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In-app purchases

In-app purchases (IAP) are products offered for purchase within the app. Users typically make in-app purchases to access special content or features, such as virtual currency, power-ups, restricted levels, enhancements, and more.

The purchase process is performed directly in the app, in most cases seamlessly for the user. Mobile platform providers facilitate the purchase and take a share of the payment transferred  (usually about 30%) and the rest goes to the application owner.

  • In-App purchase first saw the light of day in October 2009 on Apple's App Store with the release of iOS 3.0.
  • In September 2010, BlackBerry App World added support for in-app purchases.
  • In March 2011, Google added in-app billing as an in-app purchase version for Android users.

Currently, Apple offers 4 types of in-app purchases: non-replenishable, replenishable, one-time, and auto-renewing subscription. IAP can be used in premium as well as in free apps, also known as freemium.

Non-replenishable - This kind of purchase is applied to one-time payments, such as access to some features of an app. The user pays once and the access to services is transferred to all connected devices, authorized within the same iTunes account.

Replenishable -  These purchases can be found in games and require payment multiple times, for example, on different devices.  

One-time subscription - The subscription has a limited period. It can be seasonal, or just services available in certain time periods. When the term ends, you must renew this subscription manually.

Auto-renewing subscription - The subscription will be repeated automatically in a certain time period, if there is enough money on the user’s account.

In 2012 Apple has introduced a mandatory condition for developers: in the description of an app that has IAP, there must necessarily be a note indicating this. If the program contains purchases, near the "Price", "Buy" or "Get"  button you’ll see “Offers In-App Purchases” or “In-App Purchases.” On the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, you’ll see it below the name of the program.

To make a purchase in the app, you must use the Touch ID or enter the Apple ID password.

You may use restrictions to enable or disable certain types of purchases on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch or set the Parental Control function in iTunes on a Mac or PC.

 Read more about mobile app monetization

Additional Terms
In-App Billing

In-App Billing is a service for buying virtual goods inside an app (for example, game currency, new levels, tools, etc.), provided by Google Corp.

With any Android application owner can take advantage of an additional source of profit. This service was first introduced by Apple in 2009 under the name In-App Purchase. Whether it's buying special weapons or unlocking a new level in a game, getting books, video or music or any other goods and services - users can purchase it without leaving the app.

The Google In-App Billing feature is supported by devices with the Android 1.6 operating system and above.

Following the example of the Apple App Store, where a similar system has been in effect since 2009, Google receives a standard 30% of revenue. Payment for virtual goods directly from the app is made with the Google Checkout payment system.

Checkout is a library for making in-app purchases based on Android In-App Billing V.3.

The main goal is to reduce the development time spent on the implementation of payments into the Android app. The project was inspired by the Volley library and designed to be as easy to use, fast and flexible as possible.

In-App Billing V3 is the latest update, through which you can sell the user only two types of content: a subscription or a one-time purchase.

Subscription. The user will constantly pay for the app usage, making payments every month or once a year. The payment intervals are configured by the developer.

One-time purchase. This is an opportunity to receive a one-off payment from the user for some feature of the app: armour for the character, additional functions or disabling advertising. In this case, for a one-time purchase, the parameter "consumed" is entered - an indicator of whether the user has received the paid content or not. Once the service is provided, the same goods can be sold again.

You can sell content via In-App Billing only if your application is available on Google Play

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AppStore

is an application store accessed via iTunes containing various apps for iPhone smartphones, iPod Touch, iPad tablets, and also for Mac personal computers and allowing to buy them or download for free. Similar to Google Play for Android applications.

  • The App Store offers more than 1.5 million apps for iPhone and iPod Touch and about 1 million for the iPad;
  • The number of downloads exceeded 100 billion;
  • The user base is about 575 million.
  • Applications are divided into many categories, including games and social networking apps.

Costs for an App range from $ 0.99 to $ 9.99, and significantly more for professional software. However, most apps are distributed through the App Store for free.

