Finally Apple Listens: Kids are safe from in app purchases

Tuitalk2_small Since Apple introduced apps with inapp purchasing, a lot of families have suffered from accidental inapp charges. Our article on avoiding accidental app purchases has received more than 45 comments from parents accidentally spending anywhere from $10 to well over $100. This problem became so visible that the US Congressman Edward J. Markey reached out to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) encouraging them to have a closer look at Apple and the marketing practices of applications for Apple devices, especially that applications tailored to the young audiences that may not adequately inform users of potential charges.

Apple has listened and finally has a solution that would make accidental purchases more difficult with their iOS 4.3 update. Well … sort of. Read on.

Normally your idevice remembers the app store password for 15 minutes after you make a purchase. This applied to both new app and in app purchases. So, after you make an app purchase, if you give your iOS device to your kid, your kid may unknowingly press some buttons in an app and may make many accidental inapp purchases.They were not even asked for a password! And strange enough, there were many free apps targeted towards kids with inapp purchases of $100 for things like berries and coins. $100 !!! I do not know any people who would spend $100 on berries knowingly in an iPhone, iPad, iTouch app. Clearly these appsĀ count on accidental purchases to increase their revenue.

What Apple has changed with the iOS 4.3 update is that, when you enter your password for app purchases, even though it will continue to remember it for 15 mins, it will ask you to re-enter your password if you decided to make an in app purchase. “In addition to a password being required to purchase an app on the App Store, a reentry of your password is now required when making an in-app purchase,” a representative from Apple said.

Even though this may not prevent all the cases of accidental inapp purchasing, it will probably prevent the majority of them. If you would like to be completely protected from accidental inapp purchasing, simply disable it.

Did you suffer from accidental in app purchasing? Do you think this update from Apple will be a solution? Tell us what you think!