Apple Allowing Free Updates to "Box" & Trial of Aperture [Update]

New versions of iLife and iWork were announced at Apple’s media event earlier this week, and in typical Apple style, updates to additional apps were quietly pushed as well. In particular Aperture was updated with some new features and support for Mavericks for users who had purchased it as a "boxed" version as well as from the Mac App Store. Although it remains a paid app at US$79.99, many users who had previously installed the trial version of the software are also seeing the update available for free in the App Store upon updating to OS X Mavericks.

Since Aperture’s introduction, Apple had offered a 30-day free trial of the software on its website. However, a visit to the page now indicates that the trial version is no longer available and directs users to the Mac App Store. Additionally Apple states that users must remove the trial package before downloading it in the store. Despite this, it seems Apple is updating trial versions via the App Store with no warning of an additional cost.

Aperture trial no longer availableAperture trial no longer available from Apple

Whether this is intentional, as it appeared to be in the case of iWork and iLife, or a bug in the App Store will likely be apparent in the coming days and weeks. Thus far all reports from users with both the trial and fully paid versions see the software updating without warning, but it is possible that a charge will appear for trial users in the next 24 hours.

[Update: Citing an unnamed source, MacTrast reported that this is a feature intended to make Apple's internal update tree simpler, even though it could result in some user piracy. - Editor]

Although it’s unlikely that Apple will charge users for what could likely be a mistake in their verification system, The Mac Observer cautions that you may end up with a $79.99 charge if you haven’t previously purchased the software.

For those adventurous enough, the trial version of the software can reportedly be found on other sites around the web. And if you’re curious about whether this works with the trial version of Final Cut Pro X, reports are a resounding “no.”

[Additional details via 9to5 Mac]