Free iPhone apps can now include in-app purchases

One of Apple's many curious restrictions on iPhone apps has now been lifted. It used to be that, in order for developers to have microtransactions / in-app purchases, they had to charge something upfront for the software, essentially requiring consumers to pay at least twice, or not at all. Well, all that's changed, as the company has sent word to its developer community that the restriction has been lifted, meaning those annoying "Lite" and "Full" versions cluttering the app store can now be one and the same, with folks downloading the demo and paying to upgrade from within the app itself, a model that's worked to success in other software ecosystems like Xbox Live. Sure, there's gonna be developers out there that abuse the newly-minted business model, but it's not like anything was stopping them before when they charged $2 upfront only to get you again later. The mass email announcement is reprinted after the break. [Warning: read link requires iPhone developer account]

[Via Daring Fireball]

In App Purchase is being rapidly adopted by developers in their paid apps. Now you can use In App Purchase in your free apps to sell content, subscriptions, and digital services.

You can also simplify your development by creating a single version of your app that uses In App Purchase to unlock additional functionality, eliminating the need to create Lite versions of your app. Using In App Purchase in your app can also help combat some of the problems of software piracy by allowing you to verify In App Purchases.