April 26, 2013
Today, as it has been doing every Thursday, Apple refreshed the App Store with a new Featured page to highlight some of the most interesting iOS apps, both old and new. But what may not be immediately apparent is that Apple also added a new information page in the App Store aimed at enlightening users about the finer points of in-app purchases. While it's yet to be included in the App Store app for iPhone and in the App Store within iTunes for desktop, the new page is already viewable in the App Store app for iPad. Titled "Learn More About In-App Purchases," the page can be opened by tapping the first swipeable card right below the What's Hot section in the Featured page of the App Store. On the page, Apple explains in clear terms what in-app purchases are and how they work. Perhaps of most relevance to parents in particular are the parts that spell out how in-app purchases can be restricted. Under the "How In-App Purchases Work" heading, Apple notes:
On devices running iOS 4.3 or later, you must enter your password to make an In-App Purchase. Once you enter your password to make that purchase, additional In-App Purchases can be made without reentering your password for 15 minutes. To change your settings to require a password entry with every purchase, open Settings, tap General, then tap Restrictions, and change Require Password.And under the "Parental Controls" heading, Apple states:
It's easy to restrict your child's ability to make In-App Purchases on an iOS device. Just open Settings, tap General, then tap Restrictions. Tap Enable Restrictions to find various parental control options, including the ability to turn off In-App Purchases.Presumably, the publication of this new information page is part of Apple's settlement for a class action lawsuit filed against the company in 2011 over in-app purchases. Also, it may have been posted so as to help prevent cases of large in-app purchases made by minors from occurring, following at least three recent reports of such cases. Just last month, Apple added a prominent "Offers In-App Purchases" label to both freemium apps and apps that aren't free to download but nonetheless include in-app purchases. We thank AppAdvice reader Brendan for the tip!