The European Commission is criticizing Apple for not doing enough to inform customers about the true costs of free apps that come with in-app purchases. The Commission wants Apple to make the real cost of these games apparent to customers before they download an app. Apple has yet to make a committment to address the issue. There are a number of protections that the European Commission are asking app distributers to put in place, according to the BBC:
Apple is sending letters to eligible customers regarding its recent settlement with the Federal Trade Commission regarding in-app purchases, offering refunds for some instances where children were able to make these purchases without the parents' knowledge or permission. In order to claim their refund, customers will need to find their in-app purchase records, send their request to Apple, and provide details about the purchases.
The entire Apple community has spent much of the last several years coming to terms with the post-App Store software market, where people won't pay even a few dollars for a great app, but will pay hundreds of dollars to get a higher score on Candy Crush or a better looking Springfield on Tapped Out. But it's not just games, as Marco Arment points out:
We'll always take free WiFi first, or good LTE coverage, but sometimes there's just no alternative but to use a Boingo subscription. Boingo has around 600,000 hotspots around the globe, and with todays update to their iOS application, accessing them became a lot smoother.
Love them or hate them, in-app purchases look here to stay. According to a report from Distimo, in-app purchases now account for a staggering 76% of App Store revenue as of February 2013. This has seen a huge increase since January 2012, where in-app purchases accounted for just 53% of revenue.
There may be something bigger behind Apple and Microsoft’s argument over SkyDrive and in-app purchases than SkyDrive itself -- Office. Microsoft is reportedly trying to pressure Apple into cutting a special deal over Office 365 subscriptions. With Office for iOS still rumored to be coming next spring, and with Office 365 subscriptions rumored to be required to perform any real creative functions, there could be a considerable amount of money on the line for both companies.
Apple and Microsoft are reportedly wrestling over Apple’s 30% cut of items sold in the App Store, specifically SkyDrive subscription revenue for the SkyDrive app. The SkyDrive app was intended to not only allow users to view and open their files, but to upgrade their storage though the iOS app. According to the App Store rules, however, Apple's entitled to a 30% cut of any in-app purchases. According to Alex Wilhelm of The Next Web, however, it's gotten even more complicated:
Following the recent App Store in-app purchase hack -- the one that worked as a man-in-the-middle attack to spoof iTunes, rip off vendors, and potentially harvest user data -- developer Marco Tabini has launched a new, free Beeblex service to better the secure the process for everyone. Except for the hackers, of course. And that's the point.