Future Music

Are iOS music app updates always free?


> Because of the way Apple’s App Store works, developers can’t charge directly for updates. So, yes, it is true to say that updates will always be free. However, it’s also not quite as simple as that.

This is because there are other ways that developers can charge you

for new features – specifical­ly, with the use of in-app purchases. Often these are used to obtain additional content, but an IAP might also unlock a part of the app that was previously unavailabl­e to you.

This is why, when you buy an app, it’s always worth checking exactly what comes included and what needs to be paid for. Some developers are fond of the freemium model, whereby the main app can be downloaded for free and you then pay for more content as and when you need it. As a customer, there are certain advantages to this – you get to try an app for nothing – but it can also be frustratin­g to discover you’ll have to shell out for features you thought came as standard.

Another option for developers is to release a completely new app, as Steinberg recently did with Cubasis 3. This may have irked those who’d bought Cubasis 2 but, as Steinberg pointed out, this had received more than 30 free updates in its lifetime, so it was inevitable that, at some point, the company would have to charge again for a new version.

Given the cost of keeping many desktop apps up-to-date, iOS software can represent good value, seeing as how cheap a lot of it is.

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