13 Replies
      Latest reply on Mar 24, 2020 1:19 AM by robGTS
      Woutster Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

        I would like to implement a free trial for my Auto renewable subscription.

        However, As a user, I hate to have to commit to anything before I see what it is ... even when the first period is free. I know myself, I tend to forget to cancel the subscription ...

         

        So, I thought that I might be able to store the 'first launch date' in the KeyChain and only start checking the subscriptions after the initial free period that I define (and show the user).

        I know that I might lose a bit of money (for instance if a user downloads the app on a second device and uses a second free trial period), but I think some users will appreciate the fact that they do not have to commit to a subscription before they see what the app can do for them.

         

        Is it allowed to do it this way?

         

        When I look in the documentation about free trials, I see text like:

        "You can set up introductory offers for your apps that contain auto-renewable subscriptions in App Store Connect."

        But I cannot find: "You can only implement introductory offers in App Store Connect"

         

        Any thoughts?

         

        Kind regards,

        Wouter Wessels

        • Re: Can I implement my own free trial in Auto Renewable Subscriptions?
          PBK Level 7 Level 7 (3,565 points)

          Yes, you can unlock special features code for a period of time and then lock that up again after an introductory period.

           

          Your app must do something after the free introductory period - it must operate as a 'lite' version.

           

          You can use the keychain which is device specific and user agnostic.  Or you can use the user's iCloud key-value file which is user specific (Apple ID) and device agnostic.  In the second case, using the user's iCloud key-value file, if they are not connected to an iCloud account don't unlock the code and tell them to log into iCloud.  Most users are logged into iCloud.

            • Re: Can I implement my own free trial in Auto Renewable Subscriptions?
              Woutster Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

              My App was rejected because: "We noticed that your app offers a free trial without implementing the offer in App Store Connect."

              I asked the reviewers to show me the documents where it states that it is mandatory to implement that in App Store Connect.Waiting for an answer.

               

              What I did:

              - Save first launch date in Keychain (locally)

              - In the subscription viewController I show: Free until <calculated date 30 days after first launch>

              - Before starting the feature, I check:

                 - If free period not over: Do it

                 - If free period over: Check Subscription

              Sounds like a valid architecture, right?

              I just want to avoid scaring people away who so not like to commit to something yet.

               

              Thanks for your comment!

              Kind regards,

              Wouter

            • Re: Can I implement my own free trial in Auto Renewable Subscriptions?
              cmaloux Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

              This has just happened to me now. I didn't want to scare away users with an automatically billable free trial so I implemented my own way and they rejected it with this reason:

              "We noticed that your app offers a free trial without implementing the offer in App Store Connect. Offering free trials through App Store Connect ensures that when the free trial period is over, the user will automatically be billed (unless the user has cancelled the subscription).

               

              Next Steps

              To resolve this issue, please use App Store Connect to implement free trials."

               

              My app has a lite version and a pro version. Users try the pro version for 2 months before switching back to the lite version if they don't subscribe.

               

              How did your appeal work? Did you have to give in?

                • Re: Can I implement my own free trial in Auto Renewable Subscriptions?
                  robGTS Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                  I have just run into this as well for a submission I did today. We didn't use the app store connect route as we are offerring both a time and a usage type trial and give the user the option of choosing which is best for them. While we might be able to do the time based trial in app store connect, the usage based trial is not possible. For our app, the app is fully functional until the trial runs out. At that point, all the functionality of the app is still present, but the user cannot add any more data. If they wish to purchase a subscription, they can and the app will open up to data entry again. This seems like a pretty standard use case and is also used by some of competitors that also dont use the App store connect introductory offers. Has anyone successfuly worked through this or fought it?

                    • Re: Can I implement my own free trial in Auto Renewable Subscriptions?
                      PBK Level 7 Level 7 (3,565 points)

                      You can implement the two free trials using three IAP procudts this way:

                       

                      Check the receipt to be sure the user has not already made an IAP purchase. 

                      If they have not, let the user chose which one they want, free time or free usage. 

                           If they chose free time let them purchase IAP1, an autorenewable IAP with a free trial.

                           If they chose free usage let them purchase IAP2, a tier 0 non-consumable IAP that grants them the usage

                      If they have made an IAP purchase then only show them the following IAPs for purchase

                           if they have already purchased IAP1, only let them purchase IAP1 again (Only relevant of they let the subscription expire)

                           if they have already purchased IAP2 then only let them purchase IAP3, an autorenewable subscription with no free trial.

                        • Re: Can I implement my own free trial in Auto Renewable Subscriptions?
                          robGTS Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

                          Thank you for the information. Its a good suggestion and somethign we could do, but it is also a lot more complicated than offerring a single IAP after managing our trial ourselves.

                           

                          I am curious if this is a recent change from apple and if anyone has been able to fight it via an appeal. As everyone else above, to me the guidlines do not explicitly say that free trials have to be configured as part of an IAP via a introductory offer, etc.  We had three verisons of the app that are exactly the same to the version that was just rejected in terms of their ability to offer a free trial. For the approved versions, new users are prompted to pick a trial and it is now that onboarding screen that is being flagged as an example of the problem. Now it seems as though the review is just looking for the words "Free Trial" and if they exist, and then failing the submission.

                           

                          At this point, it is not as simple as adding a free trial/introductory offer to our yearly subscription. We added a two week trial to our existing IAP, but are still being rejected. I am guessing this is becuase the trial period for the IAP is different than what is offered to the user during onboarding.

                           

                          What is very frustrating is that we have competitors that do exactly what we want to do (and what we used to do), but either got their versions in before this change or have found another way around the issue. Changes like this on apples part, really make the playing field unlevel and uncompeditive. Luckily we have a version approved, but have some great new features and bug fixes we want to get out there.