Since 2008, app developers have bemoaned the App Store’s inflexible pricing. In particular, there has been no way to bundle multiple apps together. Bundles are a great means to offer users of one app a discount on another app, and their absence was unfortunate. But now, as of iOS 8, Apple lets us offer a bundle of apps at a discounted price.
So we did that!
Our first app bundle is called the Avatron Productivity Pack, which comprises three of our most popular apps: Air Display, Air Sharing, and Air Login.
While putting the Productivity Pack together, we discovered some interesting quirks about app bundles:
- Apps must all target the same devices. Consequently, because Air Stylus is an iPad-only app, it could not be part of this bundle.
- Only paid apps can be part of a bundle. Apple’s documentation is contradictory about this. In one paragraph they say explicitly both that free apps are allowed and that they are not allowed in an app bundle.
So why didn’t the App Store just support bundles from the start? Who knows, but I have a hypothesis. Apple learned from its past power tussles with Microsoft and Adobe that app bundles yield power to third-party software developers. In introducing the iOS platform, Apple took great pains to establish sustainable platform power. And part of that control comes from prohibiting app suites like Office and Creative Studio, which at times in the past have been albatrosses around the Mac’s neck. But now that iOS is the big dog on the platform block, Apple has been loosening up some of these limitations.
Another thing that has been missing from the App Store has been upgrade pricing. So for example, when we introduced Air Sharing Pro back in 2009, we were hoping we could charge some small upgrade price for the new version. But there was no mechanism for that. Furthermore, the App Store didn’t allow us to offer current Air Sharing users a discount on Air Sharing Pro. But now the iOS 8 App Store lets us bundle the old and new versions of an app, so that people who have, say, Air Music 1, can upgrade to Air Music 2 for half price by clicking the “Complete My Bundle” button.
So if you have any of our apps, please check out the Avatron Productivity Pack and consider getting our other apps for a screaming discount. And watch for more app bundles in the future.