Apple's iTunes promo gives paid apps away for free

Apple may mimic Amazon's practice of regularly offering a paid app as a free download; let's hope the App Store sticks a good selection.

Apple may be following in the footsteps of Amazon's Appstore for Android by offering a paid app for free on a regular basis.

Apple recently used its ongoing "App of the Week" feature to promote Cut the Rope: Experiments as a free download. Cut the Rope: Experiments is priced at 99 cents on the Amazon Appstore and Google Play. Apple made the announcement via the App Store Twitter account.

It's not clear whether Apple plans to offer a free weekly app the way Amazon promotes a daily freebie on the Appstore. Typically, discounted app promotions on Apple's App Store are initiated by the app developer, not Apple, and that may be the case with Cut the Rope:Experiments.

Zepto Labs announced on Thursday a new level pack for the game. Hard Candy has 25 new levels and additional game elements, and at launch the company said the app will be available free of charge. So this may be a joint Apple-Zepto Labs promotion, or Apple may simply be using Zepto Labs' announcement to promote a great free app on the App Store.

If Apple does plan to regularly offer paid apps for free on the App Store, a weekly promotion would probably be a better deal than a daily one. Amazon first launched free daily apps when the Appstore for Android debuted in March 2011. The online retailer got off to a strong start by offering free downloads of Angry Birds Rio a popular new paid app at the time.

More than 12 months later, however, the Appstore's free daily apps are often snoozers. Recent free apps have included My Sketch, Alphabet Coloring, FactBook, and Fruit Sorter Extreme. All of them have 3 to 3.5 star reviews on Amazon. But Amazon has to fill its free spot every day, so they can't all be winners. Amazon's current free app is Quote Unquote a word game that mixes crossword clues with famous quotations.

Cut the Rope: Experiments

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This story, "Apple's iTunes promo gives paid apps away for free" was originally published by PCWorld.

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