If you use an iOS apple device and have kids (or know kids) who use these devices such as an iPhone or iPad this post may be of interest to you.
THE TRUTH ABOUT IN-APP PURCHASES
A quick browse of the Apple App Store presents us with hundreds of so-called “free” apps and games for download but many allow in-app purchases. Commonly these apps/games are referred to as Pay2Play games. Essentially this means if you want more features or to unlock features you have to pay for it.
What about the In-App Purchases? An in-app purchase is any purchase you can make using real money (from your bank account or credit card). These purchase links are commonly found within the app menu or even hidden within other areas of the game. Once the user touches the button or link a purchase is made allowing full access or more access to the game or app you have downloaded to your device. Often times touching on one of these links inside the game allows the removal of ads (supposing the game or app was free). Sometimes the in-app purchase will allow the user to purchase coins or the unlocking of various features of the game or app faster than in “free” mode.
FAKE MONEY OR REAL?
One big complaint I have found with In-App Purchases is that they can be hidden within the free content. Sometimes a “free” game will use coins or fake money within the game but real money can be used to “buy” or purchase more fake money. This is where it can be tricky to see the difference and it’s by design of course. For example, you may find your child (or yourself) playing a game and see areas to level up or unlock a character or feature of the game which looks to be part of the free game. But it’s not! All it takes is one accidental touch on the button link and you have made a purchase of $1.99, $5, $50 or more! Depending on the age of your kids they could have difficulty knowing when a real money purchase is being made or if pretend/fake money is being used as part of the game or app. As a parent I have even done this myself and thankfully In-App Purchases was disabled.
DISABLE IN-APP PURCHASES – 4 EASY STEPS TO AVOID THE ACCIDENTAL PURCHASE
This how you can disable in-app purchases for your portable iOS device if you haven’t already.
Touch SETTINGS on your iPhone or iPad.
Scroll down to RESTRICTIONS. You will need to type your pin number to enter the restrictions menu (or you will be prompted to enter a pin if you haven’t accessed it before.)
Once inside RESTRICTIONS scroll down to In-App Purchases. Make sure the “switch” to the right is switched to off (not showing green).
That’s all there is to it! You should now be able to touch anywhere within a game or app containing In-App Purchasing options and will not accidentally pay for something you are not intending to. (Note: Should you accidently touched one these purchasing links a pop-up note about in-app purchases being disabled will be displayed)
If this post has helped you or know someone it might help, please share!