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
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 26, 2013
In-app purchasing via mobile applications is receiving some unwanted attention, with disgruntled parents increasingly accusing the iPhone maker of doing too little to protect kids from falling prey of greedy developers who pressure them into buying items and in turn wracking up bills for unsuspecting parents.
The UK government, for example, is conducting a probe into iOS in-app game purchases and Apple previously settled a class action lawsuit over the controversial feature. Of course, iOS 6 has decent parental controls which let users disable in-app purchasing altogether.
While adding a warning for in-app purchases in freemium apps and moving age ratings atop App Store pages helped clear up any confusion as to the nature of in-app purchasing, Apple though it could do better and on Thursday launched a new App Store feature titled ‘Learn More About In-App Purchases’… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Apr 13, 2013
Are iOS games pressuring children into buying items, sometimes wracking up bills for unsuspecting parents? That’s the focus of a probe underway by the UK government, concerned that in-app purchases may unfairly target children. According to a BBC report, Office of Fair Trading (OFT) wants to hear from parents with the hope games developers will follow laws already on the books to protect children… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 22, 2013
Apple today has added a new ‘Offers In-App Purchases’ warning in the description of App Store apps that utilize the feature. The new disclosure can be seen in the App Store, located just beneath the Buy/Free button of pertinent applications.
The move comes amidst multiple reports of children running up monster iTunes bills, unbeknownst to their parents, via in-app purchases. Earlier this month, a young boy from the UK racked up $1,300 in charges buying virtual donuts… Read More
By Sebastien Page on Feb 28, 2013
A few days ago, Apple agreed to settle a two year-old lawsuit with a group of parents over unauthorized in-app purchases made by their kids. The parents claimed that their kids had completed in-app purchases without their knowledge because of an oversight in the way in-app purchases actually work.
Of course, all this could have been prevented if parents had restricted the usage of in-app purchases in the first place, but admittedly, not everyone knows you can make in-app purchases, and more importantly, I don’t think everyone (especially parents) knows that you can turn off in-app purchases in iOS… Read More
By Cody Lee on Feb 25, 2013
Apple today has agreed to settle a nearly two year-old lawsuit with a group of parents over unauthorized in-app purchases made by their kids. The parents complained that the process’ lack of password requirement led to massive iTunes bills.
As part of the preliminary deal, which has yet to be finalized by a judge, Apple will pay eligible class members with a $5 iTunes gift card or the same amount in cash. And for those users who spent more than $30, it’s offering a full refund… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 23, 2012
Alexey V. Borodin, the Russian hacker who made headlines with a tool which lets anyone steal extra content in apps, no jailbreak required, is admitting defeat following Apple’s announcement that the in-app purchasing (IAP) exploit will be fixed in the shipping version of iOS 6 this fall.
In an unprecedented move, Apple gave developers access to a pair of private APIs in iOS, a temporary solution that effectively bypasses the hack. Borodin just publicly acknowledged that currently there is no way to circumvent Apple’s band-aid fix in apps updated to take advantage of the private APIs… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jul 20, 2012
Apple has started emailing developers today, with more information regarding the recently-discovered in-app purchasing exploit. Earlier this month, news broke of a hack that allowed users to acquire paid in-app content, for free.
The email contains a link to a new support page, posted on Apple’s developer website, that provides devs with information on the issue, and offers up a temporary fix. It also states that a permanent patch is coming in iOS 6… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2012
A flaw in the in-app purchasing mechanism in iOS that a Russian hacker exposed last week by leveraging a proxy server which enabled $30,000+ in sales of extra content may soon become a thing of the past as Apple is reportedly looking to contain the exploit by issuing a unique identifier in validation receipts.
This identifier apparently includes the Unique Device Identifier (UDID) for the device making the in-app purchase. The development is indicative remembering that the company recently began rejecting third-party apps over use of UDIDs. Apple was also thought to be readying tools for developers to let apps figure out users without resorting to UDIDs… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 16, 2012
Making good on its promise, Apple has started to block Russian servers which authenticate paid in-app content for free, The Next Web reports. The company is blocking IP addresses that host the rogue in-appstore.com domain by issuing takedown notices to hosting companies. PayPal has also intervened to block a private account through which donations had been collected, citing violation of its terms of service.
Despite this, hacker Alexey V. Borodin, the brains behind this controversial method, has already moved the servers to another country in an attempt to evade Apple’s legal requests… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jul 13, 2012
Earlier today, news broke of a new exploit in the App Store’s in-app purchasing system that allows users to gain access to paid content, free of charge. The method does not require a jailbreak, and can be completed in a few simple steps.
