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Apple adds in-app purchase warning to 'freemium' App Store titles

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Attempting to lessen the incidence of unauthorized excessive in-app purchases, Apple quietly added a feature to App Store listings that points out when a free app features paid in-app content.

in app


Users browsing the App Store today will notice that, underneath the "Free" price of some apps, there is a subtle note that the app "Offers In-App Purchases." The warning is currently only featured on the desktop-version of the App Store, but it may be making its way to the iOS version soon.

In-app purchases have been a point of contention for some iOS users, who assert that it is too easy to make inadvertent or unauthorized buys in third-party titles. In 2011, a Phoenixville, PA, man filed suit against Apple, claiming that the company had been allowed to "pocket millions of dollars" on unauthorized purchases, calling for Apple to revamp its password policy to prevent such transactions. Apple moved to settle the case in late February of this year, offering claimants $5 iTunes credits and refunds for claims over $30.

More recently, a Belfast boy charged ?980 to his parents' iTunes account buying in-game donuts in an iOS Simpsons game. Apple refunded the money to the boy's parents, though the parents expressed concern that the same could happen to other people. Shortly before that incident, a five-year-old in Britain charged ?1,700 to his parents credit cards while playing the game Zombie.
post #2 of 33

How about putting a dark red box around it?! My stars. I standing ovate Apple's subtlety in design (the iCloud status page, for one), but this is something that shouldn't be.

 

Like their blue boxes that say "New" and their orange boxes that say "Coming soon" or "Beta", this should be a red box with white text.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #3 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

How about putting a dark red box around it?! My stars. I standing ovate Apple's subtlety in design (the iCloud status page, for one), but this is something that shouldn't be.

 

Like their blue boxes that say "New" and their orange boxes that say "Coming soon" or "Beta", this should be a red box with white text.

 

How about some perspective? Not all in-app purchases are bad.
post #4 of 33

Love the political wording.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #5 of 33
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post
How about some perspective? Not all in-app purchases are bad.

 

Thanks for claiming I said that ANY of them were. Nice strawman.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Love the political wording.

How should it be worded?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #7 of 33
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
How should it be worded?


Economically.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #8 of 33
Knew not Skil was Coolidge kin.
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

How about putting a dark red box around it?! My stars. I standing ovate Apple's subtlety in design (the iCloud status page, for one), but this is something that shouldn't be.

 

Like their blue boxes that say "New" and their orange boxes that say "Coming soon" or "Beta", this should be a red box with white text.


I absolutely agree on this, Apple is the best at making things beautiful, and I am sure they could pull it off. But wouldn't it have to be on a case-by-case basis? As someone said, not all in-app purchases are bad, but for those games that rely on the freemium model, I think it would certainly be an asset.

 

That's not to say that an iPad is a replacement for good parenting...

post #10 of 33
Sorry to be dumb, but isn't a password required for in-app purchases?
post #11 of 33

Gonna get me some Smurfberries!

post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

How about putting a dark red box around it?! My stars. I standing ovate Apple's subtlety in design (the iCloud status page, for one), but this is something that shouldn't be.

 

Like their blue boxes that say "New" and their orange boxes that say "Coming soon" or "Beta", this should be a red box with white text.

 

I disagree. The fact that an app OFFERS in-app purchases (which most people will not even utilize) does not need to scream for attention. It's pretty low importance in the heirarchy of information, and believe it or not, a large chunk of people do not even understand what it means. making it more attention grabbing would be counter productive, especially making it red, as that denotes a warning, or a negative point which I'm sure Apple would rather avoid. 

post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


How should it be worded?

Under the "Free" button it should say "sort of" in brackets :)

post #14 of 33
I hate fremium apps, I would rather pay the coin to get the full app than pay to play each and every little part just to enjoy the game. I won't buy the latest racing game for this reason alone. On Android its actually worse, I paid for my Angry Birds apps and when they went free with ads I get screwed with ads now. Ad Blockers do help, but now that I am on iOS again I have paid for apps and don't bother with free ad based apps.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfrog View Post

Sorry to be dumb, but isn't a password required for in-app purchases?

Where have you been? Guess you didn't hear about the kid that racked up over £1000 using IAPs?
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaptorOO7 View Post

I hate fremium apps, I would rather pay the coin to get the full app than pay to play each and every little part just to enjoy the game. I won't buy the latest racing game for this reason alone. On Android its actually worse, I paid for my Angry Birds apps and when they went free with ads I get screwed with ads now. Ad Blockers do help, but now that I am on iOS again I have paid for apps and don't bother with free ad based apps.

That makes no sense, there's 2 versions of Angry Birds, the paid and the free with ads. If you got the paid version there's no way you'd see ads.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ombra2105 View Post

That's not to say that an iPad is a replacement for good parenting...

 

Exactly!!!!

post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ombra2105 View Post
? As someone said, not all in-app purchases are bad, but for those games that rely on the freemium model, I think it would certainly be an asset.

 

and have them sued for unfair treatment?

 

mark them all

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfrog View Post

Sorry to be dumb, but isn't a password required for in-app purchases?

Honestly, I want to know the same thing. In app purchases are shut off on my phone.
post #20 of 33
Tired of this in-app purchase drama...this small warning label won't stop any unwanted in-app purchases from kids...just make the process more difficult or pass the refund cost to developer. There is no way this problem can be resolve without anyone admitting any wrong doing: greedy developer vs Apple's 30% cut vs parents that shouldn't put a $300~700 device in a young child's hands without taking some responsibility.
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techboy View Post

Tired of this in-app purchase drama...this small warning label won't stop any unwanted in-app purchases from kids...just make the process more difficult or pass the refund cost to developer. There is no way this problem can be resolve without anyone admitting any wrong doing: greedy developer vs Apple's 30% cut vs parents that shouldn't put a $300~700 device in a young child's hands without taking some responsibility.

You're right it won't stop the problem. The only way is to give the kid their own iPad with their own Apple id, and have no credit card on that apple id. Charge it up with gift cards only.

post #22 of 33
"Offers In-App Purchases." I guess before that they preferred to have a few more 'Zombies'.
post #23 of 33

Better than nothing I guess, but the warning really needs to be on the mobile store, and for greatest effect it should be on the modal pop-up for a password, i.e.

 

 

 

Quote:
Please enter your iTunes password
 
[     ]
 
WARNING: This app contains in-app purchases, and your current settings mean that the password will not be required again for another [#] minutes

 

Probably needs slimming down to fit on an iPhone screen, but something like that

censored

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censored

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post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Under the "Free" button it should say "sort of" in brackets 1smile.gif

You nailed it. If an 'app' is nothing more than a 'place holder' for paid additions required to really use it and has little use as a stand alone it should perhaps even have a new name rather than 'app'. Maybe they should have to be called Paid Addition Programs or 'paps' to let people know. 1biggrin.gif
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

How about putting a dark red box around it?! My stars. I standing ovate Apple's subtlety in design (the iCloud status page, for one), but this is something that shouldn't be.

Like their blue boxes that say "New" and their orange boxes that say "Coming soon" or "Beta", this should be a red box with white text.

Yes they are like being sold a car in the same flashy showroom as others are being sold. You get it delivered only to find the engine, seats, wheels all cost extra. You would expect the 'kit' car to be clearly labeled as such and even have a different description and clear warnings.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfrog View Post

Sorry to be dumb, but isn't a password required for in-app purchases?

When you input your password to download an app it will stay an active password for a little while. The countdown on the password resets each time you download another app or make an IAP. In other words, if you sit at it all day buying IAPs directly after entering the password to download the app, you won't have to input the password again until you stop for a while.

 

I think.

 

Personally I believe that the App Store should have 3 columns, paid, IAP and free, instead of IAPs and free being in one.

I've not found many IAP games that are worth playing. They tend to be good for 30 minutes than you run out of something which hinders the game.

 

I don't do any IAPs that expire like coins, donuts etc. I don't mind an IAP to unlock a game or maybe to add levels. 

post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

How about putting a dark red box around it?! My stars. I standing ovate Apple's subtlety in design (the iCloud status page, for one), but this is something that shouldn't be.

 

Like their blue boxes that say "New" and their orange boxes that say "Coming soon" or "Beta", this should be a red box with white text.

 

A "dark red box" does zero for those of us that have red/green color blindness (name is a misnomer as we are not blind to color). See many articles on tis subject on the web.

post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

A "dark red box" does zero for those of us that have red/green color blindness

 

What percentage of the population exhibits this condition? What percentage is enough to make it reasonable to ask everybody to change? What do you suggest as an equivalent alternative?

post #29 of 33
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post
A "dark red box" does zero for those of us that have red/green color blindness (name is a misnomer as we are not blind to color). See many articles on tis subject on the web.

 

Oh, heavens, you know what I mean, yeah? Visual differentiation of some sort. You'd notice a yellow-brown box with white text rather than just light grey text on white, for example.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

How should it be worded?

 

It's basically a heads up, an advanced warning, but it's worded to sound like a positive. When it fact it's a negative, as a lot of apps that require this are crippled, and some like magazine apps are unusable.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #31 of 33
Obviously, for those in the know, every single 'In app purchase' will be blacklisted by the parents. I use the term 'in the know' as like said it is not yet written like a warning,
post #32 of 33
This is one of those things Apple got right to start with, then proceeded to screw up.

When the in-app purchase "feature" was announced, Apple only allowed it in paid apps, free apps couldn't do it.

That was the right way to handle it, Apple shouldn't do warnings, they need to go back to that model and prohibit all paid content in free apps. In-app purchases in free apps are NEVER a good thing, they lead to crappy, incomplete apps and a horrible user experience. If it says "free" then it needs to be free, no money-grubbing in-app purchases.
post #33 of 33

I think this is where it went wrong:

 

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