Apple Tweaks In-App Purchase To Prevent Accidental Purchases [Update]

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Bad news for any shady iOS developers out there: if you were sneakin’ In-App Purchase opportunities into the first 15 minutes of your game in hopes that lil’ ones might accidentally buy it, your evil-genius plan has been foiled.

For those who haven’t been keepin’ up on the ruckus: soon after Apple introduced In-App Purchase for iOS, someone figured out that users could make In-App Purchases without entering their iTunes password if said In-App Purchase was made within 15 minutes of purchasing the app. That’s a marvelous idea, in theory — no one likes entering their password multiple times.

The problem? Parents would buy games, hand’em over to their kid, and come back to find that pint-size had unknowingly bought up all sorts of virtual goodies (friggin’ Smurfberries!) with real world cash. With the release of iOS 4.3, this should no longer happen.

As of yesterday’s software update, Apple will require your password be entered a second time before In-App Purchases can be made. Once that’s done, In-App Purchases can be made sans-password for up to 15 minutes. As long as you keep Junior’s prying eyes away from your password and don’t go out of your way to enable In-App Purchases, there shouldn’t be any more surprise charges for $99 boxes of virtual food for your kid’s virtual cat.

Or you could, you know, tell your kid to not buy these things. If they’re too young to understand that, they probably shouldn’t be using $500+ slabs of glass completely unsupervised anyway.

(Update: We’ve updated this post for clarification. We originally implied that a password was required for EVERY In-App Purchase, which isn’t the case. You’ll be asked for your password a second time to enable In-App Purchases, at which point you’ll be able to buy In-App content for 15 minutes without reentering your password. You can also disable In-App Purchases all together under Settings >> General >> Restrictions)

[Via Washington Post]

[Original Image courtesy of AtomicJeep on Flickr]