It’s hard to fault a product that has been as successful as Apple’s App Store. Sales are through the roof, just about every major competitor has already copied the concept or at least plans to and perhaps most importantly, iPhone and iPod Touch users love it. As is often the case however, Apple seems to get a kick out of taking two steps forward while taking one step back. iPhone: Brilliantly usable and attractive UI, nice and functional, likely still the best touch experience on the market… but it completely lacks a plethora of basic and essential functionality. App Store: Likely the best mobile app distribution platform in the industry, wonderfully simple UI with great navigation, terrific organization with simple search functionality… but there is no way for a typical user to trial an App before buying it.
Apple fans are once again beginning to voice concerns over the lack of demo / trial versions and odds are pretty good these complaints will fall on deaf ears. Apple apparently sees its policy allowing developers to add “lite” versions of apps to the App Store as a viable solution and this stance isn’t likely to budge any time soon. The truth of course, is that lite versions are the worst possible answer. Forcing developers to maintain two active versions of the same app is ridiculous at best, especially when the concept of a software trial is about as old as Betty White. Why not just create a self destruct timer mechanism?