Apple bans apps that trick you into subscriptions


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Ever had an app trick you into a more expensive subscription than you were expecting, or hide the real terms in fine print you were never going to read? Apple wants to put a stop to it. The company has revised its guidance for App Store subscriptions, and they now include explicit rules for how developers can ask for your cash. Most notably, the pricing has to be crystal clear. The largest text has to represent how much you'll actually pay -- if you're buying a full-year subscription, for instance, a company has to highlight the total cost instead of using the per-month equivalent rate to fool users.

Via: AppleInsider, 9to5Mac, TechCrunch

Source: Apple Developer (1), (2)

Supreme Court hears arguments in Apple App Store price fixing suit


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Apple now has its last chance to fend off a lawsuit accusing it of price fixing on the App Store. The US Supreme Court is hearing arguments from Apple on November 26th as the company rejects claims that it uses its absolute control of iOS app downloads to keep prices high and take a 30 percent cut of each sale. In a filing, Apple portrayed itself as just a "sales and distribution agent" and said that developers were ultimately the ones who set the final price. It also said that objections to the 30 percent cut should come from developers, since they're the ones who pay directly rather than users.

Source: AP News

Tumblr for iOS disappears from the App Store


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You won't want to rush to get Tumblr's iOS app at the moment... because you can't. Users have noticed that the social network (part of Engadget's parent company Verizon) has been unavailable on the App Store. It's not certain what prompted the disappearance or who was responsible, but the outfit has talked about addressing an "issue" with the iOS release since November 16th. We've asked the company for comment.

Via: The Verge, PiunikaWeb

Source: Tumblr

Facebook pulls iOS VPN app following Apple’s privacy objections


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Apple's increasingly tougher stance on app privacy has led Facebook to pull one of its iOS apps. The Wall Street Journal has learned that Facebook is removing its VPN-based Onavo Protect program from the App Store after Apple warned the social network that it violated stricter policies (enacted in June) that limit how and why software collects data. Onavo Protect's collection and analysis of user activity beyond the app reportedly violated the new data collection limits, a source said. It also broke a clause in the developer agreement forbidding apps from using that data for either unrelated purposes or advertising.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Matthew Panzarino (Twitter)

Apple pulls 25,000 gambling apps from China’s App Store after pressure


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Apple is once again removing apps in response to Chinese government pressure, although under somewhat different circumstances this time around. State media reports that Apple pulled 25,000 gambling apps from China's App Store after a bevy of media outlets (again government-backed) criticized it for inadequate filtering that let through the titles, which have long been illegal in the country. Some of them had slipped into the store by posing as lottery apps.

Via: Ars Technica

Source: Wall Street Journal

There’s a fake version of ‘Cuphead’ on the App Store (updated)


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Xbox's retro-inspired Cuphead is on the App Store. There's just one problem: it's a fake. While the iTunes preview page looks legit, the game isn't actually an official project from designer Studio MDHR. A quick whois search reveals that the phoney website is hosted in Hungary and that registered owner, Sheridens LTD. has done this sort of thing before with an unofficial mobile port of melee brawler Gang Beasts. In fact, the fake Studio MDHR website was set up less than two months ago.

Source: iTunes, Whois

Stunning visual puzzler ‘The Witness’ arrives on iOS


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After months of teases and rumour, striking 3D puzzle game The Witness has finally landed in the App Store, for both iPhone and iPad. Likened to a modern-day Myst, the open world game sees players wake up on a strange, colorful island with no memory of who they are or how they got there. Only by exploring the vast island, discovering clues and completing curious puzzles can they hope to regain their memory and somehow find their way home. With dozens of locations to discover and more than 500 puzzles to solve, The Witness is a beautiful beast of a game, available now for $10/£10.

Apple’s iTunes update removes the desktop iOS app store


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While Apple expanded its iPhone lineup today, a software update delivered for iTunes on Windows and Mac PCs is slimming things down a bit. Once users install version 12.7 they will no longer have access to the App Store from the desktop. As described on Apple's support page, a focus toward "music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks" means that you'll usually need to use your iOS devices to manage the apps installed on them. What it adds in this update is the ability to sync with devices running iOS 11 and social music sharing for Apple Music subscribers.

