Apple has added a new labeling system to the App Store, putting a new line of text on all apps that contain in-app purchases. When you go to download an app from the App Store on your computer, you will now see text directly under the app icon that reads “Offers In-App Purchases.”
According to The Guardian, who reported the change, Apple has confirmed that the message is a new addition to the App Store. The message, which is located in close proximity to the purchase button of an app, should serve to alert people to apps that might end up costing them in-app cash.
The new in-app purchase notifications come just a month after Apple settled a 2011 lawsuit filed by parents with children that unknowingly spent exorbitant sums of money purchasing virtual currency in freemium games.
As a part of the settlement, Apple agreed to issue $5 iTunes cards to parents who claim that a minor child bought in-game items without permission. If the amount of currency purchased exceeds $5, parents can file for a claim of the amount purchased, but if that amount exceeds $30, Apple will offer cash refunds.
Over the years, Apple has made significant changes to the way it handles in-app purchases. Before the lawsuit was filed, children used to be able to make purchases within 15 minutes of an iTunes account password being entered, which is what led to some parents receiving bills for hundreds of dollars.
Apple now requires a password to be entered when purchasing something in an app, which has largely curbed excess spending, though some mishaps still occur, especially when parents aren’t clear on how in-app purchases work.
Currently, the new app descriptor is only showing up on the desktop version of the App Store, but it there’s a good chance that it might make its way into the iOS version as well, if the desktop warnings prove successful.
[via The Guardian]