Developers can now hand out promo codes for in-app purchases

By Steffen Reich on Oct 28, 2016

Apple is offering a new promotional tool geared towards app developers, now allowing the distribution of promo codes for early access to in-app purchases by means of iTunes Connect. Read More

 

How to prevent people from making In-App Purchases

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 2, 2016

Every time you buy a rare sword for your hero, a full app unlock, content subscription or other intangibles in apps and games, you’re interacting with Apple’s In-App Purchase system. The beauty of this feature lies in its deep integration with Apple’s ecosystem and the iTunes billing mechanism.

It can also pose a hazard for it’s easy to get carried away and ring up a big bill for purchases made within apps. To save us from racking up lots of in-app purchases, Apple’s provided a way to restrict them.

In this tutorial, we’ll teach you how to disable or restrict the In-App Purchase mechanism on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac and Apple TV to prevent unintentional or unauthorized purchases. Read More

 

Apple announces ‘biggest ever’ holiday for App Store with $1.1 billion sales in two weeks

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 6, 2016

Apple on Wednesday announced that its App Store has had the biggest holiday ever with a record-breaking $1.1 billion revenue in the two weeks ending January 3, as customers increased their spending on apps and In-App Purchases, setting back-to-back weekly records for traffic and purchases.

“January 1, 2016 marked the biggest day in App Store history with customers spending over $144 million,” said Apple. “It broke the previous single-day record set just a week earlier on Christmas Day.” Read More

 

Apple: yes, we now remove App Store apps pulled from sale from your Purchased history, too

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 7, 2015

Users around the world are noticing that they’re no longer able to re-download older iPhone and iPad apps and games that their developers have removed from sale on the App Store.

The abnormal behavior flies in the face of Apple’s policy of allowing people who bought apps from the App Store to re-download them to other devices through the App Store’s Purchased tab.

As a result, questions arose as to whether this pointed toward a big problem in the App Store. Sadly, as PocketGamer points out, this is definitely a new Apple policy meaning you now have to back up your purchased mobile apps in iTunes to keep them forever. Read More

 

Many more high-profile games being pulled from App Store and removed from purchase histories

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 6, 2015

A bunch of premium iPhone, iPod touch and iPad games from major publishers such as Electronics Arts, Telltale Games, Capcom, Sega, 2K Games and many others have been removed from both the App Store and customers’ purchase histories without notice, TouchArcade cautioned.

As a result, those who had bought a game can no longer access or re-download it unless it was already installed on their device. No explanation for the removal from customer purchase history was provided in spite of media requests. Read More

 

Netflix app now supports in-app subscriptions

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 24, 2015

Netflix has long been available as an app for the iPhone, but up until today, setting up a subscription could only be accomplished via the Netflix website, which created a disjointed experience for new subscribers. Today, Netflix is allowing users to subscribe directly via the app itself.

What does this mean for Netflix? It means that any subscriptions initiated through the app will be subjected to the same 70/30 split that other apps experience, with Apple taking 30% of the subscription proceeds. Instead of raising its prices in the app to accommodate for the loss of revenue, Netflix is staying the course. Read More

 

Pay Once & Play: Apple highlights great games with no in-app purchases

By Cody Lee on Feb 12, 2015

Apple has begun highlighting non-freemium games in a new App Store section entitled “Pay Once & Play.” The company describes the new section as an area where users can download “great games with no in-app purchases.”

As noted by MacStories, the section is divided into 3 categories: Recent Releases, Blockbuster Games and App Store Originals, and it features a wide variety of games including Minecraft, Thomas Was Alone and Threes!. Read More

 

Apple updates GarageBand for iOS with new RED Loop Pack

By Cody Lee on Nov 23, 2014

Apple pushed out an update for the iOS version of GarageBand on Sunday, bringing the popular music-making app to version 2.0.5. The update adds the option to purchase the RED Loop Pack, a limited-time in-app purchase that features an exclusive collection of 300 guitar, bass, synth and drum loops in a variety of genres.

The pack will only be available until December 7, via a $0.99 in-app purchase, but of course once paid for it will be permanently accessible from the GarageBand loop browser. Apple says 100% of the proceeds will go to the RED foundation, a charity that raises money for a global fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Read More

 

EU officials upset as Apple remains mum on proposed IAP policy changes

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2014

In-App Purchase, a way overused feature which provides a way for supposedly free games and apps to ask users for cash in order to enable advanced features or unlock virtual items, is increasingly drawing ire of regulators across the globe.

In-App Purchases are notorious for fooling less-informed adults and kids into downloading so-called freemium apps so it’s no wonder the European Union officials have repeatedly warned that companies like Apple and Google should stop labeling free-to-download apps that contain In-App Purchases as “Free”.

Companies could soon be forced to make the “true cost of apps” unambiguously clear before purchase, according to a complaint the European Commission filed today… Read More

 

Italian watchdog to Apple: respond to In-App Purchase allegations or else…

By Christian Zibreg on May 21, 2014

Italy’s Antitrust and Competition Authority is probing Apple, Google, Amazon and Gameloft over accusations that these companies are intentionally misleading consumers who download freemium smartphone and tablets apps without realizing In-App Purchases are needed to unlock more features.

According to a new report, Italian investigators have asked Apple and others to submit their defense within the next twenty days or face a fine of up to €5 million each (about $6.84 million), although the punishment would be proportional to each company’s size… Read More

 

Italian regulators investigating Apple over ‘freemium’ app pricing model

By Cody Lee on May 18, 2014

Apple is one of a handful of tech companies being investigated by Italian regulators over the popular ‘freemium’ app pricing model. On Friday, Italy’s Antitrust and Competition Authority said it’s investigating Apple, Google, Amazon and Gameloft over apps that offer in-app purchases.

