From Free / Pro to In-App Purchase

I have an app published on the Windows Phone Store for over two years. So I started developing this app on Windows Phone 7 times when there was no In-App purchase available. The best practice then was to actually publish two separate apps, one free version (showing ads most of the time) and a Pro app with some sort of trial functionality.

To get both different XAPs, I created two separate build configurations with different pre-build and post-build actions. So what the assembly does:

  • (Pre-Build) Copy the WMAppManifest file for Free / Pro (with customized product name, GUID, ...) to your project's Properties folder
  • Create an application
  • (Post-Build) Rename the app package to app-name. {free / pro} .xap
  • (Post-Build) Copy the xap package to a separate folder

Since an In-App purchase takes so long and it takes a long time to save two different apps at the same time (although this is 100% code with some free / trial / pro terms), I would like to move away just one app in a free store and contains an In purchase -App to enable Pro features.

Now my questions are:

  • What do you think is the best way to do this. Is there some kind of best practice I haven't found?
  • One of the problems I am having is that my good reviews for the pro app will actually be lost as I cannot move them, obviously, to a free app, which will then have a Pro package for in-app purchase. Any recommendations on this?
  • Also, is there a good way to create two xap app bundles without copying the WMAppManifest all the time?

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1 answer

It's hard to answer your question - but some resource goes here - a friend of mine once gave me a link to a very nice research done by Wesley De Bolster, described on his blog .

He described a method for distinguishing old paying users from new users - the basic idea is that you get the recipe from CurrentApp.GetAppReceiptAsync()

and extract the date of purchase from it. You can then compare the application date of the new version with that obtained from the recipe. Then you can allow old users to use some of the features without buying an IAP. I have not tested this procedure, but it seems to be a good idea.

Coming back to your question, here's what I will do:

  • focus on the Pro app - there are users who have paid for your app, so don't disappoint them.
  • make the Pro app free with IAP
  • implement Wesley's method to allow old users to use the features without paying again
  • Provide some information in the old free application that there is a new one with new features that will be developed further. You can also provide some methods by taking advantage of RoamingSettings to exchange some information between applications.


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