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Aside from the new icons, the updated page also reveals in a footnote that GarageBand will become a free basic download for all iOS 7 devices, joining the other five iLife and iWork apps that became free alongside the release of iOS 7.
GarageBand will, however, include in-app purchase content from Apple, with additional instruments and sounds available for a fee. Licensing fees associated with some of those sounds had been the presumed reason why GarageBand was left out the original move to make Apple’s iLife and iWork apps for iOS free of charge, and it appears that the company has settled on in-app purchases as a way around this issue, offering basic functionality for free and then premium content through the paid upgrade options.
The icons and text have been pulled by Apple since last night, but it seems fairly safe to assume this change will be officially confirmed tomorrow.
It’s interesting to see Apple switching to a freemium model while so many third-party developers are discussing new approaches to selling apps after five years of App Store. Also worth noting is how with iOS 7 they added support for new purchase receipts to automatically unlock IAPs for customers who already bought an app — I assume, likely what they’ll be doing with GarageBand and IAPs for old customers so they won’t have to buy the new IAPs again.
What parts of GarageBand will be free? Will Apple redesign the iWork apps (besides icons) and add IAPs to those as well (they already went free). And what does this change mean for education customers? I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s event.