Photon 2 without In-App-Purchase (Business and school managed devices)


I‘m asking for a payed full version of Photon 2 (with 128 DMX Channels or more) without In-App-Purchase for easier handling via the Volume Purchasing Programm. Unfortunately it is no way on shared iPads in our school to take an In-App-Purchase, so I ask for an edu-version with option to „normal“ pay, it is possible?

Greetings from Germany!

Hello !
I am very happy to know that you are teaching Photon in your school.
Please, can you send me by private message more informations about the school and how many iPad it will concern ?
I will see with the team what we could do for you.
Thank you

Hello, we are a School for music and arts and I need Photon2 for our concert room with 8 LEDs, not a big thing. But I search for a software with a GUI that I can adjust, so that also a female piano teacher can control the lights ;-). The Software should run on up to 10 iPads.
A payed edu-version is interesting for all MDM-controlled iPads, especially when they configured as „Shared iPad“, but you (and also your competitors) can not make a service to them with In-App-Purchases (only Apple knows, why IAPs are not possible in the Apple School/Business Manager).
Thanks and greetings!

We are trying to find a solution for your use case with the dev team. We will keep you in touch by private message. Thank you !

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It seems like there’s still no way to use Photon 2 without IAP. We are also at a school (although Apple School Manager is not available here in Cambodia) so our use case is more like what Frank mentioned in Offer for Church/NGO.

I’m not sure what the latest best practice is from Apple but a few years ago when I was working in Australian schools, Apple recommended that developers release a second SKU that was paid up-front and included the IAP so that schools and businesses could buy licenses for the full app and assign/re-assign them via MDM.

Being able to purchase/gift a full, paid-up-front version would solve Frank’s problem, FraReMKS’s problem, my problem and probably several others who gave up before contacting you.


Apple added, I think this year, the possibility to hide apps in the App Store. They are only avaiable over one specific link. I didn‘t understand completely, but I think you can configure it that it is only avaiable on school devices (which wouldn‘t be the solution for you, @matt17r).
So, a second hidden Photon, which is exactly the same without in-App-purchase, could solve the problem. Unlisted App Distribution - Support - Apple Developer

Hello Matthew and welcome ! How many licences approximately does it concern ?
Yes we could create a full IAP version for MDM. We have to found a way to do it without to much more work.

Thank you @Flupsi, it seems to be new, we didn’t notice it before. Thank you, I hope Apple will be OK to manage this kind of licences like that.
Some schools asked us a price for large licences purchases, do you think it is also possible to create a bundles ? Like a pack of 10 licenses with a discount ?

I think it is difficult. On apples education page, I found this:

Apps at a volume discount.
We’ve worked with developers to help schools save money when they purchase apps in volume. After setting up an Apple School Manager account, you’ll get a 50 percent discount on most app purchases of 20 or more.
Learn more >

But apple worked together with the developers and I was not able to enter the „Learn more >“ link because I don‘t have a School-Manager id. My school isn‘t that modern :wink: Maybe you can ask apple to corporate or ask for a solution.

In our case we only need one or two licenses.

Combine the “full price up front version” with the new unlisted apps Flupsi mentioned and it seems like a great solution!

Apple released a Techtalk recently called Explore Unlisted App Distribution that has more info but from my quick read of the transcript I think it would suit this purpose well. Unlisted apps are available to the public (if you send them the special link) and to business/school customers.

So you’d end up with 2 or 3 apps:

  1. Photon 2 - Regular app, free with IAP, listed in App Store (95% of customers use this)
  2. (Optional) Photon 2 Starter, $39.99 up front, unlisted
  3. Photon 2 Pro, $99.99 $69.99 up front, unlisted

People will keep discovering the IAP version though your website and the App Store and try it out. If any schools, churches or others try it out and then ask on your forums or via support about a paid up-front version, you just send them the link(s) to the Unlisted versions and let them buy it that way.

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I’m not a developer so I’ve only dealt with education pricing from the school side. But my understanding is that the standard education pricing is 50% of for purchases of 20 or more (has to be in a single purchase). I think bulk purchases only work with paid apps (not freemium and not the IAP part of paymium apps) and I think if you have a paid app it defaults to being available for the education discount… you have to opt out if you don’t want to offer bulk discounts.

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Thank you Matt, we will add this to our todo list, it is a good solution !

We did it! :scream:

We have worked with Apple to offer schools and businesses a dedicated version (without in-app purchases) that will allow better integration for managed devices.
This dedicated app will be available in January 2023.
If you are interested, please send me a private message or via the contact form Photon - iPad DMX Lighting Console mentioning the approximate number of licenses you want, the company name and its country.