iTunes code suggests a future with app rentals

iTunes code suggests a future with app rentals
A self-proclaimed "hacker" and lover of iOS, Sonny Dickson, has uncovered some code in the newest beta version 9 of iTunes 10.5, and that code makes it seem like Apple is about to begin offering app rentals. A more cynical website may claim that this is just another Android feature stolen by Apple, but in reality, it's just another good idea that has made its way to an Apple product through the power of competition. It's not like Google was the first store in history to offer refunds and returns. 

The code found makes references to apps being automatically removed from iTunes after a "rental period", as well as apps being completely deleted from a user's computer. Of course, a rental feature may anger developers who make their money on impulse purchases, but it should make customers far happier with the App Store by not being forced to keep apps they don't want, or apps that aren't what they expected. Amazon offers a "try-before-you-buy" feature through the web portal for its Appstore, and the Android Market has a refund/return policy. 

We're hoping that the new feature by Apple may help to get Google to bump its return policy back from 15 minutes to 24 hours, because with a term like "rentals" we can't expect Apple's time limit will be as short as 15 minutes. Don't be surprised if this is part of tomorrow's announcement. Keep it tuned in, and we'll let you know. 

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7 Comments

1. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Personally, I missed the Android Market's 24 hour refund period. If Apple's 'rental' model causes Google to re-instate the 24 hour refund period, I am all for Apple's rental model.

2. Cinnamon

Posts: 87; Member since: Jun 16, 2011

Apple needs it since most of their paid apps suck because they are scams.

3. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Are you a delusional droidbot? Apple has quality apps that require approval. Android market is a free for all where they have junk and malware apps. Most apps are no different than just visiting a webpage.

4. Yphone unregistered

Taco and Gallito and other iphone fans........This is a classified and inside information.. On Oct 4th Apple will first launch the ios 5 and with it the apple iphone 4S......And as the day will progress and other apple produts like 5th gen ipods will be announced and then all of a sudden the screen will go blank and This message will appear "One more thing" And then Steve Jobs or Tim Cook will emerge and will say "Lets Talk Iphone" And there they will announce the iphone 5 with out of the world features and looks. Trust me iphone 5 will blow away everyone's mind.....even android fans will fall and praise it..... Samsung galaxy s2 meet your daddy on 4th.......

5. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

While the Android Market does have quite a lot of spam and junk in it, there is certainly no shortage of opportunists in the App Store either (let's not forget the incredible amounts of money made from noise apps on the iPhone). They just aren't allowed to resort to copyright infringement to do it. Saying most apps are no different than visiting a webpage is also completely wrong.

6. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

If you're trying to slyly bring up fart apps that's a very old argument that fanboys use. There's no question the app store has higher quality apps. Android market had a sea of junk apps. The major apps like yelp and Facebook are basically just the mobile webpage.

7. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Fart apps were the first major example of opportunism, but in a store with 500,000 apps, to say that there isn't any (or even a lot) of opportunists selling silly apps in the App Store is just ignoring reality. Apple even had to create a separate Lifestyles category for soundboards, glowstick apps, virtual lighters, virtual beers, virtual mustaches and the like. Apple has done well to hide those apps (and so has Google with the newer versions of the Market), but the apps are still there. I'll give you FB, but Yelp definitely has a good amount of native code. Besides, who cares if Facebook is in an HTML wrapper? It's accessing a huge and always changing online database which you wouldn't want stored on your phone, and it doesn't need to access any phone hardware outside of the GPS and camera, which it can do.

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