Apple Now Labeling Freemium Apps With In-App Purchases In The App Store

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Apple has quietly added a new labeling system to the App Store that shows which apps have in-app purchases. You can only see whether an app or game has in-app purchases on the desktop version of iTunes, but the feature will presumably be rolled out to the App Store on iOS devices soon.

Coincidentally, Apple recently settled a lawsuit with some parents over in-app purchases. Kids were spending thousands of dollars making in-app purchases in freemium games.

The Guardian notes that this could be a sign that Apple will allow parents to restrict their kids from downloading apps with the in-app purchases label. An Apple ID password has always be required to approve an in-app purchase, which should make it harder for accidental purchases to happen.

Apple is obviously trying to avoid another multi-million dollar payout to disgruntled parents. It helps to know what you’re downloading before you hand the iPad over to your 5-year-old.

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  • technochick

    It won’t matter. The parents arent looking at what they are letting the kids download anyway. They are just asking if its free and punching in their password. Which is why a 5 year old was playing, without any supervision, a game rated for much older ages.

    There was a time, and not so long ago, that parents were told to keep the computers etc in a family room and pay attention to what their kids were doing. Now we have ‘responsible’ parents not reading the provided information before downloading something and letting their kid, who had never been allowed to use the device even supervised, run off to another room to play. And then they blame Apple who legally likely could have told them to stuff it since they signed a terms and conditions saying they understood that some apps have in app buying features and all says of apps and these features is final. But Apple returned the money presumably with a warning to lock down the device or watch their kids cause they won’t be allowed such a refund again.

    As for the lawsuit, when the terms come out I suspect it will only apply to those that downloaded a rated child appropriate app prior to the whole update that split the password entry from the main downloads that haven’t gotten a refund. Which is likely to be very few major cases since most folks would have called and screamed as soon as it happened and have their money.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for over two years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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