iOS users will no longer see apps listed as free in the App Store. Instead, the wording is replaced by the word ‘Get’ and followed by small print indicating that in-app purchases can be made. It may take a bit of adjusting to get used to the new look, but it is supposed to allow consumers to make a more informed choice when they download apps.
The change comes as a result of pressure from consumer rights groups and regulatory bodies; most of which came from the European Union. Guidelines for these changes were made by the EU some months ago, but it is unknown if this current change comes as a result of those recommendations. It could be that Apple is attempting to get ahead of any potential regulations that might be made in the near future.
While the change of wording from ‘Free’ to ‘Get’ may not seem like much, it has a subtle influence on consumer behaviour. Free apps with in-app purchases are a thorny subject among consumers, most of which surrounds mobile games that prompt users to spend money. These prompts have often caused unsuspecting users, mostly children, to spend large amounts of money without realising it. The idea is that informing parents and other users will make consumers understand that these apps can and will cost money despite being free to download and install.
Another change that appears to have been made is that the cost of apps is hidden from view until the user taps on it. It may make shopping for apps a little harder, but the small inconvenience could potentially force consumers to take a closer look at each app they intend to buy.