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clarify

There's been a small, but important change made to the App Store

At the very least, it will make apps with in-app purchases a little more honest.

IF YOU’RE ACCESSING the App Store today, you may notice something a little different about how certain apps are listed.

Instead of the traditional ‘Free’ tag that’s given, these apps will now be listed as ‘Get’ instead. Also, the tag which states they include in-app purchases are still located underneath the download button.

App Store Get App Store App Store

This may seem like a minor change, but what it does is remove what was one of the more misleading elements of the app store. Labelling apps as ‘free’ when they included in-app payments was deemed misleading by the European Commission (EC), who criticised Apple and other online stores for the practice.

It was one of the changes proposed by the EC which also included banning exhortations to children, and ensuring that traders provide an email address so customers could contact them if required.

The other reason is that Apple doesn’t want to end up in another situation where it had to pay out $32.5 million to US customers for children’s purchases from its App Store. Labelling them as ‘get’ mostly protects it from any future scenarios where this might occur.

But what about the other two stores, Google Play and the Windows Phone Store? Both still list apps as free or install although Google Play at least mentions that in-app purchases are included.

Google Play Store Google Play Google Play

While the Windows Phone Store just labels them as free, not really mentioning in-app purchases unless the developer places it in the app’s description.

Windows Phone app store Windows Phone Windows Phone

While it’s a positive first step from Apple, you should still take the necessary precautions to ensure you’re not stung by in-app purchases, especially if you have kids using your phone or tablet.

While it’s been covered before, there are a number of steps you can take like:

  • Turning off the grace period which activates after you’ve entered in your password.
  • Turning off in-app purchases completely.
  • Keeping your password to yourself (don’t tell your kids what it is because it’s easier).
  • Using a gift card to keep in-app purchases (and purchases) controlled.

Read: Privacy shouldn’t be sacrificed for safety from crime, survey finds >

Read: This handy new tool could stop a government from spying on you >

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