From now, on free-to-download Mac App Store and iTunes apps will no longer be labelled ‘Free’ – the button that starts the download is now labelled ‘Get’.
Why is this? Well, the change comes due to pressure from the European Commission, who expressed concerns that the labelling of apps as ‘free’ was misleading to consumers because they often offer or encourage expensive in-app purchases (like extra levels), and that children could easily be fooled. Google immediately announced that it was ditching the ‘free’ label in favour of a button that said Install.
At the time, the EU said that no immediate solutions had been made with Apple to address the concerns. Apple responded by pointing out that all apps with in-app purchases were clearly marked and that iTunes had a dedicated section for apps designed for children under the age of 13. Now, it appears that Apple has given in.
Some have suggested that Apple is covering itself in case it gets sued because a child managed to spend £75,000 playing Candy Crush Saga, which is theoretically free but full of purchase options. Regardless of what the actual reason is, just remember that the current change is in name only, and apps that you ‘get’ are still free to download.