If you’re looking for the ‘Free’ download button on iTunes and the Mac App Store, you’ll be surprised to know that you won’t find it on any of these two websites anymore. After getting pressed from the European Commission to make the change, Apple has finally decided to relabel the ‘Free’ button into ‘Get.’
Despite the fact that this may be a minor change, it still manages to be a notable one. Especially for those who are fond of using the App Store to get new games and apps, looking for the ‘Free’ button may be a struggle. The reason behind this change is because of the increasing pressure that Apple has received from the European Commission on how confusing the labels are. After the EC also forced Google to relabel its apps that offer further in-app purchases, it seems like Apple has also taken the necessary steps to prevent any other confusion that this label has produced. Particularly in EU countries, Google’s previous Top Free Apps label has been changed to ‘Top Apps’ and Top Free Games has become ‘Top Games’. This shows that Google is following the new guidelines implemented by the EU.
For some people, the use of the word ‘Free’ may not be completely misleading. But according to the commission, the ‘free’ label imposed on games may mislead consumers into thinking that the app they are downloading is completely free of any costs. And the confusion starts as soon as in-app purchases are marketed in these games. Thus, the EU feels it is best to change the ‘free’ label to something more appropriate.
While Apple has already promised to comply with these changes, they have already implemented a number of the specifications from the guidelines; especially when it comes to in-app purchases. On a statement provided to Engadget, Apple said that:
…over the last year we made sure any app which enables customers to make in-app purchases is clearly marked. We’ve also created a Kids Section on the App Store with even stronger protections to cover apps designed for children younger than 13.
For Apple, it seems like the easiest way they can implement EU specific changes regarding the ‘free’ app labels was simply to relabel all of their free apps to ‘Get’. Even if these apps do not offer in-app purchases, they still bear the word ‘Get’. This seems perfect sense and is a lot less misleading, do you agree? Let us know in the comments below.