All the talk following the opening WWDC keynote has been about what new software updates and changes Apple has made to to the iPhone, iPad and Mac but arguably the most important change has actually come to the guidelines which govern the App Store and how developers work within its confines.

Now, all apps are able to offer a free trial of sorts, allowing developers to temporarily unlock apps and features for a period of time before re-locking them pending an in-app purchase.

The newly modified rule 3.1.1 now says that apps can have a free time-based trial that can be implemented as a free in-app purchase. Previously the only way such a method of offering a trial could be implemented was if there was a recurring subscription involved and developers wanted to offer a free period of usage ahead of the initial payment being taken. This has now changed and effectively enables free trials for all apps on the App Store.

In reality, the newly redefined guideline is something the folks over at OmniGroup have already been doing to great effect with apps like OmniFocus, something the company’s Ken Case confirmed via Twitter recently.

The lack of an official mechanism for offering free App Store trials has long been something that developers have lamented and the arrival of one will be gratefully received by both app and game developers alike.

(The all-new redesigned Mac App Store in macOS Mojave)

This news is equally good for users too, with those who are on the fence about buying particular apps now likely to be able to take them for a test drive before making a purchase. If you’ve ever stumped up the cash for an app only to find out it doesn’t quite do what you need then you will know how desperately this move was needed.

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