As you can imagine, this has caused quite a stir in the iOS community, forcing Apple to take notice. This afternoon, the Cupertino company released the following statement… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 13, 2012
iOS in-app purchasing mechanism which lets you buy digital items in games, upgrade to full versions of apps and purchase additional content, has been cracked by a savvy Russian hacker who posted a proof of concept video, embedded below.
First noticed by Russian blog i-ekb.ru (via 9to5Mac), the hack is credited to Russian developer ZonD80 who runs the conveniently named In-AppStore.com website where he collects donations to support development of the project.
What’s special about this method – and potentially devastating to the development community - is that it doesn’t require a jailbreak and can be completed in a few simple steps by even the most inexperienced users. UPDATE: contrary to reports that Apple took the proxy site down, developer confirms it’s simply under high load and says the info site is being moved to Blogger. Read More
By Cody Lee on Oct 11, 2011
Wpcentral passes on a report from the Inquisitr regarding Apple’s latest move in the world of patents. Apparently the Cupertino company recently made some significant changes to its 2010 patent application on in-app purchasing.
While there could be several reasons behind the update, two of them stick out. First, there’s that pesky Lodsys lawsuit Apple keeps trying to intervene in regarding several iOS developers and in-app purchasing. And the second… Read More
By Cody Lee on Aug 9, 2011
The ongoing litigation between Lodsys and a large group of iOS developers just took another turn yesterday. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 90 days, then you should be informed that Lodsys is suing a handful of iOS app developers for infringing on their recently purchased patents.
About 2 months ago, Apple filed a motion to intervene as a defendant against the patent licensing firm, but was quickly met with an objection from Lodsys’ lawyers. After a few weeks of silence, Apple finally filed a response yesterday — and it’s good… Read More
By Alex Heath on Jun 1, 2011
In case you haven’t heard, a patent troll by the name of “Lodsys” threatened to sue App Store developers for allegedly infringing on the Lodsys patent of in-app upgrades. Apple responded by saying that Lodsys had no right to prosecute based on this patent that Apple licensed years ago.
iOS develepors were very relived that Apple stood up against Lodsys, and the assumption was that the patent troll would back off when faced with the looming, Cupertino giant. It appears that Lodsys won’t take no for an answer. The patent troll has filed lawsuits against seven App Store developers… Read More
By Cody Lee on May 25, 2011
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last month, chances are you’ve heard of Lodsys. The patent licensing company has been sending letters to iOS developers threatening legal action. They believe that in-app purchasing infringes on a patent of theirs, and they want to get paid.
After weeks of silence, Apple finally decided to speak up on the matter. While they publicly defended their developer’s rights, they have not given any indication that they would help with legal fees, should Lodsys’ threats ever materialize… Read More
By Cody Lee on May 21, 2011
We reported last week on the appalling actions of Lodsys. The patent licensing firm has been sending out letters to iOS developers, threatening legal action if they aren’t paid royalties for the use of their invention.
The company’s claim that iOS apps with in-app purchasing options are infringing on their patent has been causing an uproar in the developer community. While everyone holds vigilant to see what (if anything) Apple has to say on the matter, the EFF decided to speak up yesterday… Read More
By Cody Lee on Apr 16, 2011
Remember when we told you about the in-app purchasing changes that came with iOS 4.3? Apple removed the 15 minute window of password-free app purchasing in wake of consumer complaints. At the time, several angry parents were asking the FCC for an investigation into Apple’s in-app purchasing practices.
Well, it appears that the recent update didn’t make the situation blow over, because the complaints have started to materialize. A Pennsylvanian man adds his name to a long list of people in litigation with Apple, filing a lawsuit citing breach of contract and unjust enrichment… Read More
By Cody Lee on Mar 11, 2011
Apple’s iOS 4.3 has been making headlines for weeks. From iTunes Home Sharing to mobile hotspot, new features keep pouring out of Apple’s latest iOS update. With so many big changes, it’s easy for the smaller firmware tweaks to go unnoticed. One of those features, which I was glad to see added, is a required password reentry for in app purchases.
In previous versions of iOS, in app purchases did require a password, but with one major drawback. Apple gave users a 15 minute window after password authentication to make in app purchases. This window was to prevent a choppy App Store experience, especially for users purchasing multiple items. What was so wrong then, that they went and changed it?
By Alex Heath on Mar 9, 2011
The official Twitter app was recently updated with some significant changes. Among other new features, Twitter decided to add the “Quick Bar” to the top of the timeline.
Twitter had good intentions with the Quick Bar; it was designed to help users keep a better tab on trending topics. As topics trend, they push through the Quick Bar. Tapping a topic will activate the search window for that related hashtag.
People didn’t like Twitter’s new Quick Bar. And an internet backlash on what was cleverly coined the “Dick Bar” has caused Twitter to push another update that attempts at making the Quick Bar less intrusive.