The store is supervised by Apple experts. Each application is equipped with a special electronic certificate. If somebody starts to commit illegal actions with the purchased program, they will remove it from the database, and developers will be "severely reprimanded".

Revenues from sales of apps are distributed as follows - the authors receive 70%, Apple collects 30% of the share in order to maintain the store. Officially, Apple claims that they don’t intend to make money on sales. Developers also have an opportunity to release free apps. It is also interesting that all purchased programs can be registered in iTunes to download all the new updates.

In the iPod Touch, the App Store service works when you connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi. So users can buy and download apps through the wireless network from anywhere. Applications are available either for free or have a certain cost which is charged from the user's account in the iTunes Store.

The App Store will promptly notify the user about the latest updates, which happens regularly. The App Store service is available in iTunes for both Macs and personal computers, wherein apps are synchronized with the iPhone or iPod Touch via a USB interface.

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Freemium

is a business model that offers the use of software applications, online services, or computer games for free, while an enhanced (improved, premium) version of the product, with advanced functionality, services, or other related features, are offered for an additional fee.

In the 1990-2000s, programs distributed under the terms "freemium", as a rule, belonged to the shareware group. Since 2010, "freemium" is regarded as a separate class of software.

Usually, a freemium model is used when it is important to attract more potential customers to the project. To implement this strategy, the owner sets the lowest possible entry threshold for using the app. In this case, as a result, the share of paying users is quite small.

The ability to pay for the full version without leaving the mobile application, transfers freemium apps to the category of projects that support in-app purchase.

Product distribution based on the "freemium" model serves to:

  • Attract a wide range of users;
  • Receive feedback from users;
  • Estimate a demand for a product (service) in the market;
  • Identify people and organizations willing to pay for a product (service) with improved qualities;
  • and others.

Most software products provided on the basis of the "freemium" model are limited to:

  • Set of available functions;
  • Amount of free space;
  • Number of licenses;
  • Sphere of usage  (for example, free antivirus only for home use or only for educational institutions).

"Free-to-play" is the term used for massive multiplayer online games (MMOG).You can play for free, but make regular small purchases to gain additional features or advanced conditions, improving your playing potential. Most social games are monetized this way; provided that you buy game currency for real money first, and then spend it on virtual items.


Mobile application stores like Google Play and the App Store almost profit by the "free-to-play"/"freemium" programs.
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Additional Terms of App development
See more words
Command Line Interface

Command line interface (CLI) - a kind of textual interface between a person and a computer, in which computer instructions are given mainly by typing text strings (commands) from the keyboard, on UNIX-systems it is possible to use a mouse. Also known as the console user interface.

The command-line interface, often mentioned as command-line user interface, is contrasted with the menu-based control systems of the program, as well as to various implementations of the graphic user interface (GUI).

The output format of the information in the command-line interface is not regulated; usually, this is a simple text output, but it can also be graphic, audio, etc.

Advantages

  • Small memory consumption compared to the menu system.
  • In modern software, there is a large number of commands, many of which are extremely rare. Therefore, even in some programs with a graphical interface, the command line is used: the command set (provided that the user knows this command) is much faster than, for example, navigating through the menu.
  • A natural extension of the command line interface is the batch interface. In essence its a sequence of commands written to a file of ordinary text format, after which the file can be executed in the program, which will lead to the same (in most cases) effect, as if these commands were entered one by one on the command line. Examples - .bat-files in DOS and Windows, shell-scripts in Unix-systems.

If the program is fully or almost completely managed by commands from the command line interface, and supports a batch interface, a skilful combination of the command line interface with a graphical interface provides the user with very powerful capabilities.

