App Store (Get button)

Apple’s App Store in the United States and elsewhere has changed the “Free” button to “Get”, as first noted by Sebastián Salazar on Twitter. The new “Get” button now appears in the App Store on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, as well as in the App Store section of iTunes for Windows and Mac.

As Salazar noted, the change may be in response to the avalanche of freemium software models that have been dominating mobile application stores for quite some time now.

Cupertino firm has been feeling the heat for quite some time now over so-called freemium downloads — that is, apps the don’t cost a dime to download only to later ask for cash through the In-App Purchase mechanism.

Following government probes and class action lawsuits, Apple did add the In-App Purchase label next to freemium apps offered in the App Store.

While the new “Get” button is obviously meant to help clear up any confusion, the distinction between truly free apps and freemium downloads with In-App Purchases remains as murky as ever because “Get”  applies to both free and freemium apps.

In its defense, Apple is now offering controls to disable In-App Purchases on device and requires you to type in your Apple ID password after 15 minutes of making an In-App Purchase. In addition, the company offers an App Store section titled ‘Learn More About In-App Purchases’ which explains how the system works.

In my opinion, the new button changes the perception that “Free” apps with In-App Purchases are not actually free, but Apple needs to do better than bare minimum in avoiding user confusion.

Some users outside the United States took to Twitter to confirm that the new button is now live in select App Stores outside the United States. For example, the “Gratis” button in the German App Store has been changed to “Laden”.

App Store (Get button, Spain)

In Brazil, the “Grátis” button was updated to “Obter”. In the Danish App Store, the new button reads “Hent”. In the Italian App Store, the button has become “Ottieni”, which Federico Viticci, who hails from Italy, says is “comically awful to read.”

It’s entirely conceivable that Apple has decided to make this change after EU regulatory pressure forced Google to change away from “Free”.

Do you like this change or is this yet another case of “too little, too late”, do you think?

[Sebastián Salazar via Federico Viticci]

  • Shawn

    Looks weird. Wish I didn’t have to put in my password to just “get” it

    • Robin Zaalberg

      precisely. Also in my native language it looks horrible.

      • Jonathan

        Now I’m curious. What does it look like?

      • Dean Johnson

        Probably “Krijg”

      • Dean Johnson

        Ja toch, echt verschrikkelijk

    • Fardeen Beharry

      same here

    • Yunsar

      Would you rather put in your password to ‘free’ it?

  • Clearly Apple must have watched the South Park episode “Freemium Isn’t Free” and changed the “Free” button to “Get” as a result…

  • Javiers

    Come on Apple let’s focus on the important stuff.

    • Guest

      What’s more important? They’re making tons of cash, that’s all that matters, to them at least…

  • Midyro

    I don’t GET it. It’s ugly

  • Merman123

    Yet there is still a “Free” tab. Seems inconsistent and awkward.

    • Andy

      What do you expect it to be called though? I doubt they would use the word Freemium to distinguish from truly free apps that don’t have ads or in-app purchases. The use of the word “Get” is more awkward if you ask me.

  • Fardeen Beharry

    why can’t i download free apps without my damn password

  • El Barto

    Where are Cydia developers when we need them most?

  • Ken

    Was it really worthy of your time to embed a tweet which has such a dumb joke in it?

  • 豊先新弌

    In the Japanese store it went from 無料 (muryou: free) to 入手 (nyuushu: obtain)

  • Stefano

    Meh

  • William Melendez

    South Park got to them! Lol, new season is pretty funny .

  • udovoodoo

    Slow news day?

  • Joseph A. Ahmad

    They removed the “Get” tag line from all of the main pages. So now, it either shows the monetary value in which one has to pay in order to buy the app, or it shows nothing at all for apps that are free in which one can “get”.

  • Yunsar

    It is worth noting, that the apps made by Apple still show ‘FREE’. Maybe in the future other apps will be like this.

  • Midyro

    I can live with this (Netherlands)