Karen Bleier—AFP/Getty Images
By Jack Linshi
November 20, 2014

Free apps on Apple’s App Store aren’t listed as “FREE” anymore — they’re listed as “GET.”

The change in the App Store’s download buttons arrives after the European Commission this summer forced Google to eliminate the word “free” on Google Play. That’s because the word “free” was misleading, the Commission said in a statement addressing both Google and Apple, as apps tagged with the “free” label could still have in-app purchases — a big revenue driver for app developers, particularly with mobile games. While Google’s change was seen only in European countries, Apple’s change is worldwide.

Striking the word “free” is also meant to protect children who are misled into making in-app purchases on their parents’ accounts, a situation that’s caused both Apple and Google a few multi-million dollar legal headaches. Apple has previously taken steps to make the App Store more child-friendly by launching a Kids section for children 11 and under.

There is one exception to the App Store’s word swap, though. Apple’s own free apps without in-app purchases, like iMovies, Numbers and Keynote, have retained the “FREE” label.

 

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