Several weeks ago, the internet was buzzing with the story about the little fellow who downloaded over $2500 of in-app purchases on his father’s iPad. Although this was an extreme case, it has been a problem, and now Apple is responding with a new “alert” on the purchase-app page.
For those who don’t quite understand all this ‘in-app’ purchase stuff, let me take a moment to explain: Typically, when you buy an app, it’s a done deal. Once you buy it, your new purchased app appears on your device, ready to enjoy. There are no other fees required beyond that which you paid for the app.
But SOME apps are designed to encourage more (and more) purchases as you use it. (Greedy? I think so.) For example, a simple painting app may give you a few colors and brushes to use to create your masterpiece. But soon you find you are presented with options. Options to buy MORE brushes (shapes) and/or MORE paint colors. $$$$$
If the naive user is painting or playing with this app, they might unwittingly purchase a new brush or color. $$$$$
Many apps offer in-app purchases of some sort.
Now Apple has taken a small step …. but at least it IS a step …. to help consumers be aware when they are purchasing an app that offers in-app purchases. This is especially important if you are loading a new app for your children or grandchildren.
Here is Apple’s new message. Watch for it, and make your choices wisely!
Look for “offers in-app purchases.”