Digging through all the routine documentation and can't seem to find Apple's requirement (been a while since we've dealt with this particular topic).
Scenario: A client is aiming to launch a new magazine app in the Newsstand. They'll have at least one auto-renewable subscription (assume 1-yr) set up in iTunes Connect, as well as future in-app purchases.
What We Know: To be in Newsstand, we know that Apple requires at least one free issue/folio be available to the consumer.
What We Can't Find:
1.) Will Apple approve an app that has only ONE free issue and NO paid issues available at launch?
2.) Does Apple require a mininum of two issues at launch — ONE paid and ONE free?
Clearly, the latter would be ideal, so that when users purchase a subscription, they can see the status of the "$x.xx" folio turn to "Free". However, client wants to know if Apple will approve the former.
Thanks in advance.
I'm not sure you've got the right info. We don't have free issues in our free app (you may download it here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/journal-current-clinical-care/id4175145 23?ls=1&mt=8) and there is no problem. 1 current issue is OK for both: subscription and single issue in-app purchases. Only the one, current folio will be available for those who purchased a subscription as well as new ones until 1 year subscription ends.
I know that Apple WILL approve an app that has a free issue and no paid issues at launch (my company did so in June).
I know that previously Apple has stated that a free issue is required for Newsstand, but I have heard multiple accounts that it is either no longer required or not being enforced. I have yet to find documentation on this though.
Even if it isn't required, I like having some kind of free edition available so that users can see your magazine before they purchase it. Even if it's only a few articles, the gesture is appricated by users. So I would submit the app with the free edition and the in-app purchase requests for the subscription and the first single edition at the same time so that as soon as the app and the in-app purchases are approved, you can activate the paid edition from the DPS dashboard.
The best approach for publishing to Newstand is to create a free preview issue (good amount of content for review) and a retail issue alongside it. I have seen Apple approving Newstand Apps with Auto-renewable subscription and free issue only though.
Gennady and Scott: Thanks for your replies.
Gennady: So you're saying that Apple approved your free app with only retail folios available? You have no free folios available in that app?
Scott: We agree that having a free issue makes sense. As you pointed out: We've always understood that Apple requires multi-issue apps with retail folios to have at least one free folio available. But, we also have heard the same whispers you have: the requirement may have been lifted.
Can anyone confirm whether this retail folio + free folio is still an Apple requirement? Paging Bob Bringhurst?!
Apple used to reject apps if they did not include free content. I've noticed some apps that have only retail content. I wasn't sure if Apple lifted the requirement or if the publishers removed the free content after having it approved, but it sounds like Apple no longer rejects apps with retail-only folios. I'll edit the documentation.
Thanks, Bob, for your quick response!
So Apple has confirmed the lifting of this requirement as well? We'd hate to hedge our bets and be wrong at submission.
In the meantime, kudos to you and the Adobe team for continuing to improve the documentation. The new step-by-step guide fills a huge void!