Archive Posts

UK OFT Investigating In-App Payments

April 15th, 2013

In-app purchases have been under much scrutiny across the globe as children go mad with their games and purchasing in app content to advance in their favourite games.

The case that caught the headlines here in the UK where the Kitchen family ran up a £1,700 bill for in app content as their 5 year old son was playing the iPad and his favourite game. The £69.99 downloads to advance in the game soon racked up the total bill for the family. Apple refunded the family their money and have made some tweaks to the way the content is displayed and downloaded from the store.

The OFT are investigating into the industry practices and regulations for app developers with regard to the way the app content is advertised and purchased, as “direct exhaustions” to children are not allowed under Consumer Protection laws. This is classed as “direct exhaustion”, which is a strong encouragement to make a purchase, or to persuade an adult to make a purchase.

The ultimate aim is to not ban in-app purchases, but to ensure that the developers and companies are complying with the industry regulations, which will hopefully be of benefit to everyone.

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New Links

February 5th, 2013

We all used to seeing on adverts a message “Available on the App Store”, accompanied by the usual Apple logo (and more recently a Google Play logo). Now this looks set to change as Apple have started offering links to major developers and apps.

Of course the traditional logo on the advert means that you have to remember the title of what you were planning on looking for and get the name in the search pretty near perfect to find the result and app you want. There are that many different imitation apps with similar names that this can be quite difficult for more popular titles.

Now with links you can go direct to the app you’re looking for, and the App Store and Apple will automatically change it to link to the correct App Store for your location. Entering the url into a standard internet browser on a computer (not mobile device) will link you straight into iTunes where you can download the app and sync to your devices. Of course entering the link on a mobile or iOS device will give you the option to buy and download straight away from the mobile app store.

The links are also available for Mac Apps, by adding the url extension Mac – is the link for these.

A great move for both developers and users, thanks Apple.

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Happy Birthday App Store

July 11th, 2012

July 10th 2008 saw the launch of the Apple App Store, so yesterday was the App Store’s 4th Birthday! (Happy belated birthday)

The Apple App store is the most successful out of all the software stores on the market and around the world the App Store is the top mobile software marketplace. No wonder, with downloads from the store reaching a staggering 25 billion which was announced at last months WWDC. Apple have also paid out over 5 billion dollars to developers across the world for their apps. There are currently 650,000 apps in the Apple App Store, again one of the reasons why the App Store is so successful.

It has always been cited that developers choose to design for Apple products over Android tablets because they are secure in the knowledge that the App Store will keep going, and they can easily update the apps when Apple releases a new iOS update. However, designing for Android tablets and phones has always been different as there are no set operating system for the tablets and the jumps and leaps forward that the Andriod market need to make to even begin to compare with Apple are huge.

Therefore, how will Android ever be able to compete with Apple in the mobile software market?

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The Apple App Store Keeps on Growing

March 28th, 2012

Since the launch of the iTunes and the iPhone the App Store has been hugely successful. Now we are 2 years into the iPad era, and 5 years into the iPhone era, the App Store is seeing phenomenal growth.

The App Store now has just over 180,000 dedicated apps for the iPad after the device has been around two years. This is comparable to two years after the iPhone was launched which had 200,000 dedicated apps after the same time period. The figures do prove that developers prefer to design a universal app that us available for both the iPad and the iPhone in one download, many just using the x2 feature to expand the iPhone display to the iPad size. this was always a poor representation of the app and thankfully now the New iPad that has hit the shelves will continue to show this solution as poor.

The Apple iPad app store is also the most expensive mobile app store in the market too. In app purchases through the app store have contributed to this success. Subscription levels for the Apple Newsstand App are very high on the iPad, perhaps this is because the iPad may be more business orientated or is it because the larger screen is easier for users to read the content?

Either way, with the recent arrival of the New iPad the App Store can only get better.

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EA Reduce Price of Popular Titles

December 21st, 2011

In a bid to be top of the iTunes charts all over Christmas, EA Games have reduced the price of some of their best-selling iOS games in the app store.

Clever idea really – to reduce prices in a bid to be at the top of the app store, so when everyone opens their Christmas presents on Sunday morning and receives an Apple powered device, first thing they do is go to the App store and see EA’s titles splashed across all of the charts. The app store charts also freeze over Christmas, so the games giant are hoping it will give them the top spot for longer than usual.

Some of the games included in the list are newly released titles, such as FIFA 12, Tetris and Transformers.

Make sure you visit the app store to grab yourself a bargain before the prices hike back up!

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Apple Removes Financial Times app from the App Store

August 31st, 2011

financial times appApple changed their rules regarding “in-app subscriptions” earlier this year, meaning that any subscriptions of this type needed to be controlled from within the iOS app and not via an external provider.

The Financial Times, like all other iOS apps and developers, were told of a 30th June deadline to comply with the new rules Apple had set, or run the risk of the app being pulled from the App Store. The app has now been pulled as the Financial Times did not make the necessary changes to their app in time, nor did they have any intention of making changes to the app conditions.

The Financial times insist their reasoning for not complying to the new guidelines was an issue with Apple over control of subscriber data and not the 30% cut Apple now make through the “in-app” purchases. However, this may hit the Financial Times more than they think because as many as 10,000 users subscriptions to the digital paper were via an iPad, and since the launch of the iPad the company has seen digital subscriptions to the publication nearly double.

Maybe they should have complied? What do you think?

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