Updated: Nov 9, 2019
We've all been there! You're on the iOS or iPadOS App Store and there is an app that appears free. It looks great so you download it only to find that the best features on it, require a subscription. But, there is a free trial! So naturally, you agree to this. A week, month or whatever the stipulated free period is passes by, and your Apple invoice appears with a hefty annual fee for the app, only because you forgot to cancel it.
So is that app really free?
Well, yes and no. Most subscription-based apps have free features, but keep the awesome and often advertised features for the premium users who pay for them. I guess they've got to make money too. This is why Apple changed the download button from 'free' to 'get' in 2014. But you'd want to try the premium features first, before you part with your cash, right?. So how do you make sure that you don't get that unexpected debit from your account if you weren't planning to subscribe? There are two ways.
Method # 1 - Simple Not Perfect
Open up the Calendar or Reminders App on your Apple device (ensuring notifications is enabled for both apps), and set an alert for the day before the subscription ends. While this method works, you may miss the alert so there is another way.
Method # 2 - More Complex But Better
This way requires a little more effort, but is almost* 100% effective. Please note that this way is done using iOS13 and iPadOS.
Head to SETTINGS (the gear icon) on your iOS device.
At the very top of the menu, go to your profile (likely has your profile image in a circular icon with your name next to it).
In this menu, you will see 'Subscriptions'. Open that menu.
Here you will see a list of 'ACTIVE' subscriptions as well as anything that has 'EXPIRED'. Next to each APP icon, you you see the subscription package, as well as the expiry date. Go to the relevant app that you wish to ensure you're not charged for.
In this menu, you can either change the subscription package, or at the bottom, written in red, you will see CANCEL SUBSCRIPTION. Select this
You will get a pop-up question asking if you're sure, but you will see that it will inform that you have access until the trial period ends. Select CONFIRM.
DISCLAIMER: Specific Apps may not permit access after you canel the subscription. I have seen this in Apple Arcade.
I hope this helps you and ensure that you never get that unexpected fee.