If you visit Apple’s App Store, you’ll notice a small but significant change: The “Free” label beside free-to-download apps has been changed to “Get.”
Why did Apple make such a move? It could have a lot to do with the European Commission (EC), the European Union’s antitrust body, which has pressured tech companies to do more about in-app purchases; the commission views the term “free” as misleading if an iPhone or iPad owner (or the owner’s children) can still pay money for features and upgrades after downloading the app. According to Engadget, Google has already removed “free” labeling from Google Play, its own app storefront, for similar reasons.
Apple has found itself in trouble over in-app purchases before, mostly due to angry parents complaining that the company and its developer partners made it too easy for Junior to spend several hundred dollars upgrading characters in supposedly “free” games. Apple refunded some of those erroneous downloads, and slapped warning labels on certain apps. Instituting “Get” could insulate the company still further from potential lawsuits. What a difference a word makes.
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