Via: MacRumors

Source: Apple Support

Apple pulls VPN apps following China crackdown


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China might say it isn't cracking down on personal VPNs, but Apple would likely argue otherwise. ExpressVPN, Star VPN and other developers report that Apple has pulled their apps from the App Store in China for allegedly including "content that is illegal" in the country. Some clients are still on other platforms (including ExpressVPN, for now) while others remain, so it's not a uniform cull at this point. However, this is still a big blow to attempts to circumvent China's mounting internet censorship through encrypted communication -- not to mention companies that may have been depending on those apps for remote work connections.

Via: TechCrunch, Reuters, New York Times

Source: ExpressVPN, Star VPN (Twitter)

Apple stops showing 32-bit iOS apps in your search results


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Apple has been nudging iOS app developers toward 64-bit code for years: it started by requiring 64-bit support, then told users that 32-bit apps might run poorly, and lately has been warning that 32-bit apps wouldn't work in "future versions of iOS." Now, however, it's pulling the plug. TouchArcade and others have noticed that 32-bit iOS software no longer turns up in App Store search results. You can still use direct links, but that's about as far as you can go. And you can probably guess why Apple is making this move right now.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: TouchArcade

Brazilian judge tells Apple and Google to pull Secret from people’s devices


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Secret on an iPhone

Secret's app is ostensibly meant for office gossip and getting transgressions out of your system, but it has also been abused by bullies wanting to intimidate and shame others. Well, one Brazilian judge is fed up with that misuse -- enough so that he's ordering Apple and Google to remove Secret not just from their respective local app stores, but from people's devices. Microsoft also has to yank Cryptic, an equivalent Windows Phone app. If the companies don't take action within 10 days, they face fines of 20,000 Reals ($8,876) per day. That's a drop in the bucket given their massive revenue streams, but it's reasonable to say that they'd rather not pay that much just to keep one title available in one country. Filed under: , , , , , , Comments Via: 9to5Mac Source: Estadao (translated)

Apple posts its first video trailer on the iOS App Store


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Clumsy Ninja video trailer

Android app shoppers have long had the luxury of watching video trailers on Google Play, but their iOS counterparts have had to be content with static images on the App Store. Apple's portal just got livelier, though, as MacStories has noticed what may be the first App Store video clip. UK residents who visit the "featured" section of the store now see a trailer for Clumsy Ninja alongside the usual promo graphics and app icons. This isn't necessarily a sign of things to come -- other regions don't see the trailer just yet, and it's not present within Clumsy Ninja's app page. With that said, we won't be shocked if App Store sizzle reels become commonplace.

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MacStories

It’s time for an App Store pricing revolution


This post is by Mike Wehner from TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog


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Loyalty is a powerful factor in consumer choice, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a company that has benefited more from customer loyalty than Apple. That's what makes the company's lack of support for software upgrade pricing so puzzling. Offering a discount on a new product (or more fleshed-out version of an existing product) to thank those who are already using your software is good business, and the lack of such an option on the App Store is, at this point, baffling.

Remember how things worked before we had a one-stop shop like the App Store for our software needs? When a new or vastly improved version of an application was released, it would be offered at two different pricing tiers: Full price for new customers and a discounted price for those who already owned the previous version. This ensured that brand-new users paid their entry fee while giving returning customers more of a reason to upgrade, along with a pleasant feeling of being rewarded for their allegiance.

The App Store has no such option, requiring updates either be applied to an existing product for free or be sold separately as an entirely new app with one price for all users. This structure works just fine for Apple's OS X upgrades, which are now priced cheaper than a trip to the gas pump, but Apple isn't relying solely on the revenue from each new version of OS X to pay its bills. Many of the App Store's developers, on the other hand, live or die by the sales of their software alone.

When it comes to launching a new and improved version of an existing app, developers are already working from a disadvantage, and to not be able to offer a lower price to loyal users can be painful.

"How much is the new version worth to me? I can already use the older app to do many of the same things, so the value of the upgrade is much lower to me: I can't justify the cost of making a full investment in the app all over again," Ken Case, CEO of The Omni Group, tells us. "As someone who has already invested in the previous version, what will make the investment worthwhile would be discounted upgrade pricing based on the relative increase in value of the new version, rather than having to pay for the full value of the app all over again. Otherwise, it may not be worth purchasing."

