in-app purchases Stories September 15, 2015

AAPL: 115.31

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Snapchat is out with its latest update bringing new features and tricks to the photo messaging app. The release notes are short: Before you take a selfie, press and hold on your face for a surprise! That’s referencing the new selfie Lenses trick, which lets you apply some pretty wild effects to your face before sharing with friends. To use Lenses, just tap and hold on your selfie before taking a Snap. A facial outline appears as well as seven effects including that dramatically change up your selfie. expand full story

in-app purchases Stories February 12, 2015

 As part of Apple’s weekly App Store refresh, the company is currently highlighting iOS games for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that are paid apps with no in-app purchases, MacStories points out. The featured section is notable as in-app purchases have been a source of confusion and frustration for many consumers since their introduction despite being an added revenue source for developers and Apple. expand full story

in-app purchases Stories November 19, 2014

Apple has introduced a small but interesting tweak to the way it markets apps on the App Store. As you can see in the screenshot above, non-paid apps are now presented with the word ‘GET’ rather than ‘FREE’. While the reason for the change in how Apple is presenting non-paid apps isn’t clear, it’s likely due to the popularity of ‘freemium’ apps and in-app purchases, something that has been the source of controversy for Apple in the past… expand full story

in-app purchases Stories August 26, 2014

Starbucks offers one free month of Lumosity’s premium service as first in-app purchase Pick of the Week

Starbucks has been continuously updating how its customers can redeem its iconic Pick of the Week promotion. Last year, the chain started offering digital Pick of the Week through the Starbucks app. Starbucks then updated its app to support redeeming Pick of the Week cards with the device’s camera. Now for the first time, the Starbucks App is offering an in-app purchase as its Pick of the Week: a month of Lumosity‘s service.

The Lumosity app contains several different brain teasers that are based on neuropsychological and cognitive tasks designed to challenge users. The premium subscription is worth $15 and includes more than 40 games online, performance tracking, a personalized brain training experience with daily exercises, and comparison to others in the same age group.

This promotion will expire on November 18th and has to be activated on an iPhone or an iPod Touch via the Starbucks app. Once it is activated, the premium features will be available on all platforms.

in-app purchases Stories July 9, 2014

Apple seemingly wasn’t too happy that it was singled out for an FTC investigation into making it too easy for children to make in-app purchases: following its own settlement back in January, the company’s general counsel Bruce Sewell promptly reported Google for the same thing, reports Politico.

“I thought this article might be of some interest, particularly if you have not already seen it,” Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell wrote to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and Democratic Commissioner Julie Brill, pointing to a report that criticized Google’s app store over the same issue of unauthorized purchases …

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in-app purchases Stories May 21, 2014

Italian authorities give Apple & others 20 days to submit defence to “unfair” in-app purchase claims

An Italian competition organization has given Apple, Google, Amazon and Gameloft twenty days to submit a defence to its investigation into in-app purchases or face a fine of up to €5M ($6.9M), reports ZDNet.

The companies now have 20 days to comply with the requests for information that came with the letter, and to respond with their defences to the allegations. If the alleged violations proved to be true, the three internet giants and the European game developer could each face a fine up to €5m — although the Italian watchdog told ZDNet that the punishment would be proportional to each company’s size.

The complaint is based on two concerns. First, whether consumers are clear about the likely total cost of the app at the time they download it. Second, whether sufficient information is provided about how to prevent or limit in-app purchases, especially in games played by children.

Apple settled a similar complaint with the FTC in January, after last year offering refunds to parents whose children had made in-app purchases. At that time, Tim Cook pointed to the safeguards in place, which include the ability to disable in-app purchases with a single switch, and requiring a password for any purchases made more than 15 minutes after downloading the app.

iOS also now alerts customers that further purchases can be made within 15 minutes without re-entering their iTunes password, and all iTunes apps that offer in-app purchases are labelled as such in the App Store.

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