On Tuesday, the first promotional codes that will make iPhone apps free to some users began trickling out of the App Store.
Apple is finally bequeathing apps developers with a way to let some media testers review an app at no expense and reward or attract a few lucky users. (The first invite has already floated into my in-box.)
This is Apple, so there are limits. Fifty promotional codes per product, to be exact.
Also, as wonderful as it is to see the passcodes allowed and implemented, they are not free trials. Developers angling to hook new customers will still need to lure them with free, light versions of the software or the less popular approach of offering an app free for a limited time and then ratcheting up the cost when the window closes.
Still, we're happy to finally see some leeway for developers, who will also get a reprieve from issuing gift certificates that often lose them money as a workaround for letting select reviewers evaluate apps for free.