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Subscriptions

iOS 5 wants: App Store trials, upgrades, and subscriptions

While Apple's iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPad has improved in countless ways since its introduction in 2008 -- including the recent reversal of the cross-compiler ban and the publication of the app review guidelines -- several major problems persist for both develops and users, especially the lack of trial apps, paid upgrades, and subscriptions. While the mobile app ecosystem is the new frontier and arguments can be made about how closely guarded it needs to be, Apple is about to bring the App Store concept "Back to the Mac". That's an environment where developers and users are not only accustomed to, but expect features like trials and upgrades.

So while we're all still waiting on iOS 4.2, I'm going to leap ahead a little and start thinking about what I want in iOS 5. There's lots to cover, notifications, glance-able data, profiles, NFC, etc. Right now, I'm going to focus on the App Store, and whether Apple takes the opportunity to bring some of the Mac back to the iPhone and iPad.

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Apple prepping subscription plan for newspapers?

Apple may be preparing a subscription plan for newspapers says the Mercury News. When iBooks was announced alongside iPad, but no similar offering for magazines and newspapers, it was curious. When friction resulted from magazines trying to roll their own subscriptions, it was noteworthy. Now, however, a solution might just be in place:

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Apple and magazine publishers at odds over subscriptions?

MediaMemo is saying Time Inc. is having trouble setting up their own subscription service for a Sports Illustrated iPad magazine app:

Last month, the publisher was set to launch a subscription version of its Sports Illustrated iPad app, where consumers would download the magazines via Apple’s iTunes, but would pay Time Inc. directly. But Apple rejected the app at the last minute, forcing the Time Warner (TWX) unit to sell single copies, using iTunes as a middleman, multiple sources tell me.

First, at the iPhone 3.0 event in 2009, Apple showed off App Store subscriptions for magazines alongside in-app purchase, but while in-app purchases are now fairly common, I'm hard pressed to find a showcase example for App Store subscriptions. What happened to them? Are publishers not eager to embrace them or has Apple not provided the mechanism?

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