A class action lawsuit has been filed against Google by a New York mother who alleges Google is unfairly profiting from in-app purchases by permitting minors to make them without parents’ knowledge. The action is similar to an issue that Apple just recently resolved over a similar business model. According to one of the attorneys representing the plaintiff, Google has failed to incorporate reasonable controls that results in minors racking up excessive charges for “worthless in-game currency.” » Read the rest
Following the changes made to the Google Play Store app last year, Google has also made a little change to its web version of the Play Store as well. The Play Store will now indicate, below the ‘Install’ button, whether an application includes in-app purchases (IAP) as well . Google added an indicator for in-app purchases to its Play Store app last December, and it’s good to see that it has ported the change to its web version as well.
This is useful to decide whether an app is worth the try or not. However, it’s quite difficult to determine whether the app is a freemium model and is completely based on in-app purchases or it only includes a few in-app purchases to remove certain restrictions such as Ads.
Via: Android Police
If you’ve ever let a child play with your smartphone, then you know how worrisome that can be. A wrong tap here, another wrong tap there and your credit card might be charged for money that you’d rather keep in your account. Fortunately, Google has a hidden setting to enable password protection and prevent accidental purchases from the Google Play Store. All you need to do is follow the steps after the break and you’re golden.
Amazon has announced a new currency system, appropriately titled Amazon Coins, for its Kindle Fire lineup. The Coins can be used on the Kindle Fire (and presumably other Android devices as well) to buy apps, games, and most importantly, in-app content. And when it launches in May, Amazon’s going to be giving away “tens of millions of dollars” of Coins to users to kickstart the program. Afterwards, the coins will be available to purchase normall. All applications submitted to the App Store before April 25th will be able to exchange the Amazon Coins automatically.
This isn’t a new concept, as it’s similar to what Facebook does for their games and apps, but I think it’ll be interesting to see how Amazon puts its own spin on the idea. In their press release, they made a bold claim that they see higher revenue per user than any other Android platform. Although they didn’t give any specific numbers for us to dissect, if its true, this Coins idea is definitely going to help change the way we view application stores and markets, which is better for consumers and developers. We’ll be sure to let you know if any more details pop up between now and May.
Similar to some of the aftermath of Google I/O this past summer, as Amazon’s press event last week fades into history we are starting to discover some other changes in their ecosystem that may have been overlooked in the excitement of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD announcement. One of these new features Amazon is implementing is the ability for developers to sell physical goods “in-app.” Initially this appears to only be rolling out in games, but other uses are sure to emerge. This capability will be a point of differentiation compared to Google and Apple.
Amazon has indicated their first partner is Activision, which plans to make toys available in its Skylanders game. The toys will connect to the game using a “portal” plugged into a videogame console. Once plugged in, the toy activates a character inside the game. In order to purchase the characters, players will buy them from within the game using Amazon’s 1-Click Purchasing. Amazon indicates a player’s progression with a character in the console version of the game will carryover to the mobile version. This will likely be achieved using Amazon’s new Whispersync for games capability that was announced last week. An indication of how important games are to Amazon’s overall strategy is the announcement that the new Kindle Fire will have a separate tab to access the games category in the Appstore.
Is the ability to order physical goods something to get excited about? Can you think of any ways this could be used effectively outside of games?
source: All Things D
For one week, Google is promoting Collectibles Week, an initiative to drive in-game sales for over 20 games in the Play Store. Using the psychological and persuasive technique known as scarcity, Google hopes to get gamers to buy or unlock limited edition items within these games. After the week is over, those items will no longer be available.
The collectible items range from Android themed clothing for Stardom: The A-List to a special gilded rifle, gold knuckles, and lots of gold for Crime City. Collectibles Week ends this Friday, so get your collectible item now.
Participating games are slightly different between the U.S. and internationally. Click the appropriate source link for your list.
Amazon has finally answered the cries from both developers and its customers by finally launching the in-app purchasing system after what was seemingly an endless development. In a nutshell, it allows for developers to sell additional paid content from within an app. Since developers can just use Amazon’s distribution system instead of having to create their own, it just makes more sense and gives added convenience in order to gain additional revenue. Check out how the new feature works by taking a look at the video after the break. » Read the rest
The Economist, a UK based news publication has released its Android App. The app takes a different outlook on how news apps sell in that the app is free on the Market. Editors Highlights are free as well. If you’re already a subscriber you’ll be able to view all of the magazines on your phone. If you’re not and certain sections seem interesting to you, you can use in app purchases to buy individual magazines or sections in them. Cool huh? What do you guys think about this new money making strategy? I personally like it. Let us know in the comments below!
[via Android Market]
Comic lovers everywhere rejoice! Just in time for Comic-Con 2011 in San Diego, DC Comics and comixology have partnered to bring Android devices a branded DC Comics app available for free in the Android Market now! The app will feature DC Comics which you can purchase through the app for $0.99 – $2.99 per issue. The payment will be made through the Google in-app purchase system for ease of use. The app will have a library of over 3000 titles to choose from, while adding over 80 format title per month.
Here’s what Senior Vice President of DC Entertainment Hank Kanalz had to say about the release;
This launch is another great milestone in our digital strategy, Our goal is to make DC Comics available to the broadest audience possible and this Android launch extends our reach among mobile phones and tablets. We want our readers to enjoy comics whenever and wherever they want, be it at home, work or while walking around San Diego Comic-Con.
Grab the app by clicking or scanning below now!
Back in January at the Inside Mobile Conference, Google announced plans for In-app Billing, but said it would not be available till the spring. Well spring is here and Eric Chu, of the Android Developer Ecosystem, announced that In-app Billing will launch next week.
To prepare for the launch they are allowing developers to upload their apps that utilize In-app Billing to the Developer Console. They can create a catalog of in-app products and set prices for them. Developers will be able to set up accounts to test in-app purchases. The interaction for these test transactions will be the same exact experience actual users will have next week.
Developers will not be able to publish the apps to users until the full launch of In-app Billing takes place next week.
This is great news for developers as in-app purchases have been available in Apple’s App Store since late 2009 and Blackberry’s App World since late 2010.
For more information hit the source link.