I love free things, all of us do, but we have to admit that the meaning of the word “free” isn’t as clear as it once was. The most notable culprit is the “freemium” game, a game that can be initially acquired without cost but is loaded with sneaky, hidden in-game charges. Imagine making a cool barbarian character and the only thing missing from his look is this rad helmet, only this rad helmet cost five bucks real-world money. Now imagine that you’re just a little kid and you’re not even aware that you’re draining your mom and dad’s bank account on awesome virtual fashion accessories. It happens.

Apple is trying to curb such instances by nixing the word “Free” from the app store and replacing it with the word “Get.” The idea is to change the way people think about apps, hopefully imprinting the notion that things are almost never truly free. Of course, this method probably won’t work with tiny children who have no real grasp of money in the first place. Apple has been taken to court numerous times over incidents like the one I described above, and those battles don’t always end in Apple’s favor.

I don’t like being cynical, but I don’t think this subtle change of the language will prevent this problem, and I’m not even sure I believe it’s meant to. This feels like a very technical change, one that’s likely to help them win court battles the next time this inevitable happens. Now they can claim that any apps in question were never actually advertised as free.

via Gizmodo

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