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Developer
jonberry
Posts: 484
Registered: ‎07-17-2008
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Recommendations for Expiring a Try & Buy PlayBook application.

Sounds like a good idea and an interesting experiment, Peter.

 

Like you said, it depends on the app how involved you want to get with this.

 

It often feels like I spend as much time coding this type of thing as I do writing the app.  :Online2long:

 

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Developer
silver20
Posts: 455
Registered: ‎03-04-2011
My Device: Paper cup

Re: Recommendations for Expiring a Try & Buy PlayBook application.

[ Edited ]

Agree with Peter.  After trying numerous methods, what seems to work best is a short trial that expires completely but can be renewed by uninstalling and reinstalling the trial. Using that method there's no need to use storage that persists after the app was deleted, and it's working as well to increase sales as anything else I've ever tried.

 

That way, if they downloaded but didn't get around to trying it before it expired, they have another chance.  Or, if they want to try it longer, they can.  But if they were out to get something free, they'll have to go through the inconvenience of reinstalling regularly.  Eventually they'll either buy it, delete it, or go on letting you try to sell them... being notified of upgrades, and any cross-promotions you embed in the app.

 

 

In the past I also tried partially-expiring trial, or a free version with an automatic trial of the paid version's additional features, and also trials that won't let you renew by deleting/reinstalling.

Try & Buy, like others I found it to be more problem than solution. In static mode, buyers got trials and free-downloaders got the paid version. In license-key mode, many buyers did not receive license keys and complained about receiving a trial when they'd paid for the app.

Just forget Try & Buy, publish the trial separately, and don't bother with any kind of license keying or trial expiration enforcement. You lose more in time than you gain in sales.  Like jonberry said, enforcement takes time to program, and in my experience is not worth either that or all the support time you'll be socked with later.

 

 

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Contributor
awjenning
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎08-06-2011
My Device: PlayBook
My Carrier: T-Mobile

Re: Recommendations for Expiring a Try & Buy PlayBook application.

You guys are awesome! Thanks so much for your input. So... just to make sure that I understand your recommendations properly.

 

I release to seperate products w/ static licensing:

 

ProdABC Trial  ( SKU – 123,  limited function and/or product expiration. Uninstall/Reinstall can be done but wipes out the database and user configuration settings )

 

ProdABC Full   ( SKU – 456,  full product )

 

Each product will need it's own product updates as bugs are fixed and new features are released.

 

Thanks again!

 

 

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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Recommendations for Expiring a Try & Buy PlayBook application.

awjenning, based on what I've seen, I'd do the same (although I'd be asking jtegen personally how he's made out with App World's free trial support for Magellan Compass).

Note that if you do have data (as your "wipes out the database" suggests), you can also just support an "export data" feature in the free trial, and let the full version import that data. Then people who might put anything real in the trial version will feel they're not losing anything by buying...

Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
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Contributor
awjenning
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎08-06-2011
My Device: PlayBook
My Carrier: T-Mobile

Re: Recommendations for Expiring a Try & Buy PlayBook application.

Peter,  yes I do have an backup/restore feature and your idea is an excellent one. I was going to completely disable backup/restore in the trial version. I really like your idea, so I will simply disable the restore freature in the trial. That way they cannot restore data in the trial and keep going, yet that can restore their data from the trial version to the full version.  

 

Thank you!

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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: Recommendations for Expiring a Try & Buy PlayBook application.

[ Edited ]
although I'd be asking jtegen personally how he's made out with App World's free trial support for Magellan Compass

 What's the question?  Trial version of it seems to work and sales are good.  I have no numbers on conversions.



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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Recommendations for Expiring a Try & Buy PlayBook application.

John, the question would just be whether you've encountered *any* issues with taking advantage of that feature, in terms of some of the problems others have reported (perhaps mostly in the distant past). I'm not up on the details, but as with the folks in this thread I've read many reports of screws and complications.

Has your experience been flawless and, if so, did you take any special care to avoid those issues and make it so? Thanks!

Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
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Developer
Innovatology
Posts: 1,280
Registered: ‎03-03-2011
My Device: Playbook, Z10, Q10, Z30 with Files & Folders and Orbit of course
My Carrier: Vodafone

Re: Recommendations for Expiring a Try & Buy PlayBook application.

[ Edited ]

Files & Folders has had hardly any problems related to try & buy. It's been out since June 2011 and has had a dozen updates (x2).

 

There was one 'incident' back July or so when the try release was approved but the buy release was not. A tweet to @BlackBerryDev ^MS soon sorted it out, and the logic in the app caught the problem anyway so no harm was done. But since then I've always added a note to each release:

 

"This is the ... version of a try & buy app. Please approve both releases or neither."

 

Writing the try & buy logic is quite meticulous work, and the try & buy model does require a bit of discipline when building, testing and publishing your releases. I recommend:

 

  • doublechecking & manually upgrading all upgrade paths before publishing using a deployment script 
  • using a good numbering scheme: always give "try" a lower version & build number than "buy"
  • including the word "try" and "buy" in your release names & filenames 
  • using an automated build & packaging process, or at least document all the required steps
  • having a clear head and avoid publishing in a rush. If in doubt, leave it 'till tomorrow

Hope this helps!

Files & Folders, the unified file & cloud manager for PlayBook and BB10 with SkyDrive, SugarSync, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Docs. Free 3-day trial! - Jon Webb - Innovatology - Utrecht, Netherlands
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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: Recommendations for Expiring a Try & Buy PlayBook application.

Try and Buy does seem to do better than just "buy".  It would be good if RIM offered some kind of conversion reports on this license.

 

Yes with everything @innovatology has said.  I have a release checklist with all the apps.  Kind of like this:

Normal build:

  • Remove debug server API
  • Create new splash screen
  • Remove -debug
  • Increment version
  • Reset build number
  • Remove "trial" code
  • Build
  • Check BAR for signing
  • Verify BAR for odd files
  • Rename BAR file to app_version_signed.bar

Trial Build:

  • Create trial splash screen 
  • Increment build number
  • Allow "trial" code
  • Build
  • Check BAR for signing
  • Rename BAR file to app_trial_version_signed.bar

 

The trial BAR file has to be a newer version than the full version.  That is why the build number is incremented.

 

If you have features that are disabled in the trial, that is just another step in the process (used global/singleton state to perform at runtime). 

 

It does take a little time to produce the required files, but I believe it is worth it in terms of increasing sales. 100% with @innovatology in that you dont want to rush this process.  You will make a mistake and have to start all over.  The same process is good when trying to release on multiple platforms. 

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Developer
Innovatology
Posts: 1,280
Registered: ‎03-03-2011
My Device: Playbook, Z10, Q10, Z30 with Files & Folders and Orbit of course
My Carrier: Vodafone

Re: Recommendations for Expiring a Try & Buy PlayBook application.

[ Edited ]

jtegen wrote:

 

The trial BAR file has to be a newer version than the full version.  That is why the build number is incremented.

  



In Files & Folders it is reversed. The trail version is always x.x.1, the buy version is x.x.2. I build the trail first, then increment the build number and build the purchase version. It is my understanding that this is required for the try & buy system to work, though that may have changed. It used to be the case that App World would give users the highest version number compatible with thieir OS and that they have a right to download.

 

Files & Folders, the unified file & cloud manager for PlayBook and BB10 with SkyDrive, SugarSync, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Docs. Free 3-day trial! - Jon Webb - Innovatology - Utrecht, Netherlands
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