thumpies break the rule? They have 'greyed' levels that need to be unlocked by purchasing the full version, sounds like it's against what Apple said?