Using In-App Purchasing    
This topic is assigned to Victor Robu

Mar 15, 2012 03:39 AM

How to create In-App Purchase products for iOS applications

In-App Purchase is an Apple technology that allows app's users to purchase content and services from within the application. You have to set up In-App Purchase products through iTunes Connect, then add the Products ID to "Purchase"" or "Magazine" features. You can set up In-App Purchases for the following cases:

          - Your application provides some premium features           
          - A subscription to a digital magazine or newsletter(Newsstand application)          
          - A book app that allows users to purchase additional books          
          - A game app where users may buy new levels to play

On iTunes Connect you can create different types of In-App Purchase. Below you will find a table with the information about each In-App Purchase.


Product type 
Description

Consumable

Products that are used one time, after which they become deleted and need to be purchased again, are usually implemented as consumables. 


Non-Consumable

Non-consumable products are purchased once by users and do not expire or decrease with use. 


Auto-Renewable 
Subscription

Auto-renewable subscriptions allow users to purchase dynamic content, such as magazine subscriptions, for a set duration of time. Subscriptions renew automatically unless the user opts out of the renewal. 


Free Subscription

Free subscriptions allow users to download dynamic content, such as magazine subscriptions, for a set duration of time. Free subscriptions are a way for developers to put free content in the Newsstand in the App Store. After a user signs up for a free subscription, the subscription content will be available on all devices associated with the user’s Apple ID. Note that free subscriptions do not expire and can be offered only in Newsstand-enabled apps.


For each application, you can create up to 1000 separate In-App Purchase products. Every product you want to offer must be first configured on iTunes Connect, then on SeattleCloud. In-App Purchase products are always associated with a single app, which means each app will have its own products.

To create an In-App Purchase product on iTunes Connect

    1. Sign in to iTunes Connect .
    2. On the iTunes Connect homepage, click My Apps.








        3. Select the app you want to enable In-App Purchase for.
        4. Click the name of the app to open App Details page. On the App Details page, click Features.



        5. In the Features page, click In-App Purchase. Click "+" to add an In-App Purchase.


        6. Select the type of In-App Purchase you want create. The In-App Purchase product type cannot be changed once your In-App Purchase has been created.

        7. In the Reference Name field, and a name for the product you want to create.

        8.* For Auto-Renewable subscriptions, click on Add Duration.

        9. In the Product ID field, enter an identifier for the product. This ID will be used to set-up the In-App Purchase product on SeattleCloud.

        10. Specify whether the product is dedicated for sale.
    • Select Yes if you want the product to be available as soon as it is approved by Apple.
    • Select No if you want to control when the product becomes available.
        11.  Choose a price tier.

        12. Add a language.

        13. In the Review Notes section, enter information that can help Apple review the product.

        14.  Upload a screenshot of the product as it appears on the device. This screenshot is used for the review and it is not displayed on the App Store. Screenshots must be at least 312x390 pixels and 72 dpi.

        15. Click Save. The In-App Purchase product will appear in the list from Features page. 


        16.* For testing Auto-Renewable In-App Purchase you should generate a Shared Secret code and specify it in Application Settings -> Platform Specific Options.




    Set-up In-App Purchase on SeattleCloud

    For setting up In-App Purchases you have created on iTunes Connect you can use "Purchase""Magazine" features or set the products from Design ToolBox using "In-App Purchase Link". 

    In your app on SeattleCloud you must create a page with paid content and include in the link the identifier of the IAP(In-App Purchase) product. 

    In my app I have created a page with paid Book using the scheme. Find the steps below how to create an In-App Purchase product using the scheme.


           1. Select the scheme as it is shown in the point 1 from the image
           2. Purchase Text: set a text to display
           3. Select the In-App Purchase type, it should be similar as the In-App Purchase from the iTunes Connect
           4. Product ID: add the product ID; the ID should be taken from the Features page on iTunes Connect. You cannot set up a Product ID different than the ID from iTunes Connect.








          


            5. Select a link to the page to go after the purchase.

    If you switch  to HTML mode you will notice that the link contains the buy:// custom scheme and the IAP product's ID. In my case the code is written like this:

    <a href="buy://com.mobiblocks.inapppurchase:pdfreader1.html:consumable">​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Buy a Book</a>

    You can also attach the IAP link to an image.

    <a href="buy://com.mobiblocks.inapppurchase:pdfreader1.html:consumable">​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
       <img src="inapppurchase.png">
    </a>
      *If you are looking to create another type of IAP(auto-renewable or free subscription), you can use "Product" or "Magazine" page types. You can find the related tutorials how to set-up the pages in Help section.

      Below you can see the page with the In-App Purchase product I have created.



