Developers can now gain and retain users with subscription offer codes

App Store on iPad
App Store on iPad (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple is launching subscription offer codes for developers.
  • The can be used to offer free or discounted prices for auto-renewable subscriptions.
  • They can be offered in either digital or physical form at events or with products.

Apple announced in an update (opens in new tab) on its Developer website that it will be bringing subscription offer codes to the App Store for the first time.

The offer codes will allow developers to give potential customers, current customers, and previous subscribers a one-time redemption code for apps with auto-renewable subscriptions. The codes will give customers either free or discounted access to an app for a period of time set by the developer.

Apple says that these codes can not only be distributed digitally but in the physical world as well. The codes will only, however, work for customers who use an iPhone or iPad with iOS 14 installed.

Later this year, you'll be able to acquire, retain, and win back subscribers with subscription offer codes: unique, alphanumeric codes that provide free or discounted prices for auto-renewable subscriptions. Provide your one-time use codes digitally or offline at physical events, alongside products, and more. Customers on iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 and later can redeem offer codes on the App Store, through a one-time code redemption URL, or within your app if you've implemented the presentCodeRedemptionSheet API.

App Store offer codes existing in the physical world is an especially interesting idea. Companies who sell a physical product with a companion app in the App Store could get quite creative with offer codes. Developers can check out all of the details on the Developer website (opens in new tab).

Offer codes aren't Apple's only foray into the physical world with iOS 14. The company also announced that the new update will feature App Clips, a way for users to quickly download and use part of an app without having to download the whole thing. The feature is being advertised as a better way to interact with certain things in the physical world like parking meters and small businesses.

Joe Wituschek
Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

2 Comments
  • This is great BUT to mitigate scams Apple should force a user message that auto-calculates an annualised cost excluding all promotional offers. This applies to all subscription txns, not just this news. Do I understand correctly that the business logic of a Promotional Offer can be used in a roundabout way to enable version-based upgrade pricing? (At least for app users running a supported iOS version.)
  • Hmm I’m not sure. If you didn’t find that information on the Developer website, I would bring that up in the forums!