Apple has apparently learned a lesson. After several high profile stories of children spending literal fortunes on virtual nonsense, the latest version of iOS now reminds users of Apple’s policies towards in-app purchases.
Following an in-app purchase, such as virtual coins or fake cat food, a message now appears in iOS 7.1 stating that unless changed, for the next 15 minutes, more in-app purchases can be made without needing a password. A button to iOS device Settings is also visible.
This policy is not new. It has been in place since the App Store debuted in 2008, but is easy to overlook. Just ask any parent who leans on an iPad as an impromptu babysitter.
Earlier this year, Apple agreed to pay $32.5 million in refunds as a settlement over unauthorized in-app purchases made by children. The FCC had been investigating Apple’s seemingly lax policy on the matter. This new notification will probably not stop all unauthorized purchases, but it should curtail it a bit.
In-app purchases is a booming industry among itself. Give a kid an app, he’ll play for an hour. Give a kid an app where he needs to buy things to play, he’ll pay for your yacht.