      !!!You cannot test In-App Purchases using the SeattleCloud previewer application. Apple offers several options for testing IAP.
      1. Using Sandbox account
      2. Using TestFlight mode 
      3. Creating AdHoc build of the application
      I have tested the IAP using the Sandbox account to show you the user experience buying an In-App Purchase product.




      Your first In-App Purchase must be submitted with a new app version. Select it from the app's In-App Purchases section and click Submit. 
      Once your binary has been uploaded and your first In-App Purchase has been submitted for review, additional In-App Purchases can be submitted using the Features page from the iTunes Connect. 
      You can only submit free In-App Purchase subscriptions with an app that's in the "Magazines&Newspapers" category.


      Apr 19, 2012 01:22 PM
      I want to link to specific pictures after the in app purchase is made as a "subscription" (this I have accomplished I believe).  My first question is do those pictures stay active after their purchase or will they re-prompt the purchase if they keep going back forcing additional "subscriptions"?  or will itunes keep that from  happening?

      I need this "picture" to stay "viewable/usable" for the entire time this "purchase" is good for in their app subscription (itunes) i.e. 7 days or a year etc.   I would also like that "picture" to become visible in another place inside the app, say in the tab bar.  The Key here is, I have 2 maybe more pictures that I will be linking inside this app for different levels of subscription and I don't want them to have access to a "subscription" i.e. that picture unless they HAVE paid.   I would like it easily accessible to the user i.e. the tab bar so they can show it but I need the actual picture they are unlocking hidden when they are unpaid.  

      The Key here is when they touch that membership button it needs to say "Not a member yet buy here" and when they become a "member" via in app purchase it needs to then show which level of membership they are per their in app purchase i.e. show the right picture. 

      Is it possible to do this?  If so how?  I am on the last steps to testing and releasing this app.  These are my last headaches.  What are my options.

      Mike


      Apr 20, 2012 05:35 AM
      Mike,
      the image prompting user to buy will remain visible in the app after purchase of product/subscription. This image contains the link to page with paid content inside the app (and IAP product id). Thus, user can access that page only by tapping image. 

      When link is accessed, the buy:// scheme will verify status of IAP product. If user already paid from his device, he will be redirected to the page with paid content.

      If you want to implement several "levels of access" to content, then you should create for each subscription, separate pages with links to certain pages/files, depending on the subscription.
      For instance, for one week subscription you will have a page containing limited info or linking to limited number of files. Whereas for one year subscription you provide in your app a page containing links to all paid content. 
      Needless to say, you should ensure that user can navigate to this content only via the image with buy:// scheme.  

      As for automatically determining which subscription user has, etc.. this will require custom development. Submit a support ticket for an estimate.


      Apr 23, 2012 07:46 AM
      Thanks!

      I think this will get me started and when the Android is ready for IAP I will talk about custom work! 

      Mike


      Jun 01, 2012 11:42 AM
      Vadim,

      Does the product ID have to be in this format;

      com.mobiblocks.MYPRODUCTNAME.item1

      or can it be something I create like; 001_iBot

      K
      Also when creating my IAP link I cannot get the font color to stay white. It keeps reverting back to black and cannot be seen by user.
      Fixed the font color :)


      Jun 02, 2012 05:31 AM
      So for instance if I have an app with limited resources/pictures can I use this system? I want to offer a product that has only say 12 images they can use and has ads but after the purchase the ads are removed and they unlock the full features. 
      Nigel, please feel free to open a new support ticket http://seattleclouds.com/ticketcreate.aspx in case you'll need any assistance related to our services and we'll gladly help you.


      Dec 17, 2012 08:58 PM
      I want to create an reference book type app with a basic set of articles either for free, or a minimal cost.  I then want several "non-consumable" purchase areas that represent special topics that can be purchased to expand the reference guide.

      Are there any limitation in the number of special content areas offered as an in app purchase?  does your app builder support purchases that are NOT tied to subscriptions?  at this point in time I do not need that type of service, just a series of one-time buys.

      -Thanks!!!


      Dec 21, 2012 06:35 AM
      Hi Enrique,

      There are no limitation in the number of contents. We support any type of In App Purchase links available on iTunesConnect.

      Thank you. 


      Sep 10, 2014 06:11 AM
      hi @victor and @vadim what about non-renewable subscription, since apple is very strict on auto-renewable subscription, they refer us to use non-renewable subscription which is also fair, but i do not see it in "purchase page type" and how do we set duration for it.?


      Sep 10, 2014 08:33 AM
      Hello Wole,


      At the moment we do not support this type of In App Purchase.

      best regards,
      Victor,
      SC Team.


      Jun 07, 2016 05:13 AM
      Is there a way to switch the initial page loaded to a new one with IAP. I have a free calculator app that I want to upgrade to have more functions available. When a user makes a purchase I want the new calculator to be the open page. How do I do that?

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