In-App Purchase

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

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.

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

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.

Netflix app now supports in-app subscriptions

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.

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

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!.

Apple updates GarageBand for iOS with new RED Loop Pack

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.

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

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…

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

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…

Italian regulators investigating Apple over ‘freemium’ app pricing model

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…

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

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…

ComiXology launches new read-only app following Amazon acquisition

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…

iOS 7.1.1 clearly labels apps that offer in-app purchases

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…

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

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…