Police officer reports son for fraud after Apple refuse to refund £3,700 App Store spending spree

Crossan-Apple-in-app-purchases

A police officer in the U.K. named Doug Crossan reported his own 13-year-old son for fraud after Apple refused to refund £3,700 that the child ran up playing freemium App Store titles on his iPad. DailyMail has the story:

Cameron then racked up more than 300 purchases on games such as Plants vs Zombies, Hungry Shark, Gun Builder, Nova 3. Many of them are free to download but users can buy in-game extras – in one game Cameron had purchased a virtual chest of gold coins costing £77.98.

But the technology company has refused and his only way of recouping the money is to report the purchases as being fraudulent. So Mr Crossan, of Clevedon, North Somerset, has shopped Cameron to the Action Fraud helpline – meaning his son could face arrest and questioning by the his father’s colleagues. He said: ‘I am sure Cameron had no intention to do it, but I had to have a crime reference number if there was any chance of getting any credit card payments refunded.

We reported last week that Apple was adding a new “offers in-app purchases” warning in the App Store to better inform consumers downloading free apps that additional content will require a fee. The move followed a settling a class action lawsuit that alleged children were able to rack up thousands of dollars through the iOS freemium model, i.e. in-app purchases, with both parents and children under the impression that the games were free. Apple is refusing to refund Crossan, citing “parental responsibility and pointing out that iPads contain password locks to prevent accidental or unwanted purchases.”

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Freshdesk launches free SDK to provide in-app customer support for iOS apps

In June, Google decided to update Google Play with a very useful feature for developers: the ability to respond to the user reviews attached to their apps in the store. The feature is an important one, allowing developers to respond to criticisms, provide updates on necessary upcoming fixes, and perhaps most importantly, communicate directly with their users. Google’s decision to introduce the feature made it clear the App Store needs to revamp its customer support—and developers agreed.

Apple has yet to introduce any sort major overhaul to its App Store customer support and rankings. However, Freshdesk, creators of cloud-based help desk software, introduced a product today that provides direct, in-app customer support for iOS developers.

The free “MobiHelp” SDK allows a developer to implement customer support directly within their iOS apps using a single line of code. This will allow developers to not just respond to comments in the store like Google Play, but also communicate directly with their users from within the app. From there, devs can view and respond to feedback inside of FreskDesk HTML5 app on the desktop or mobile:

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Distimo: Drastic increases for Chinese App Store downloads and in-app purchases in 2011

Apple’s App Store is currently taking approximately four times more revenue generated by the 200 highest grossing apps in comparison to the Android Market. According to research firm Distimo’s recently published 2011 report, a significantly increasing portion of app downloads are originating in China.

Likely further increased by Apple’s recent announcement to begin accepting App Store payments in Chinese Yuan, Distimo said when comparing the United States and China, 30 percent of downloads are coming from China. This is up from approximately 18 percent reported by Distimo in January 2011.

Growth in China is even more impressive when looking at just iPad numbers with China now accounting for 44 percent of all downloads from the two countries. Distimo reported late last month that App Store downloads for the top 100 paid apps in China nearly doubled just days following Apple’s decision to accept Yuan.

During Apple’s fourth quarter earnings call, CEO Tim Cook called the progress in Chinaamazing” and said the country represents “enormous opportunity.” As of that time, revenues from China accounted for 16 percent of Apple’s revenue for the September quarter – approximately $4.52 billion.

Some of the other interesting numbers reported by Distimo, include: 50 percent of App Store revenue for iPhone is now generated by freemium apps and in-app purchases for the 200 highest grossing apps; there are currently 79,077 games for iPhone, 28,683 for iPad, and 46,045 for the Android Market.

While the report noted App Store downloads have been on the decline for the year, downloads peaked following the release of the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. Distimo attributed the increase to what they call the “anticipation effect” for Apple’s new devices.

Distimo put together their App of the Year Award based on total downloads worldwide across all platforms. Not surprisingly, Angry Birds took the top spot, followed by Facebook, Skype, Google Maps, and iBooks. Check out the full top 10 below.

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Apple removes Financial Times app for dodging in-app subscription guidelines

The Financial Times has officially been removed from the App Store after failing to comply with Apple’s in-app subscription model that requires payments to be processed through iTunes (giving Apple a 30% cut in the process).

The publication used to have an iPhone and iPad app, which appear to have been removed from the App Store today. Fortunately for FT (not so much for Apple), they also have an HTML5 web app alternative that they’re urging iOS users to use instead.

The Financial Times told Paid Content: Read more