The Omni Group -- developers of business and productivity software such as OmniGraffle and OmniFocus -- believes so strongly in the upgrade pricing strategy that it went so far as to create an OS X app called OmniKeyMaster that scanned for existing purchases and then offered customers discounts on upgrades from its own online shop. This is a fantastic solution, or at least it was for the few days between the announcement of OmniKeyMaster and the blog post by Omni detailing why the app would no longer be available.

But can you really blame Omni for trying? Apple has left developers little choice but to attempt to sneak through loopholes in order to offer a pricing structure that has been an industry standard for decades.

Apple is in love with simplicity, and a one-price-fits-all model is certainly simple. Unfortunately that simplicity comes at a cost to both developers and consumers, not to mention Apple itself. By not providing a paid upgrade option, developers are unable to offer loyal customers a break -- thus driving sales. Customers are hurt by not being able to take advantage of these would-be discounts, sometimes forcing them to purchase two different versions of a single product at each app's full price. Meanwhile, by incentivizing non-App Store purchases and forcing developers like Omni to promote upgrade pricing through their own online shops, Apple is missing its cut of the sales.

Newer developers -- the ones that need a marketplace like the App Store the most -- are left with few options. What we end up with is an App Store filled with paid "Pro" versions of each app struggling for footing alongside free, stripped-down skeleton versions of the same apps. If the free iteration of the app in question offers an adequate experience, many customers won't see the value in the paid version. At the same time, if the freebie fall short, there's virtually no chance of getting a user to throw down the money for the real app.

Some developers have found a way to promote new paid versions of their products -- such as offering limited-time launch discounts -- but this is a bandage on a hatchet wound. Sure, users who catch wind of huge launch discounts on new apps can benefit, but should those who happen to miss the chatter be punished? This strategy might work for apps that only cost a few bucks, but when these price cuts could have a noticeable effect on your bank account, like in the Mac App Store where software can run hundreds of dollars, it can often be the deciding factor when determining whether or not to upgrade.

For its part, Apple hasn't officially come out for or against upgrade pricing as a practice, but if the company does indeed support the idea, it's clearly not very high on the priority list. Whether we can ever expect to see such an option is anyone's guess, but in the meantime we're missing out on a better version of the App Store that we should have had all along.

It's time for an App Store pricing revolution originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

TUAW - The Unofficial Apple WeblogIt's time for an App Store pricing revolution originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Limbo now available on the App Store


This post is by Mike Schramm from TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog


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As expected, the creepy but excellent Limbo is now available on the iOS App Store, and playable on your iPhone or iPad. Playdead won a lot of awards and critical acclaim with this title, which takes a mysterious young boy on a journey to save his sister through several environments. The game is an excellently designed platformer with interesting physics puzzles that get increasingly complex. The overall feel of the game can be a little spooky (especially that giant spider), but even scaredy cats will appreciate the craft of it.

Limbo is US$4.99 on the App Store, which may sound expensive, but the same game is still $9.99 on Steam, so we're getting it for half price right away. If you haven't sat down to play it on a PC or console yet, definitely consider picking it up.

Limbo now available on the App Store originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 03 Jul 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

TUAW - The Unofficial Apple WeblogLimbo now available on the App Store originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 03 Jul 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Moody platformer Limbo coming to iOS next week


This post is by Mike Schramm from TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog


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Moody platformer Limbo coming to iOS next week
Limbo is a critically acclaimed and very artistic platforming game that arrived on XBLA a few years ago, and has since arrived on PS3 and PC. It's by a company called Playdead, and it's a black-and-white short tale about a little boy in search of his sister. The game puts a series of physics-based jumping puzzles in a starkly threatening environment, as the little boy fights a big spider and makes his way through a crumbling world.

And now, Playdead has announced that the game is coming to iOS. On July 3, it'll be available on the iPhone 4S, the iPad 2 and the latest iPod touch, and devices newer than those, for US$4.99. Playdead says it has been "rethinking the controls and performing extensive optimizations to ensure an amazing touch-based experience," but we'll have to see if the game uses virtual buttons, or goes for a more specifically touchscreen control scheme. There likely won't be any new content, but this is an excellent title, and should be a good addition to Apple's platforms.

