Apple Adds ‘In-App Purchase’ Warning In iTunes
Apple has made a subtle change to the App Store to make consumers more aware of apps that offer in-app purchases. Apple recently added a new “Offers In-App Purchases” warning directly underneath the download button in iTunes following the settlement (as pictured below).
Rather than continue to cash back to users, Apple has attempted to make perfectly clear which apps should be kept out of the reach of children if their folks aren’t savvy enough to password-protect purchases.
Just last week the iPhone-maker refunded the parents of an 8-year-old British boy who had blown £980 (US$1,493, AU$1,429) of very real cash on virtual donuts in the ‘free’ Simpsons: Tapped Out game.
It wasn’t the first time, either. Last month, the company agreed to pay out up to $100m (UK£66m, AUD$96m) in refunds to parents in the United States whose kids had also made unsanctioned in-app purchases.
The new “Offers In-App Purchases” warning is currently only visible within the desktop version of the iTunes App Store; but we would expect that to be rolled out across the iPhone and iPad versions of the store very soon.
The new warning will still not prevent careless parents from allowing their children access to their passwords and running up huge bills but it will give Apple a better legal argument. Also it may be a sign that Apple could offer the ability to filter apps from the App Store that contain in-app purchases; this could be a good option for parents that give their children access to their iTunes password to download free apps.
Making it clearer which apps use IAP is a step in the right direction on the latter front. More may follow at Apple’s WWDC developer event this summer, when the company is expected to unveil its iOS 7 software.