The first thing every parent should do before handing over a tablet to kids is to know how to regulate in-app purchases. Just imagine paying hundreds of dollars for purchases made by your kids without your permission. Unauthorized in-app purchase is a nightmare for parents.
In-app purchases are a significant source of revenue for mobile developers. They usually offer free applications but there are in-app purchases such as weapons for games, extra levels, and other virtual goods ranging from 99 cents to $5. The app-store operators typically keeps about 30% of such payments.
Government authorities are right at the heels of app giants for unfair their unfair billing for in-app purchases. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sued Apple which eventually led the tech giant agreeing to refund $32.5 million to customers whose children made unauthorized in-app purchases and in return, the FTC will drop its lawsuit. The agency has also filed a lawsuit against Amazon this month.
Here’s how the three tech giants charge in-app purchase and what you can do to regulate unauthorized in-app purchases.
How to Regulate Kids In-App Purchase in iPad Tablets
Users are asked to enter their apple app store password for every app purchase and also when they are making in-app purchase. However, most of us are not aware that there’s a 15-minute window in which the user can buy additional in-app purchases without entering a password.
Due to the FTC lawsuit against Apple, the company changed its practice. Users can now change the settings to require a password for every purchase or allow 15 minutes window before asking for a password at Settings>General>Restrictions>Require Password.
Apple will have Family Sharing in its iOS 8 operating systems which will be launched later this year. Family Sharing will allow up to six people to share one iTunes account. Parents will also be able to regulate their kids purchasing since children will first have to ask permission from the cardholder (parents) before making a purchase.
How to Regulate Kids In-App Purchase in Amazon Kindle Fire Tablets
Amazon used to require a password for purchases but still allowed a 15-minute window for unlimited purchases after the password was used. In June this year, Amazon change its in app charge framework to obtain account holders’ informed consent for in app purchases on its newer mobile devices since it will start rolling out the Fire Phone, Amazon’s first smartphone this month.
To make an in-app purchase, users are asked whether they want to require a password for ear future purchase. No purchase can be made before the user makes the choice. Users who choose to require a password for future purchases are taken to a parental-control screen where they can prevent any app purchases by kids.