If you were one of those people who checked the Apple App Store this morning, you might have noticed something different than before. Well, if you just downloaded a new app you might have caught what the new change is. There is no more “Free” button to be found, instead, there is now a “Get” button. Was this change necessary? Apple might have thought so.
Over the years, Apple has been facing backlash over so-called-labeled, “Free” applications, where it might still require some sort of in-app purchase later down the line. In some cases, while the app might be free to download, it might block certain features within the app, which will require a purchase to unlock those features.
The real issue is in the word “Free”. Free is defined by Dictionary.com as exempt from external authority, interference, restriction, clear of obstructions or obstacles. Notice the words “exempt” and “clear”. When something is “free” there shouldn’t be any restrictions in using an app or any service for that matter, since it’s “free”. When using the “Free” button in the app store, it can be a little misleading.
Using the new word “Get” instead of free, is a better fit. Synonyms for the word “Get” include: acquire, contract, and catch. When you’re getting something, you’re going through a process of acquiring, which can be applied to getting an app. While the app is free to download, you’re still going to have buy or “Get” the app in order to actually use it or access its full potential.
While not a major change, it is certainly going to help clarify if an app is truly free or something you’re going to have to pay some money for. And the change is good for Apple, as it puts an end to some disputes. According to 9to5Mac, CEO Tim Cook recently settled with the Federal Trade Commission over a dispute regarding in-app purchases. Furthermore, 9to5Mac reports that just last year Apple settled a class action lawsuit which led the company to add an “Offers In-App purchases” label to apps.