Android developers have multiple options at hand to monetize their apps. They can sell it right away for a price in Google's Play Store, or, implement in-app purchases. These come in many different forms, from adding new levels to a game to new features or virtual items or extras that help you out in the game.
I like how Valve is handling in-app purchases in Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2. Only cosmetic items can be bought and they do not give players who buy them an advantage in game. Some app and game developers on the other hand build their applications around this monetization model. Users are tempted to make purchases, for instance if the game cannot be completed without them or if other players who made purchases get advantages in multiplayer.
While you may be able to restrict yourself from making in-app purchases, your children or other users may not be able to do so.
Researchers estimate that unauthorized in-app purchases have reached 30 million Pounds alone in the UK, and the situation is likely identical in many other countries.
It takes a couple of clicks to make a purchase. Below is a screenshot of an in-app purchase in the free to play game The Sims from Electronic Arts. Yes, it is more expensive than most full price games.
Here is how you prevent your children or other users from making in-app purchases:
Once you have set the option, a password needs to be entered before in-app purchases are made.
Google Play Store Tips:
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.