Moody platformer Limbo coming to iOS next week originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

TUAW - The Unofficial Apple WeblogMoody platformer Limbo coming to iOS next week originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple adds automatic updates, location-based recommendations to iOS 7 App Store


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Apple adds automatic updates, other new features to iOS 7 App Store

Apple's delivered a whole bunch of new features for iOS 7, and the App Store is one of the beneficiaries. For instance, users will now be able to take advantage of automatic app updates, a feature that's been on our wish list for quite some time; additionally, Eddie Cue showed off a few new location-based options that give you recommendations for certain apps solely based on either your current whereabouts or local events that you're attending (say, a ballgame or concert). Last but not least, Apple has also thrown in a Kids category that is sortable by age. Solid enhancements overall, though we're still personally holding out hope for a transition away from the card-based search.

Follow all of our WWDC 2013 coverage at our event hub.

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Ultima Forever spotted on the Canadian App Store


This post is by Mike Schramm from TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog


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If you've been waiting for Ultima Forever, the new iOS version of Ultima from EA, then it's here for you (kind of). The app has been spotted over on the Canadian App Store, and if you have an account over there, you can go and download it right now. The Canadian App Store is often used as a beta testing ground for iOS apps, especially by EA, so the company is likely testing out the game and its services before releasing it worldwide soon (probably in the next few weeks). So it's not completely done yet, but if you want to go get it, you can.

To switch your iTunes install over to Canada, you just need to go down and click on little flag located on the bottom right of each App Store page in iTunes. You can switch your client to any of the world's regions there, and I believe that you can download apps for free from any of those regions (including Ultima Forever).

You can also switch your App Store region on the iPhone or iPad by going to settings, and then tweaking your Apple ID to match the region you want to browse. That's more of a hassle, however -- if you can be patient for another week or two, it might be better to wait for the official, worldwide release, undoubtedly coming soon.

[via Ultima Codex]

Ultima Forever spotted on the Canadian App Store originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 23 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

TUAW - The Unofficial Apple WeblogUltima Forever spotted on the Canadian App Store originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 23 May 2013 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple discloses top iPhone and iPad apps of all time


This post is by Yoni Heisler from TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog


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In conjunction with Apple's recently announced countdown to 50 billion app downloads, the company last week issued an updated list charting the most popular iPhone and iPad apps of all-time. Per usual, the listing is broken up between free and paid apps. As one might expect, the list is extremely game heavy, with Rovio's Angry Birds making a number of appearances on both the paid and free list. It's also worth noting that a number of Apple's own applications make appearances on the list of most popular paid iPad titles.

So without further ado, let's take a look at the apps that iOS users simply haven't been able to get enough of over the past few years.

All-Time top 25 paid iPhone apps

  1. Angry Birds
  2. Fruit Ninja
  3. Doodle Jump
  4. Cut the Rope
  5. Angry Birds Seasons
  6. WhatsApp Messenger
  7. Camera+
  8. Words with Friends
  9. Tiny Wings
  10. Angry Birds Space
  11. Pocket God
  12. Plants vs Zombies
  13. THE GAME OF LIFE Classic Edition
  14. The Moron Test
  15. Where's My Water?
  16. Draw Something
  17. MONOPOLY
  18. Angry Birds Star Wars
  19. MotionX GPS Drive
  20. Skee-Ball
  21. SCRABBLE
  22. UNO
  23. Minecraft - Pocket Edition
  24. Color Splash
  25. The Sims 3

All-Time top 25 free iPhone apps

  1. Facebook
  2. Pandora Radio
  3. Instagram
  4. YouTube
  5. Skype
  6. Words With Friends Free
  7. The Weather Channel
  8. Twitter
  9. Temple Run
  10. Google Search
  11. Netflix
  12. Shazam
  13. Angry Birds Free
  14. Draw Something Free
  15. Flashlight
  16. Facebook Messenger
  17. Google Earth
  18. Fruit Ninja Free
  19. iHeartRadio
  20. Movies by Flixster
  21. Bump
  22. eBay
  23. PAC-MAN Lite
  24. Groupon
  25. Google Maps

