Apps with subscriptions and in-app purchases are getting more popular, and Apple even encourages this practice on the App Store.
However, some developers have taken advantage of this system to get people to pay for programs that are supposed to be free for macOS.
According to developer Jeff Johnson on Twitter, there are some applications among the most downloaded programs in the Mac App Store that are just “bait” to extract money from clients, while being supplied for free.
If Apple now officially approves of bait-and-switch scams in the crap store, that's even worse!
— Jeff Johnson (@lapcatsoftware) April 12, 2022
GCalendar for Google Calendar is one of the programs mentioned by Johnson, and it is now the 40th most downloaded free software from the Mac App Store in the United States.
Anyone may download it for free from the Software Store, but the app is useless until you pay for a license through an in-app payment.
There is no trial period or restricted functionality to allow the user to explore the software before purchasing a license.
Despite this, the app is awarded four stars on the App Store, despite the fact that it has received several unfavorable reviews from actual customers.
The same developer has eight more macOS applications with the same idea available on the Mac App Store.
This developer has 9 apps in the Mac App Store, all of which seem to have the same “business model”: free to download, with In-App Purchase, but the first time you open the app, it demands an upfront one-time purchase, otherwise it doesn’t work at all. No trial, no subscription.
According to Johnson, these developers take advantage of the App Store, which allows anybody to download and review free programs.
This allows them to quickly put the app in the top apps that have been downloaded a lot and have good reviews on the App Store.