An Open Letter To Apple – Let Me Trial Apps!

Dear Apple,

Firstly, thanks for not going all Skynet on us – the world isn’t ready to battle Cyborg death-machines yet.

Now that’s out of the way, I want to suggest that you consider giving  app developers the chance to let users trial their apps. I have a creative project that I want to start and I will be using my iPhone as the key tool in this venture. All I need to complete my app set-up is Carbo, which I’m sure you know is a highly regarded app for taking actual written notes (on paper!) and making them presentable as electronic documents. I need this app; the only issue is that it’s hefty in the price area.


I know, I know…£5.99 isn’t the steepest of prices, but on the spectrum of apps I’m using, it’s actually quite expensive and life has taught me that there is always a free version of such products. Except that there isn’t this time…but I’m in a limbo of not knowing if my six quid will be well spent as I don’t trust the lovely promo videos that they use to sell these apps. All of these feelings have led me to thinking about app-trialing, for which I have a plan:

  • Take apps that are priced over $4 and add a ‘trial’ button under your ‘buy’ button.
  • Give the user two hours of trial time from the moment they activate it (this is in real time, not use time).
  • Make sure that, as with apps like Carbo, exporting of documents and the like, as well as screen-shots are disabled to avoid trial-mining (a term I literally just invented).
  • At the end of the app trial, give the option for buying and watch the dollars roll in.
  • As a bonus money-making option, offer a small discount for those buyers that buy before the trial. Something like $3.70 for instant purchases, or $4 for a purchase after trial.

Don’t worry Mr. Apple representative; I hear you – you don’t need my plan, as there are obviously the free versions of apps and in-app purchases that enable users to engage in the limited app experience. But for an app like Carbo, this plan would hugely benefit both user and developer. If I could have a two hour window where I could fully let rip with all the features, it would help me to make a fully informed decision on whether or not the app was right for me, and would almost definitely lead me to buying the app if it’s as good as the Internet claims.

Giving a whole app away for two hours before ending the trial, Windows-98 program style (sorry), woudl make you a ton of cash; people are suckers and once they have felt something in their fingers, they want it more. Just think about my idea, Apple. I’m going to be needing Carbo pretty soonand your war on the free people of Earth won’t pay for itself.



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