The agency wants to determine whether or not the companies offer sufficient information in their respective apps and app stores regarding pay-for in-app content. It feels consumers may be confused by the idea of downloading a game for free, and then receiving charges after the fact… Read More

 

Apple now permits devs to issue promo codes for In-App Purchases?

By Christian Zibreg on May 15, 2014

It seems Apple’s relaxed its policy concerning promotional codes for iOS and Mac applications. Promo codes are a popular tool among developers who use them for giveaways like ones iDownloadBlog runs on its Twitter channel from time to time.

They’re also a useful PR tool as developers usually send the codes to journalists who then download paid apps free of charge for review purposes.

Even though promo codes have never been available for paid in-app content sold through the iOS In-App Purchase mechanism (there are some workarounds to that, by the way), there are indications now that Apple is willing to change its stance… Read More

 

ComiXology launches new read-only app following Amazon acquisition

By Cody Lee on Apr 26, 2014

ComiXology, the leading digital comics platform, has launched a new application for iOS today. The company sent out an email to customers this morning announcing that the old app is being retired, and a new one is now available. The biggest difference between the two, it seems, is that the new app does’t allow in-app purchases.

The change is noteworthy, as the ComiXology app has long been one of the top-grossing iPad titles in the App Store, and it comes shortly after Amazon acquired the comics platform. It’s not surprising though, as it’s the same strategy the e-commerce giant takes with its Kindle iOS app, in an effort to circumvent Apple’s 30% cut… Read More

 

iOS 7.1.1 clearly labels apps that offer in-app purchases

By Sébastien Page on Apr 22, 2014

iOS 7.1.1 was released earlier today with a few enhancements and bug fixes. One new feature that has gone somewhat unnoticed is the addition of the In-App Purchases label that appear under the price/download button of applications.

This new label makes it really clear from the get go when an app contains in-app purchases. It’s something that Apple didn’t hide before as it’s been indicated directly under the name of an app in the app description since 2013, but this definitely clarifies things up and makes it more straightforward… Read More

 

Apple getting its standard 30 percent cut on Office for iPad subscriptions

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 27, 2014

Following today’s long expected release of the Office for iPad applications, Apple’s boss Tim Cook issued a nice tweet welcoming Word, Excel and PowerPoint into the App Store. Returning the favor, Microsoft’s newly installed chief executive Satya Nadella took to Twitter to thank Cook, saying he was “excited to bring the magic of Office to iPad customers”.

Redmond couldn’t have wished for a better endorsement than this!

So, why are these powerful Silicon Valley executives droning politely on to each other, do you think? And how come Cook is promoting Office for iPad even though the software competes squarely with Apple’s own iWork suite, free with iDevice purchases?

Could it be because folks at Cupertino are getting their standard 30 percent cut on Office 365 subscriptions sold within the app… Read More

 

Apple now refunding unwanted in-app purchases

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 25, 2014

Following numerous probes by government agencies and looming class action lawsuits the company is now facing around the world, Apple is finally reaching out to customers to inform them they may be entitled to refunds concerning unwanted in-app purchases made by minors due to weak iOS Restrictions at the time.

Last year, the iPhone maker reluctantly settled with the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding in-app purchases, agreeing to compensate consumers and modify its in-app billing system by March 31 to make things a little clearer for its customers… Read More

 

Users are now warned of 15-minute in-app purchase window in iOS 7.1

By Cody Lee on Mar 12, 2014

Apple released iOS 7.1 earlier this week, and among its many other changes is a new warning message for users regarding the 15-minute in-app purchase window. The window allows you to buy IAPs on an iOS device for 15 minutes after a password is entered without authorization.

The move is likely part of Apple’s efforts to make good on its settlement with the FTC regarding a lawsuit over IAPs. The company told the commission that it would issue refunds to those affected, and modify its in-app billing system to make the whole process more clear for users… Read More

 

Apple said to be ‘scrambling’ to make changes to IAP policies required by March 31

By Cody Lee on Mar 6, 2014

In a settlement with the FTC earlier this year regarding a lawsuit over in-app purchases, Apple told the commission that it would issue refunds to those affected and modify its in-app billing system to make things more clear. The FTC agreed and gave the company until March 31, 2014 to make the changes.

In order to meet the government’s orders, Apple must alter its billing practices to obtain a user’s express consent before billing them for an in-app purchase, and provide them with an easy way to withdraw that consent. And according to a new report, Apple engineers are scrambling to meet the deadline…

Read More

 

EU demanding ‘concrete answers’ from Apple and Google regarding in-app purchasing concerns

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 27, 2014

Reuters is reporting that The European Commission has invited Apple and Google to discuss a flurry of user complaints surrounding in-app purchases. The move follows numerous media reports that center on disgruntled parents who were shocked to find that their children racked up vast credit card bills by making content purchases in free-to-play games.

The Commission is arguing that it’s Apple’s and Google’s responsibility not to misleading consumers. The Commission also called upon greedy app creators to provide “very concrete answers” in respect to in-app purchasing concerns… Read More

 

Apple agrees to refund users in FTC settlement over unwanted in-app purchases

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 15, 2014

Parents whose kids were tricked into obtaining virtual items in iPhone and iPad games by way of the iOS In-App Purchase mechanism will get refunded over unwanted spending, according to Apple’s settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The penalty dwarfs Google’s $22.5 million fine in the Safari website tracking scandal.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was not pleased with the outcome, but acknowledged in a letter to employees that the company “has entered into a consent decree” over long-standing complaints over inappropriate charges in the App Store, alluding his company may have exhausted its legal options and didn’t want to risk an enduring legal battle with the government… Read More

 
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