In App Purchase

Do In-App Purchases Count Towards "Top Grossing" App Store Rankings?

One of the many, many "great unknowns" of Apple's iPhone App Store is how the top-grossing list is calculated, specifically whether or not it factors in revenue from in-app purchases. While we could theoretically wait and see if, now that they too can use in-app purchase, a free app makes its way up the list, the folks at Freeverse wanted an answer now. And they think they've found it:

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TiPb Presents: iPhone Live! #72 -- Hello Demo!

Join Dieter, Chad, and Rene for iPhone 3.1.2, iPhone 3GS Jailbreak pros and woes, the latest apps, Wi-Fi Direct, and all the latest news! Listen in!

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Updated: Apple Introduces In-App Purchase for Free App -- Buh-Bye Lite, Hello Demo!

Apple has just sent out a letter to developers introducing in-app purchasing for free apps.

UPDATE: Developers Erica Sadun on TUAW, and Marco Arment delve deeper into the subject, as does Techcrunch (twice).

ORIGINAL: Here's what Apple had to say:

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Quick App Update: Boxcar 2.0 Push Notification for Twitter, Facebook, and Email -- Via In-App Purchase

Boxcar [$2.99 + In-App Purchases - iTunes link], a push-enabler for iPhone and iPod touch originally launched with support for a couple of Twitter clients. Then it added a bunch more. As several Twitter clients now offer support for push themselves, what's Boxcar to do for a 2.0 encore? Add Facebook and Email push, of course, as well as Twitter Search and Twitter Trends.

Okay, sure, some major Twitter clients like Tweetie and Twitterrific still haven't added push support, so if they're your go-to apps, Boxcar may still be a go-to middleapp. Likewise, while Google supports Gmail now via GoogleSync, Exchange users can't hand over their only ActiveSync slot, so email push-enablers still have their place. Lastly -- and it's a big lastly, while Facebook 3.0 for iPhone just launched, it did so without push support, and so if you don't want to wait for 3.1 to get your push on, well, here's your middleapp for that as well.

But... it comes with a price. The $2.99 app price comes with one service built in. If you want to add another, like Facebook, you need to make an additional $0.99 in-app purchase. Email, that's another $0.99. Twitter Trends and Twitter Search likewise. And since you can have multiple Twitter, Email, Twitter Search, etc. set up, you can go from that base $2.99 to $4.99, even $9.99 or more. Basically, you pay for what's valuable to you. If you're working customer service and being push-alerted when your company (or your competitor!) and the word "problem" hits Twitter, $0.99 is a steal. If you don't care about trends or searches, or Facebook for that matter, you get a cheaper entry price for the app.

So, whether this particular app is worth it to you, and whether or not the in-app purchase upgrades are worth it to you, we're liking options and being able to choose -- and pay for -- only what we find of value.

So, if you need push now and you decide to try Boxcar 2.0 out, let us know how it works for you, and what you think of the pricing model!

More screen shots after the break...

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QuickApp 3.0: Gokivo + Yahoo! Local Search for iPhone Shows off Turn-by-Turn Navigation, In-App Purchases

TiPb had the opportunity to test drive Gokivo Navigator ($0.99 + In-App Purchases - iTunes link) over the last couple of days. This is one of the first iPhone 3.0 specific apps in the App Store, so first off it was great to see turn-by-turn navigation working (even in Canada!), and second it was interesting to see how Apple handles in-app purchases.

Getting this going is a little bit of work. You start the app and type in a destination. I found Apple Canada in my contacts so hit that. Similar to the built in Maps app, Gokivo will show you your location on a map. Instead of Street View, however, you have a green GO button. Hit that and you're on your way to turn-by-turn.

If you don't already have a subscription, Gokivo activates the aforementioned in-app-purchase engine, and once you login with your iTunes ID and buy a month of service ($9.99 in the version we tested) the GO gets going.

It takes time to acquire a good GPS signal, and will advise you if there isn't one to be had. Once it locks on, however, you're in for a pretty smooth turn-by-turn experience. Arrows point your way and a synthesized female voice tells you when and where to turn and, and preps you for upcoming turns. We repeatedly went the wrong way, and were impressed with how quickly and accurately Gokivo recalculated and tried to get us back on track.

Note, Gokivo isn't free just for the app because Apple doesn't let developers do in-app purchases for free apps. Hence, $0.99 will likely be the foundation for what TiPb considers iPhone "scaleware". Whether the $9.99 monthly fee -- or other in-app-purchasing options -- suit your needs and budget you'll have to tell us.

Gallery after the break!

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