Thursday, January 16, 2014

Apple will have to reimburse app sales of children in the millions - T-Online

in-app purchases

Apple will have to reimburse app sales of children

16/01/2014, 12:19 Clock | dpa

Solitaire is a classic free games. (Source: Symbolic Rüdiger Wölk / imago)

The electronics giant Apple is required to reimburse parents at least $ 32.5 million (23.9 million euros) for unattended app purchases of children. The U.S. regulatory FTC announced a corresponding comparison with the iPhone and iPad maker. The company did not comment on this, first. The FTC accused Apple of having children made it all too easy to spend money with apps, without the parents noticed something like this.

In a particularly extreme case of a girl is said to have put $ 2,600 in his virtual pet hotel. The bills were his parents, who then nudged a class action lawsuit against the company.

“You can ask consumers to checkout, they have not approved not for purchases,” said FTC boss Edith Ramirez. Apple therefore had to pay the money back completely and change its practice. The App Store is a big business for Apple. Last year, the customers stated here more than 10 billion dollars.

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freemium games are free of charge

So-called “freemium games” for smartphones and tablets lure with free game play. But if you are not careful, gets at the end of a costly bill presents, for every small extension costs money. We tell you how to detect rogue providers and what actions you can take against cost traps.

the term “freemium games” has naturalized For this type of games. The games can be downloaded and played for free. However, they offer the free version only basic functions. Time only a limited number can be played by levels, sometimes missing useful functions, that make the game exciting and varied. These premium features will cost money. Hence the term “freemium”, composed of “Free” and “Premium”.

More fun is extra

Who would like to take the supplements, it must acquire usually for small amounts within the game with a so-called in-app purchase. The function will be downloaded and installed within the game, the cost charged to the account of the user.

In other matches, the user can turn off the frequent commercials when he switches from the freemium version to the full version. The full version often lures with additional features to make the purchase more attractive. This is similar for many other apps that are available as a free version and you can turn ad-free for an additional charge.

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Some providers work untrustworthy

Reputable manufacturers of apps show in their programs to clear if an additional function must be acquired free of charge. When the user clicks the appropriate button on, is clearly pointed out that the user buys something and have to pay as soon as he clicks OK.

Other vendors take it with this transparency is not quite as accurate. While it is also shown here that the extra feature costs money, but it is not nearly as clear. Especially in games for children often put additional functions that are really expensive. The little Danny from England bought additional functions, which cost 80 euros each.

parents should use parental controls

While adults understand the principle of freemium games quickly, which is neither visible nor comprehensible for young children. Therefore, parents should activate the respective child protection function on their smartphone or tablet as soon as they let their children play with it.


iOS restrictions

Apple’s iOS operating system is called the child protection function constraints . In the settings can be specified exactly which features and apps children can use on the device. It makes sense, for example, the password entry in purchase transactions switch so that it is requested each time immediately.

All app purchases for children lock

Even better app purchases can also completely prevent, even if the children know the password for the App Store. Then the young can not buy an app still make in-app purchases. The restrictions can only be a separate, only the parents known password on and off.

child protection on Android only via app

Google’s mobile operating system Android has no standard child protection on board. Parents can be retrofitted with appropriate apps here but. For example, the app Kids Place. With this app, parents can then choose exactly which apps allow children to use and which not. The use of time can be limited so that the device is locked, so that the children do not play too long with your smartphone or tablet.

16/01/2014, 12:19 Clock | dpa

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