Apple has changed the way it serves up free apps in its App Store. Gratis add–ons are now downloaded via a ‘Get’ button rather than a ‘Free’ one, in a move designed to see off complaints from regulators about how apps are sold, especially to children.
Many free apps come with in–app purchases, which have been the centre of controversy for some time. Users have often complained of being stung for huge sums after handing their devices to their children, who unwittingly racked up large bills by buying in–game extras.
In 2013, Apple made the fact that some free apps come with in–app purchases clearer. This latest move brings it into line with Google, which earlier this year swapped out ‘Free’ buttons in its Play Store for ‘Install’ ones.
Both Google and Apple have been under the microscope at European regulators, who have claimed that they should do more to protect parents and children from making purchases via so–called free apps.
Apple has had to pay the bills of some customers who’ve found themselves out of pocket in the past.
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