Amazon pairs increased in-app purchase limit with new parental controls

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By Kathleen De Vere Comment

Android developers with apps in the Amazon Appstore can now charge more than $20 for in-app purchases, reports TechCrunch.

The update, which brings the Amazon Appstore in line with Apple’s App Store and Google’s official Google Play service, was rolled out after Amazon updated its Appstore’s parental controls. According to Amazon’s developer FAQ, customers can change the settings on their devices to require either their Amazon.com password or a four digit PIN in order to complete in-app purchases.

Tying the increase in the value of in-app purchases to an update in parental controls is a smart move for Amazon, considering the troubles Apple has seen in the same area. Last year a Pennsylvanian father filed suit against Apple in a Northern California district court, alleging the company’s in-app purchase policies were exploitative. Although in-app purchases can now be disabled entirely in an iOS device’s settings menu, Apple was unsuccessful at getting the case dismissed; on April 16, the district judge ruled the hearing will still go ahead, despite Apple’s policy changes.

For Amazon developers an increased in-app purchase limit is welcome news. Although the Amazon Appstore already delivers comparable revenues per average user to iOS, according to a report mobile analytics firm Flurry released last year, in-app purchases over $50 make up a third of the revenues developers generate from free-to-play titles. With Amazon developers now able to offer high-priced in-app transactions like they can on iOS, it will be interesting to see if the Amazon Appstore’s average revenue per user will rise to match, or even surpass Apple’s.

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