Disadvantages

  • The command-line interface is not user-friendly for those, who have begun familiarizing themselves with the computer with a graphical mode, due to the almost unavailable discoverability.
  • The need to study the syntax of commands and memorize abbreviations is complicated, because each command can have its own designations.
  • Without auto-completion, entering long and special characters from the keyboard can be difficult.
  • No analog input. For example, adjusting the volume with the sounded slider allows you to set the appropriate volume faster than a command like aumix -v 90.

Usage

Historically, the main areas of application of the command line interface were on computer terminals  in 1960-1980s, for MS-DOS, Unix operational systems and later on on Apple DOS. Now it’s used for chats, computer games and program testing.

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AppStore

is an application store accessed via iTunes containing various apps for iPhone smartphones, iPod Touch, iPad tablets, and also for Mac personal computers and allowing to buy them or download for free. Similar to Google Play for Android applications.

  • The App Store offers more than 1.5 million apps for iPhone and iPod Touch and about 1 million for the iPad;
  • The number of downloads exceeded 100 billion;
  • The user base is about 575 million.
  • Applications are divided into many categories, including games and social networking apps.

Costs for an App range from $ 0.99 to $ 9.99, and significantly more for professional software. However, most apps are distributed through the App Store for free.

The store is supervised by Apple experts. Each application is equipped with a special electronic certificate. If somebody starts to commit illegal actions with the purchased program, they will remove it from the database, and developers will be "severely reprimanded".

Revenues from sales of apps are distributed as follows - the authors receive 70%, Apple collects 30% of the share in order to maintain the store. Officially, Apple claims that they don’t intend to make money on sales. Developers also have an opportunity to release free apps. It is also interesting that all purchased programs can be registered in iTunes to download all the new updates.

In the iPod Touch, the App Store service works when you connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi. So users can buy and download apps through the wireless network from anywhere. Applications are available either for free or have a certain cost which is charged from the user's account in the iTunes Store.

The App Store will promptly notify the user about the latest updates, which happens regularly. The App Store service is available in iTunes for both Macs and personal computers, wherein apps are synchronized with the iPhone or iPod Touch via a USB interface.

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Content Management System (CMS)

Content management system (CMS) - information system or a computer program with simple and convenient user interface, used to provide and organize a joint process of creating, editing and managing content without special programming knowledge.

Main functions

  • Providing tools for creating content, and organizing collaborative work;
  • Content management: storage, version control, compliance with access mode, flow control of documents, etc.;
  • Publishing;
  • The presentation of information in a form convenient for navigation and searching.

The content management system can contain a wide variety of data: documents, films, photographs, phone numbers, scientific data, and so on. Such a system is often used to store, manage, review and publish documentation.

Version control is one of its main advantages when the content is changed by a group of people.

Types

In general, content management systems are divided into:

  • The Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS)
  • Web Content Management System (WCMS)

The term CMS replaced WCMS, becoming a synonym for the website management system.

Such CMS allows you to manage the text and graphic content of a website, providing the user with an interface for working with the content of the site, convenient tools for storing and publishing information, and automating the processes of placing information in databases and issuing it to HTML.

There are many ready-made content management systems, including free ones. They can be divided into three types according to the mode of operation:

  • Generate pages on request. Systems of this type work on the basis of the link "Editing module → Database → Presentation module". The presentation module generates a page with content when it is requested, based on information from the database. The information in the database is modified using the editing module. Pages are newly created by the server at each request, which in turn creates an additional load on the system resources.
  • Generate pages when editing. Systems of this type serve for editing pages that, when making changes to the content of the site, create a set of static pages.
  • The mixed type. As the name implies, it combines the advantages of the previous two. Can be implemented by caching - the presentation module generates the page once, in the future it is loaded several times faster from the cache. The cache can be updated automatically, after a certain time period or when making changes to certain sections of the site, or manually by the administrator's command. Another approach is to save certain information blocks at the stage of editing and build a page from these blocks when the user requests the corresponding page.

Most of the modern CMS are implemented as a visual (WYSIWYG) editor - a program that creates HTML code from a special simplified markup that allows the user to easily format the text.

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