Apple adds freemium app warning in App Store | iLounge News


Apple adds freemium app warning in App Store


Apple has confirmed that it has added an “Offers In-App Purchases” line to freemium apps found in the App Store. Currently, the line is only found within the iTunes desktop version of the App Store. The company recently settled a class action lawsuit over freemium apps aimed at children, but as one British boy showed during an in-app spending spree, freemium purchases remain an issue. The disclosure offers a somewhat more conspicuous up-front sign of the potential for post-download charges, though apps can squeak through by debuting without in-app purchasing and subsequently adding the feature. [via The Guardian]

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This is what you call CYA overkill.

The app store, mobile and desktop, already lists all IAPs and their relative popularity within about 24 hours of an app (or added IAPs) going live. This gives you a good feeling for what sort of IAPs are involved so you can see if most people are getting by buying the coin doubler or a level pack, or if it looks like people are jumping or the $10 coin package.

Additionally, because of successful lawsuits against developers directly, there are few apps that don’t have some version of the freemium disclaimer at or near the top of the description, e.g. “this app is free to play, however you may purchase additional items for real money from with in the app, you may disable in-app purchases from your device’s settings”.

So now we get a *third* notification the app has IAPs, wheee! I’m sure that’s going to stop the problem of clueless parents who just give their kids their password without being certain their kids are smart enough and trustworthy enough first.

A far bigger *real* issue for the app store, and for which Apple is wholely complicit, is the number of apps that launch as “premium” apps and, in as little as a couple of weeks, go freemium; putting in ads that you have to pay to remove (if they even can be removed), rebalancing gameplay around the new freemium sales model, increasing of pricing for previous IAPs, switching IAPs (e.g. the $0.99 Coin Doubler you bought when it was premium is no longer supported, you have to buy the $2.99 Coin Multiplier), etc.. This is a bait and switch problem in the app store for which Apple does nothing because they’re more than happy to see a new revenue stream for an older app that they get their 30% cut from. The only thing Apple does is quietly allow people who request refunds in these cases to get them, and then bills the developer for 100% of the cost of the refund.

Posted by Code Monkey on March 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM (CDT)

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