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


iPad owns 91 percent of tablet ad impressions

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 18, 2013

Next to developer allegiance, where advertisers are spending their mobile ad dollars could be the most significant sign of whether Apple or Android is winning. New numbers out today show Apple’s iOS is trouncing Google and it is the iPad that’s leading the way. Indeed, the Apple tablet was the target of more than 91 percent of mobile ad impressions.

What’s more, despite a near neck-and-neck race in terms of ad impressions on smartphones, the iPhone outperforms Android handsets for hauling in ad revenue. For example, while Android smartphones deliver 30.5 percent of mobile ad impressions, the platform receives just 27.7 percent of the revenue.

By comparison, although the iPhone receives 30.8 percent of impressions, it gets 36.44 percent of revenue, according to a mobile ad analytic firm Opera Mediaworks… Read More


DOJ: Apple used in-app purchases as club against Amazon

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 23, 2013

The U.S. Department of Justice Friday tweaked its ebook settlement offer, including emails between Steve Jobs and Apple’s marketing head. The revised settlement charges Apple altered its in-app purchasing policy “to retaliate against Amazon for competitive conduct that Apple disproved of.”

The email exchange between Jobs and marketing chief Philip Schiller discussed how to counteract an Amazon commercial showing how the internet retailers app allowed ebooks to be read on either the iPad or the Kindle… Read More


Apple refunds father $6000 for App Store purchases made by 8-year-old daughter

By Cody Lee on Jul 22, 2013

I don’t have kids yet. But when I do, I’m going to make sure that I take all of the necessary steps to prevent them from making purchases in the App Store. There are various ways to do this, and for me it’s just common sense—I wouldn’t leave them with real money.

But apparently, it’s not such a cut-and-dry matter for some folks. Take this story by UK’s Mirror publication, which went viral this weekend, about an 8-year-old girl racking up a staggering $6000 App Store bill on her father’s iPad by making several in-app purchases… Read More


Freemium Candy Crush game smashes revenue records at $633K per day

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 8, 2013

Candy Crush Saga could become the legal Crack of the app world. Initially belittled for its close resemblance to Bejeweled, Electronics Arts’ addictive freemium game, Candy Crush is now the poster child for the freemium model, raking in a record $633,000 per day, according to one estimate. The key is simple: get players addicted to the game, then charge for larger and larger fixes. Theoretically, the company behind Candy Crush could pull in $230 million in annualized revenue from this single app, even turning the game loose on Wall Street… Read More


Apple contacting iTunes users with details on in-app purchase settlement

By Cody Lee on Jun 24, 2013

Apple began sending out emails to some iTunes users this weekend, informing them of how the approximately 23 million people that are a part of the in-app purchases class-action lawsuit can apply for compensation.

The settlement, which will cost Apple in excess of $100 million, stems from a class action lawsuit filed against Apple by parents who complained that it was far too easy for their children to make in-app purchases… Read More


You can now sign up for Boingo subscriptions with iTunes credentials via Wi-Finder

By Cody Lee on May 7, 2013

You wouldn’t think that an update to an app that maps out Wi-Fi hotspots would be newsworthy, but this new release from Boingo Wireless could have a significant impact on how travelers access the internet.

The hotspot provider updated its Wi-Finder app today with the ability to sign up for access to its wireless internet in-app. So signing up for a Bingo subscription is now as easy as typing in your iTunes password… Read More

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