Store Age: Making My App Free

I’ve taken a hiatus from working on my current game.  The last few months I’ve been updating all my apps.  Removing OpenFeint, going Game Center exclusively (see my DDGameKitHelper entry), changing the minimum requirements to iOS4.2, and removing PlayHaven from all my apps and replacing it with my own cross-pomotion UI (I smell a blog entry on this one).  My sales have not suffered because of any of these decisions.  Finally I’m to my last app, Jiggle Balls HD for the iPad.  I’ve decided to make it free (and remove the Lite version).  I’ve avoided freemium for as long as I can.  I’m ready to jump on the bandwagon.  And I think this app is the right one to do it with.  Why?  Because the freemium model fits it really well.  I can sell updated themes (new balls, backgrounds, and sounds) as well as new obstacles (bombs, blackholes, magnets, etc.)

Last weekend I got my in-app framework completed using Ray Wenderlich’s excellent blog post (thanks Ray!).  I’ve started implementing the store UI now.  The trouble I’m having is whether to include a BUY button inline with a disabled item (probably Apple doesn’t like this) or to just have a store-front that list all available items.  My app uses UIPopoverControllers quite extensively.  So right now I’ve gone with the latter approach and the store is completely contained under one popover.

It shows all available purchases and whether they’ve been installed yet or the availability price (formatted for locale).  If the products could not be retrieved or there is no network connection then the button will show unavailable (so at least they are aware there are items for sale).  I’ve also include the restore purchases button here for convenience.  I plan to have this done (1 theme and 1 obstacle) within the month and get back to my never-ending game, which will also be freemium, although I’m having a harder time coming up with stuff to sell on that one.

BTW… I know I’m a day late with this post, but that’s the beauty of this new format.  I’m glad for that.  Next week I’m taking a much earned vacation and taking a cruise down to the Bahamas.  I’ll be getting back the day my next entry is due, so I’ll probably be running a bit late on it as well.


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