When reviewers look at software, it’s standard that they use what’s called an “NFR”—a “Not For Resale” copy of the application, given to them free by the developer (or by the media outlet for whom they’re writing).
The problem now: there’s no way for iPhone app developers to give out NFR copies of their apps—Apple makes them state a price, and then that’s the price that gets charged in the App Store. As Andy Ihnatko tweeted yesterday,
Already I need to stop and work out a policy for free evals of iPhone apps. Devs sending me $X iTunes gift certificates is bad on many levls
My answer: given that you can go to the iTunes store and give someone a song, album, or movie, you should be able to give someone an application in the same fashion. Apple knows who put the application into the store; that same person ought to be able to send out (a limited number of?) freebies. It’s a benefit to developers, to reviewers, and in the long run, to Apple as well.
And no, we have no iPhones (3G or otherwise) here, so this hasn’t been an issue for us. Although if anyone wants to send me something that will work with my iPod Touch…