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Developer
falo
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎05-12-2009
My Device: PlayBook
My Carrier: 3

Beta / Free -> Final / Paid Approaches

Hi all. I've read a few posts on here on the subject of free -> paid app conversion so wanted to get views on approaches.

 

Problem
I want to release a beta / proof of concept of an app onto the App World. This will be a free release. At some point I want to charge for the final product. The point at which I'll be in a state to do this (i.e. have the final product) is undetermined due to personal time constraints so I think this precludes a Try & Buy license model. When this transition does occur I would obviously like to do so with as little negative feedback from customers as possible.

 

Options
The way I see it there are two ways to achieve this from an app versioning perspective:
A) Release the PoC app on a Free license and then, when the full version is ready, provide this as an updated version of the same app.
B) Release the PoC app on a Free license and when the full version is ready, provide this as a new app with an update in the PoC to direct existing users to it should they wish to pay for the full version.

 

Option B has fairly clear advantages and disadvantages:
+ No confusion over upgrading currently installed apps
- Risk of existing customers not noticing the new version
- Potentially a "spammy" approach to app delivery

 

Now, what I don't entirely understand is what the effect would be with option A. I've seen posts about setting upgrade price vs new price and I still don't quite get, for each option, what this then provides to existing users and new users. As I understand it so far:

 

1. Setting the overall app price will mean new users have to pay that price
2. Setting the overall app price will prevent existing users from upgrading without paying and also prevent them from re-installing without paying
3. The upgrade price can be set on the release itself (??). I assume this has to be <= the full price of the app and theoretically existing "free" users should then only pay this amount rather than the full amount.

 

3 is the one I'm really not clear on, especially seeing some posts suggesting that there's a bug that means an app released as free would always have to pay full price for an upgrade, regardless of what you set on that release.

 

I think the main con of this option is the risk of negative response from users who expect the app to remain free, regardless of whether you've made this clear or not up front.

 

Questions
So I guess there's three things I'm trying to understand:
1. How does the upgrade pricing work?
2. What do people thing of the approach of releasing multiple apps (B)?
3. Is there a better way? Writing this I'm wondering if it's better to start the beta in the 0.99 tier and then the upgrade - assuming a jump to the next tier for final price as an example so an upgrade of 1 - would indeed work for those who went for the PoC. This option could, however, provide exactly the same con as the free -> paid approach A. I guess there's no pleasing some people!

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You can find me (sporadically) writing and developing at http://floor4.co.uk and gaming at http://uk-tf.co.uk
My Apps: Flip!
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Developer
QuiteSimple
Posts: 1,452
Registered: ‎11-06-2009
My Device: Torch 9810
My Carrier: WiFi

Re: Beta / Free -> Final / Paid Approaches

1. How does the upgrade pricing work?

http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/BlackBerry-App-World-Development/Paid-upgrade-disaster/m-p/15...

Users will always pay the full app price no matter what you set as upgrade price.

 

3) In-app purchase is an option too. So you app is still free but if users want additional options/functionality, they pay using In-app purchase

 

My own experience - using approach A) will costs you many negative reviews, make sure that you have enough positive reviews before making such change :smileywink: On the other hand approach A) is a brute-force method for collecting money, user has to decide whether the app is worth the price :smileyhappy:



"When you become a level 3 developer, you learn to communicate over the ether. I'm told that level 5 developers are ascend into a higher level of existence beyond the physical realm." gord888 @ crackberry
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Developer
falo
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎05-12-2009
My Device: PlayBook
My Carrier: 3

Re: Beta / Free -> Final / Paid Approaches

Cheers for the response. Was hoping you would as I noticed you'd had a few experiences with this subject from some other posts! I hadn't considered in-app purchases - it's certainly a possibility. I could even completely isolate the code for the PoC release so that the paid upgrade will never look at it again. The plotting continues ...

One further thought on option B - if you were to remove the PoC app from the app world, what would that do to users who already have it? Assuming I could track that everyone had already upgraded to a version that informed them of the full product, then I wouldn't lose that notification.

Of course the ultimate option is to always plan to release both a free and paid version (/ in app purchase), upgrade the PoC to the "full" free version and all is hunkydory. The only issue I have with this at the moment is I haven't found how one can use advertising services in a Native SDK application.
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You can find me (sporadically) writing and developing at http://floor4.co.uk and gaming at http://uk-tf.co.uk
My Apps: Flip!
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Developer
jtegen
Posts: 6,541
Registered: ‎10-27-2010
My Device: HTC One, PlayBook, LE Z10, DE Q10
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Beta / Free -> Final / Paid Approaches

Removing an app from sale, does nothing to users that have already downloaded it. If they delete it or do a swipe, they just wont be able to get it again.

Personally, I would not offer a free version and then on an upgrade, charge them. You will get a lot of hate email complaining about bait and switch. Try and Buy works well. It all depends.
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Developer
QuiteSimple
Posts: 1,452
Registered: ‎11-06-2009
My Device: Torch 9810
My Carrier: WiFi

Re: Beta / Free -> Final / Paid Approaches

AFAIK there is no PlayBook Advertising Service for NDK apps, only for WebWork apps (and it is a beta). Given how BBAS performs lately I wouldn't go for ads even if I could.

 

Removing app - I'm not 100% sure, but if you remove an app from sale, user who have it, won't lose it. Even more they can reinstall it when changing phones (not sure on this one). To make the reinstall improssible you can edit the carrier support for the app and allow app download only for a single carrier in Afghanistan for example.



"When you become a level 3 developer, you learn to communicate over the ether. I'm told that level 5 developers are ascend into a higher level of existence beyond the physical realm." gord888 @ crackberry
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Developer
falo
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎05-12-2009
My Device: PlayBook
My Carrier: 3

Re: Beta / Free -> Final / Paid Approaches

Thanks for both responses chaps, I'll have a play around. At the moment the multiple app option is looking like the better option until I can actually get some free time to better plan my development timelines.
-------
You can find me (sporadically) writing and developing at http://floor4.co.uk and gaming at http://uk-tf.co.uk
My Apps: Flip!
Please use plain text.