10 Replies
      Latest reply on Jan 11, 2019 2:11 PM by FatMooseHenry
      FatMooseHenry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

        Hi, I want to do an app that uses the maps component to get users to go to a position read some text on the app and then it shows the next position where the user can go to.

         

        The app will contain these stories/routes various places, and the users can buy these through the app (IAP):

         

        - The app is free, and can be used without login, but you are able to signup (members can get info about new routes if they choose to etc)

        - Some routes are always free

        - Rest of the routes can be purchased through IAP

        - If you buy a subscription, all of the routes are available

         

        Am I allowed to have login's for myself, testers and select partners which makes some of the routes free? I will not be selling them any other places than in the app. I could for example imagine partners, who creates routes, who should have access to their own routes for free while still selling them to others. Another senario could be a family that lets us put a route in their private forest in which case they should be able to use the routes without paying.

         

        I can't seem to figure out if this is ok when I look into the terms of IAP. I think it sounds resonably, but is it ok to do this?

         

        Thanks in advance
        /FMH

        • Re: Select items free for select partners (login)
          KMT Level 9 Level 9 (14,355 points)

          Might want to move this to theIn-App Purchase forum.

          • Re: Select items free for select partners (login)
            PBK Level 7 Level 7 (3,175 points)

            Am I allowed to have login's for myself, testers and select partners which makes some of the routes free?

                       For "testers" using TestFlight - IAPs are always free.  But if you and others are using the real app then any 'free IAP' would be a violation of the guideline:

               3.1.1 In-App Purchase:

            • ...... Apps may not use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality, such as license keys, augmented reality markers, QR codes, etc.

                        But...I think (with absolutely no support for this opinion) that Apple actually means that you can't slip the IAP to certain users using one of these mechansisms after the user pays you outside of IAP.  I do not think that Apple means to prevent the no-charge transfer to yourself and to certain partners.  That said, a partner who gives you free office space or free turkey lunches - that's not really 'no-charge'.  So include some sort of way of providing the IAP to certain users without making it obvious to other users that a 'coupon' or a 'secret code' can be used.  And be sure to disclose to App Review that you have a back-door mechanism of providing the IAP but you will not charge for providing such IAPs through the back-door. 

             

            I could for example imagine partners, who creates routes, who should have access to their own routes for free while still selling them to others.  Another senario could be a family that lets us put a route in their private forest in which case they should be able to use the routes without paying.

                    An app can certainly unlock code, including the IAP code, for any action taken within the app.  So, for example, if the user gets 2000 points by killing 23 monsters they get a free sword - or they can purchase the sword using IAP.  Similarly, anyone who provides a map can use that map, and maybe even any 2 other maps of their choice, for free.

              • Re: Select items free for select partners (login)
                FatMooseHenry Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                Hi

                Thank you for your answer despite that I'm in the wrong thread

                The reason that I mentioned the map, was that if I was just showing text and images, it would go under a reader app (if I understand correctly), but since I will be using the map I guess that that functionality will cause it to not to be able to go under the terms as a "reader app".

                 

                I was thinking that since there were no way to buy the routes out side of the IAP (websites or other places), we wouldn't be violating the terms, but that's of cause hard to ensure for apple.

                 

                I guess the best approach is to be honest at the review. Is there anyway that I can ask apple about this now so I don't waste a lot of development hours on getting rejected at the review? As far as I've understood the users on this forum is not working at apple right?

                  • Re: Select items free for select partners (login)
                    PBK Level 7 Level 7 (3,175 points)

                    Yes, full disclosure in the text for App Review is the best approach.

                    The issue is whether you are secretly charging or otherwise receiving value from users in exchange for unlocking code in an app. 

                     

                    There is no way to get a pre-review from Apple as to whether or not a particular approach is acceptable.  And whenever an Apple employee responds on this forum, and that is rare, they are doing it outside of their normal business function.

                     

                    Finally, I have had multiple apps approved with the following in the notes to App Review:  "Because of past problems with IAP purchases and restores I have included a back door in this app that allows me to credit any user with a free IAP.  I will only use this back door to resolve such problems."  I have never had an objection from App Review - but I can't promise they ever read this nor is the back door visable to App Review.