All-Time top 25 paid iPad apps

  1. Pages
  2. Angry Birds HD
  3. Angry Birds Seasons HD
  4. Where's My Water
  5. Fruit Ninja HD
  6. Angry Birds Space HD
  7. GarageBand
  8. Words With Friends HD
  9. Cut the Rope HD
  10. Keynote
  11. Numbers
  12. Angry Birds Star Wars HD
  13. GoodReader for iPad
  14. SCRABBLE HD for iPad
  15. Minecraft - Pocket Edition
  16. Plants Vs Zombies HD
  17. Notability
  18. MONOPOLY for iPad
  19. Quickoffice Pro HD
  20. Star Walk HD
  21. Draw Something
  22. iMovie
  23. iPhoto
  24. Where's My Perry?
  25. Bad Piggies HD

All-Time top 25 free iPad apps

  1. Skype for iPad
  2. The Weather Channel for iPad
  3. Netflix
  4. Angry Birds HD Free
  5. Kindle
  6. Facebook
  7. Pandora Radio
  8. Calculator for iPad Free
  9. Fruit Ninja HD Free
  10. Words With Friends HD Free
  11. Google Earth
  12. ABC Player
  13. Calculator Pro for iPad Free
  14. Temple Run
  15. YouTube
  16. eBay for iPad
  17. CNN App for iPad
  18. Dropbox
  19. Adobe Reader
  20. Twitter
  21. Solitaire
  22. NYTimes for iPad
  23. Temple Run 2
  24. Hulu Plus
  25. Draw Something Free

Apple discloses top iPhone and iPad apps of all time originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 06 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

TUAW - The Unofficial Apple WeblogApple discloses top iPhone and iPad apps of all time originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 06 May 2013 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Daily iPad App: Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy is a great board game adaptation


This post is by Mike Schramm from TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog


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Daily iPad App Eclipse New Dawn for the Galaxy is a great board game adaptation

Eclipse is one of the most popular board games around right now -- it's a vast, involving epic "4X" game, where those four Xs stand for eXploration, eXpansion, eXploitation (as in mining crops and resources from various planets) and eXtermination (as in finishing off your alien opponents). It was recently announced that Big Daddy's Creations would be adapting the game for iPad, and the iOS version has now arrived on the App Store, available for US$6.99.

As a board game, I think Eclipse is terrific -- it's very well-balanced, and all of the various things you can do offer plenty of different strategies to play with. There are three resources (money, science and material) that you can use to exert your influence on various areas of a galaxy, research new technologies for starships or your empire or build up those ships and other various structures to combat your enemies. The game's almost endlessly flexible, in that you can try to win over the game's nine turns in any number of ways.

The drawback here, however, is that all of that flexibility and complexity make the game, well, complicated. This is not a casual game by any means, and while the iOS version's interface is fairly good at converting all of the information you need into a visible, touchable form, it's not very good at actually explaining what all of that information is. So when you're confronted by 30-50 icons on screen at the same time and asked to choose one, the game can be overwhelming to say the least.

Still, if you like great board games and are up for a challenge, Eclipse is excellent. And if you're already familiar with the board game, then this might end up becoming one of your favorite games on the App Store. My only other complaint is that there's no real "metagame" to it -- winning or losing the various games you play doesn't matter much in the larger picture at all. Still, Eclipse is an incredible adaptation of a brilliant board game, and it comes highly recommended. Even at the price of $6.99, it's one of the best board game apps out there.

Daily iPad App: Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy is a great board game adaptation originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 03 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

TUAW - The Unofficial Apple WeblogDaily iPad App: Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy is a great board game adaptation originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 03 May 2013 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple posts ‘Learn more about in-app purchases’ in iTunes


This post is by Kelly Hodgkins from TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Apple has been steadily beefing up its in-app purchasing policy to prevent children and adults from inadvertently buying items from within an app. As spotted by App Advice, Apple recently added a new disclaimer about in-app purchases to its App Store on the iPad.

The new "Learn More About In-App Purchases" page explains what in-app purchases are and how they work. Apple also gives tips on how to limit in-app purchases using parental controls.

Apple posts 'Learn more about inapp purchases' in iTunes

You can find this page in the featured section of the iPad App Store, directly below the "What's Hot" section. There you will see a "Learn More About In-App Purchases" card. Tapping on it will bring up the full page.

Right now, this information is only available on the iPad. We assume it eventually will land on the iPhone App Store and the iTunes desktop version.

Apple posts 'Learn more about in-app purchases' in iTunes originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

TUAW - The Unofficial Apple WeblogApple posts 'Learn more about in-app purchases' in iTunes originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 26 Apr 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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