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In app purchases

Posted: 3/14/13 at 9:54 AM by vans1212

Hi All,

Just wanted to post a question and see if anyone has a solution. I am currently working in a school district and we are getting a few request for in app purchases. We currently use the VPP program and manage apps with our JSS. Does anyone have a solution for adding in app purchases or are we in a holding pattern with Apple. Thanks everyone!!!

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Posted: 3/14/13 at 11:39 AM by blackholemac

Apple has issued me formal guidance on this matter for our school district...basically the VPP program DOES NOT handle in-app purchases. What we have had to do is buy apps that are completely fulfilled. If an app is not, then we are supposed to lobby the developer to release a second version of the app primarily for VPP customers that is full-file. Two app examples we have encountered.:

  1. An iTunes Store search for Splash Math will yield different grade levels and numerous versions. If I wanted to put say 4th Grade Splash Math on any iPad (consumer or VPP), I would have two options...acquire the free app and get all the content through in app purchases. If I as an EDU customer who can only use the VPP program and POs wanted the app, then I would want to choose the 4th Grade Splash Math HD Full versions that includes all the content at the price of $9.99. This way there are no in app-purchases required.

  2. Another example would be the YourTeacher.com series. Do a iTunes Store search for YourTeacher.com. You will notice a free app called "Math." which is their entire product with all of their content lines available as an in-app purchase. You only get a few sample lessons with the free app. As a consumer, you would acquire the content lessons through in-app purchases. As an EDU district, you wouldn't want to choose 'Math.'...instead, you would choose the "Geometry®" app or the "Algebra" app which are each $9.99 but comes with all the content already filled in not requiring in-app purchases.

A lot of developers don't realize that schools cannot buy things with credit cards like most and if you find an app that your folks really want, but that doesn't have a full-file version, contact the developer. They will try to publish one for you and as you know, in the VPP store, any purchases made are half price if you buy more than 20 licenses for a given app. Hope this helps you...this is what our Apple Rep in Indiana has weighed in officially with.

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Posted: 3/14/13 at 2:07 PM by vans1212

Thank you blackholemac. This does help me in finding some solutions to this issue

Posted: 6/17/13 at 11:43 AM by Squig

Just out of curiosity, let's say that I am an educational institution that can purchase via Credit Card. If I purchase the In-App purchase with our institutionally owned account and then distribute the app via Configurator using said account, is that legit? It seems like that would be borderline piracy to me but from what I can dig up on the internet as long as you own the device in question you can transfer an in-app purchase to any device you want. Can someone confirm or deny this?

Posted: 6/17/13 at 12:22 PM by jdziat

Check out http://www.apple.com/legal/internet-services/itunes/appstore/dev/stdeula/

under subsection A.

This license does not allow You to use the Licensed Application on any iPod touch or iPhone that You do not own or control, and You may not distribute or make the Licensed Application available over a network where it could be used by multiple devices at the same time.

What I take away from that is simultaneous access to the same app on multiple devices that you own is not allowed.

Posted: 6/17/13 at 12:45 PM by Squig

There it is! I knew it had to be somewhere. Thanks for finding that!

Posted: 10/9/15 at 1:25 PM by AVmcclint

Apple has issued me formal guidance on this matter for our school district...basically the VPP program DOES NOT handle in-app purchases. What we have had to do is buy apps that are completely fulfilled. If an app is not, then we are supposed to lobby the developer to release a second version of the app primarily for VPP customers that is full-file.

Does anyone know if this situation has changed? We currently buy OmniGraffle Pro licenses and we'd really like to start using VPP to purchase and manage it but the VPP version is for non-Pro and it can be upgraded via in-app purchase.

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Posted: 10/9/15 at 2:28 PM by blackholemac

No change that I have been advised of. I do have some good news for you on THAT specific app though if you are dealing with Macs and not iPads.

OmniGroup has been an Apple Developer since the NextSTEP days. I know for a fact that you can contact OmniGroup explicitly outside the App Store and buy a license for OmniGraffle Pro.

You can download their product for free and then embed a license key in a file and include with your installer once Omni provides it. I did that for years with OmniOutliner until we retired the software in our district. The app store for them isn't the only deployment vehicle for their software. Alas, if you are on iPads, the App Store is the ONLY vehicle.

Contact OmniGroup at 1-800-315-6664 and talk to them about obtaining OmniGraffle Pro from them directly for your Mac fleet. Then you have an installer that you control outside the store. If you are dealing with iPads, your question still stands though and, no, there is no way to do In-App Purchases through the VPP Store as far as I know. If you are dealing with iPads, you could ask Omni if they will post a "fullfile" version of OmniGraffle Pro though at a higher cost in the App Store...that way you don't have to mess with In App purchases.

hope it helps,
blackholemac