Interesting that I originally started taking notice of so many in-app purchase options with the app KitCam, which has now been discontinued.
App creators are looking for ‘better’ ways of making a profit. Initially, everyone was making their millions from charging 99 cents and selling many many copies. Then there was the twist towards iAds everywhere in the app which has had mixed results for app sellers. Most recently is the push to start charging more for apps to move them into the world of ‘real software’. Pricing for iOS apps closer to their desktop counterparts.
Hosted solutions and apps that require online support are limited to apps that can use that feature. They carry a monthly/yearly charge for the developer to maintain access to your data across multiple devices. With many services going under and the app becoming useless without, these may be feeling a crunch of concerned buyers. Currently though, more apps are going the direction of free or minimal charge for the app, then anything but the very basic features will cost more. ‘Enhanced’ filters for photo editors or ‘brushes’ for drawing apps, all just a dollar more and then another dollar more.
I have no doubt that this pricing scheme of encouraging people to buy another add on works, a long time success story is Hipstamatic where new new Packs are introduced throughout the year. Most just show a group of lenses and film packs, with a descriptive name that an individual can buy to get that extra special effect for their photos. The drawing app Paper has additional brush tips and color mixing for those more creative drawing folks, and those that wish more options might make them a better at drawing.
The up charging does work for apps for bridging between basic users and the more advanced. There are those that seem to hook a person in with a low up front charge then charge for what a person would think are ‘basic’ supported features.
A few examples of both: