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Apple starts warning of in-app purchases in freemium apps

Apple has started putting out warnings in its App Store listings for freemium iOS apps, in case they have in app purchasing options inside them. This has come on the back of in app purchases being a focus and a talking point for a lot of people recently due to a number of infamous incidents.

 

 

There have been numerous reports of late about the unregulated nature of in app purchases in iOS apps and games. The fiascos mainly revolve around young children who managed to get their hands on their parents’ iPads and iPhones, and with the lack of any parental supervision, have recklessly run up huge credit card bills all thanks to the various in app purchases found in most freemium apps these days.

 

The increased spate of incidents involving unsanctioned and extreme purchases made to increase the features of apps (that claim to be nominally ‘free’ to use / play) is a cautionary tale for gadget enthusiasts. The concept of TANSTAAFL (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch) made so popular by Milton Friedman completely applies to content from the App Store. Very, very few apps are truly ‘free’, and the rest rely on the impatience of their users with the artificial restrictions and paywalls to make their dollars.

 

The newly introduced “Contains In App purchase” label added to every app when you’re about to download it may be fairly subtle now, but it is a start to prevent incidents such as this happening.

 

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