Free is a tempting word. Many things are free, just like the app you were about to download. Developers make money from paid apps, but what about the free ones? Not until in-app purchases were invented, developers were stuck in very low revenue growth unless consumers were to download a paid app.
In-app purchases helped create and maximize the revenue of many developers, but it also causes problems for parents, and people who weren’t aware of the feature caused them problems.
Initially, in-app purchases were only available on paid apps. Since the developers felt that the features didn’t give much of a boost for their revenue, it was spread onto free apps which caused stir-ups amongst pa
Marketing is Everywhere
Companies want consumers to download their app, but with any labeled price on the app, people will only spend their money if it’s necessary.
To solve this problem, companies make their apps free when you download them, but with one little caveat. The little features and add-ons require money basically leaving you with only the basics.
Degraded Apps & Abusers
There are a lot of degraded apps out there who attempt to lure you into purchasing the little add-ons which don’t seem to work.
For example, cleaning utilities on devices that attempt to earn revenue by fake promises (e.g. it can clean the device better), or apps that claim they redesign your lock screen but ask you to purchase wallpapers instead.
Degraded apps appear everywhere and they are slowly creeping up. Although, you can easily separate the higher quality apps from lower quality ones with some basic knowledge of what the apps actually offers.
Parents, Kids and Parental Controls
Kids also abuse the in-app purchase function. Numerous reports from parents tells us that children unknowingly purchase add-ons from games and applications without their parents permission.
The stir-up caused many parents to request refunds from companies like Google and Apple. Lawsuits were also started in court because of the in-app purchase scandal.
What App Stores are Doing
Specifically, Apple and Google are finally doing something about the in-app purchase problem. Combatting them also includes the acceptance of quality apps in which the policy in Google’s Play Store isn’t as restricted as the Apple’s App Store.
So to combat that, the marketplaces shows a warning that if the app contains in-app purchases, it will notify you below the download button (in App Store) or within App Permissions after you press the download button (in Google Play).
Here are some of the examples that appear in the App Store and the Play Store:
Soon, Apple is going to allow Family Sharing for a total of six of your household members which allows control over your children’s in-app purchases, and share all kinds of purchases including apps with your family members.
Remember, in-app purchases are also good when used properly. Free is surely a tempting word, but purchase them at your own will.