Apple has tweaked its policy for in-app purchases to prevent users, especially kids, from making accidental virtual purchases. The technology giant said its new device software, iOS 4.3, made available Wednesday, will come with a feature that requires a password when purchases are made within an application after it is downloaded, the Washington Post reports.
Parents had complained that in the 15-minute period after an app was downloaded, children were buying sometimes hundreds of dollars of purchases on games such as Smurfs' Village and Tap Zoo - popular iTunes games that are also among the highest-grossing programs for in-app purchases.
Previously, consumers have been able to make an unlimited number of purchases without entering a password for 15 minutes after a purchase was made using a password.
Recently, an eight year old girl Madison ran a $1,400 bill for making purchases of Smurfberries on popular game by Capcom Interactive.
We are proud to have industry-leading parental controls with iOS, Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for Apple told Post. She said users have always been able to use parental control setting and restrictions of in-app purchases to protect their iTunes accounts from accidental charges. With iOS 4.3, in addition to a password being required to purchase an app on the App Store, a reentry of your password is now required when making an in-app purchase.
The in-app purchases have catapulted children's games such as Smurfs' Village and Tap Zoo, by San Francisco-based Pocket Gems, into the ranks of the highest-grossing apps on iPods, iPhones and iPads.
Applications analytics firm Distino said in January that revenues from in-app purchases for popular iPad and iPhone applications doubled in the second half of 2010. Apple takes a 30 percent cut of in-app sales, the Post report added.