purchase

Google packs in new gaming features for devs, players

Google took a big step over the weekend to address problems with in-game purchases, but that's not all that the company has in store for game developers this week.

As the annual Game Developers Conference kicks off at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Google has announced several improvements to Play Games on Monday that the company says will take several weeks to become available.

Game Gifts, a new feature, will let players send virtual in-game objects to anyone in their Google+ Circles or through player search, just as in other social-media-driven games. The Play Games app will add … Read more

Google Play Store offers more control over in-game purchases

What? Your kid and her Tiny Zoo Friends are threatening to march off with your life savings by way of virtual doodads purchased in mobile games? You'll probably be interested in this.

Google has updated its Play Store with an option that lets you require that a password be entered every time someone wants to buy virtual goods while immersed in a game or other app, according to a report in blog Android Community. Previously, goods could be bought for a full 30 minutes on one password entry (an option that remains available).

Such in-app purchases have caused more … Read more

How to disable or limit in-app purchases in iOS

Worried about your kids running up a big bill for in-app purchases on an iPhone or iPad? You can avoid sticker shock by disabling or limiting those purchases.

The parental controls that limit in-app purchases aren't new. They've been around since Apple added them in iOS 4.3 in 2011. But the option is worth revisiting in light of Apple's recent reaction to the legal trouble caused by the in-app purchasing process.

You must enter your iTunes password to confirm an in-app purchase. But by default, that password is good for 15 minutes. Make additional in-app purchases … Read more

iOS 7.1 warns you about in-app purchase window

Make an in-app purchase via iOS 7.1, and you'll now be warned that the buying spree can continue for another 15 minutes without need of your password.

After you type your password to confirm an in-app purchase, the following message pops up:

"In-App Purchase Complete You can now make additional purchases in any app for the next 15 minutes without reentering your password. To change this, tap Settings and go to Restrictions."

Tap OK, and the message goes away. If you want to restrict this behavior, tap Settings and launch the Restrictions screen. From there, you … Read more

EU to Apple, Google: Free game apps? Yeah, right

Apple and Google will be among the organizations to talk to the EU this week about the impact "freemium" apps are having on the industry.

In a statement on Thursday, the EU's European Commission said that it wants to investigate in-app purchases on games that can be downloaded for free. The Commission argues that while games can be downloaded for free, they essentially compel customers to pay for add-ons that bring functionality to the title, and that belies the idea of truly playing a game for "free."

So-called "freemium" games and apps have … Read more

Amazon Coins branch out to all Android devices

Amazon customers in the US, the UK, and Germany can now earn, buy, and spend Amazon Coins via their Android phones and tablets.

Previously available just for Kindle users, Amazon Coins were minted last year as another form of virtual currency but one good only on Amazon. The retail giant introduced the online coins as a way to coax customers to buy apps, games, and in-app items from the Amazon Appstore. Shoppers can get discounts when they buy the coins in bulk and earn coins through certain apps.

Android users who want to check out Amazon Coins need to download the latest version of the Amazon Appstore onto their mobile device. … Read more

Finding Android games sans in-app purchases

When you look at a mobile game for iOS on iTunes, there's a very handy at-a-glance tool that lets you know whether or not it's supported by in-app purchases: a bar on the left-hand side that shows the most popular purchases.

Google Play, unfortunately, is a little less clear. You can never be sure, when you're looking at a game, if it's completely free, ad-supported, has a free demo but the full game can only be unlocked with a one-off purchase, or if it is filled with sneaky bits of content that can only be unlocked … Read more

Apple to refund at least $32.5M for kids' in-app purchases

Apple has to refund at least $32.5 million to customers in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over in-app purchases.

Announced Wednesday by the FTC, the agreement settles a complaint from the agency that Apple charged consumers millions of dollars over in-app purchases made by kids without parental consent. Under the agreement, Apple also must now change its billing methods to make sure it receives "express, informed consent" from users before it charges them for such purchases.

"This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple's unfair billing, and a signal to the … Read more

How to do freemium right

If you regularly download apps for your smartphone or tablet, you have definitely experienced it: that moment when you find out the game you downloaded for free suddenly isn't. Welcome to the world of Freemium, where your initial download is only to get you interested, but where the real money is spent once you're already hooked on the game.

Freemium explained The word freemium is a portmanteau of the words free and premium, implying you're getting a premium experience without paying a premium price. For users, it seems like the best of all worlds to get an … Read more

Review: Ezy Invoice helps small businesses manage products, transactions, & customers

Ezy Invoice helps you handle purchases, customers, products, invoices, transactions, and other relevant information and documents crucial to your business. It lets you store all information in organized databases, which are easy to access.

This program's free version limits you to only six customers and ten items in your inventory, which probably won't be enough for most businesses. It also doesn't allow multiuser network connections to a database. On first launch, the program's built-in wizard guides you through the process of creating a new database for your business. You'll be asked to provide different information, … Read more