Hidden Strings Inside Latest iTunes Beta Say You’ll Soon Be Able To Rent Your Apps

Hidden Strings Inside Latest iTunes Beta Say You’ll Soon Be Able To Rent Your Apps

Well, this is certainly unexpected. Apple may have kept secret a big change to the App Store that they’ll announce at the “Let’s Talk iPhone” event tomorrow: app rentals.

First uncovered by Tech Erra, strings inside the latest iTunes 105. Beta 9 suggest that Apple will soon allow developers to rent their apps out for a period of time.

The strings read:

Hidden Strings Inside Latest iTunes Beta Say You’ll Soon Be Able To Rent Your Apps

The strings suggest that Apple will allow users to rent apps for a limited time, which will then be automatically deleted at the end of the rental period.

Rentals in a landscape of 99 cent apps doesn’t make a lot of sense, but trial versions do. Apple may intend to allow users to rent apps for free for a day or so to see if they like them, as long as the developers opt in.

App rentals would be a huge change to the landscape of the App Store. Personally? I’m all for it, especially if it finally gets rid of all the separate “Lite” demo apps.

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  • Alan Liddell

    So like shareware used to be, only with enforcement.

  • Paul Flahan

    This is a great idea, no more wasted money. I think there will be beter quality apps rising to the top of the lists because of this.

  • jaydot

    Big yes!

  • Chris

    That would also help against games with two levels that you play through in 1 hour, which cost 3,99 €

  • Gregintosh

    I would LOVE to see this. #1 for apps that you only need for one or two tasks. Now you are stuck paying for the whole price and probably won’t even use the app ever again.

    #2 as mentioned for trials. I can’t count how many times I bought an app to be disappointed immediately after downloading it. 

    If I had 24 hours with the app, I could definitely make a better decision and would probably buy more apps (I don’t buy as many now because its too risky, especially since all the apps that look good are far more than 99 cents).

  • ??????? ???????

    Well, not too sure.
    There are a lot of games that cost 0.99$ and can be easily palyed through in a couple of hours. A rental schemes would hurt the sales of such games. Even though people are sure about buying a game, they would opt to “rent” it first and try to play it through before the expiration date.

  • Hampus

    True, but just as with movies rentals wouldn’t have to be available for every single app, I’m not sure who decides what movies have rentals and not but I’d imagine it’s up to the owner and that would also apply to the app developer.

  • Hampus

    Providing of course the developer enabled “rental” of said game…

  • CharliK

    This would be an option, not a mandate. And yes it would likely be for trials of more expensive programs and thus won’t get rid of those ‘lite’ versions. The only thing that will do that is Apple changing the rules so that the paid version must be done via an IAP and not a separate app, the way they have been suggesting for months. And frankly I wish they would. That and these 15 different versions of things like Angry Birds. You want to charge, do it in one single app as a level pack. 

  • Dan

    Very smart.  Will raise the price of purchased apps.  Now we usually buy an app we don’t know anything about because the price is low.  The mindset of “rental” means you can probably charge $.99 for the rental even if it normally sold for $1.99.  Look for a lot of 24 hour $.99 rentals and then an average price closer to $5.00 on the sale.

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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