Web version of the Google Play Store now indicates which apps contain In-App purchases

February 14, 2014
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Google Play Logo 1600 aa

I’m sure you’ve all heard the horror stories regarding $1,000 toddler spending sprees fueled by pesky in app purchases (IAPs). Google appears to be taking the matter a little more seriously now, having updated the mobile version of the Google Play Store to include a little tag if the app contains IAPs last December, and now the web version of the store has now undergone the same treatment.

Tucked away just under the install button, nestled next to the list of compatible devices, now reads a little message telling you if the app contains in-app purchases. The slight change appears to have taken place in all major markets, including Europe and the US.

Play Store In App purchases

No matter where you chose to install your apps from, software offering in-app purchases should now always be easy to spot.

I’ve never been a particularly big fan of IAP powered apps, having never spent a penny on an in-game upgrade, so I’m finding this feature really useful for avoiding the plague of freemium apps in the market. Of course, it’s also a much needed feature to help parents keep track of the games that their kids are playing.

However, if there’s one flaw with this system it’s that it doesn’t help to differentiate between the varying degrees of purchases available. Many apps are supported by very small and more reasonable purchases, some of which will enable permanent premium features, whilst others are content to repeatedly charge customers for overpriced, consumable items. Credit to Apple’s AppStore, here it includes a breakdown of the top in-app purchases for each app, so that consumers can better judge how much the game is likely to cost them.

AppStore IAP comparisons

Apple’s store is leading the way when it comes to explaining costs to customers.

This update a promising start by Google, but there’s certainly more that could be done, by both Google and development companies, to ensure that consumers are better informed about the likely long term costs of an app.

Do you think that Google is going far enough to inform and keep tabs on in-app purchases, and if not, what do you think Google could do to improve the situation?

Comments

  • Albin

    The web Play Store is a pathetic shadow of what it was only a year ago. It used to sort out active installed apps from deleted ones, and advise of updates. Now any and every app I’ve ever tried and removed is shown as “installed” in a useless list and updates have to be done from the phone. Reviews are now more difficult to scan quickly. Screen space is wasted. Even the “Wishlist” is buried someplace hard to locate when you want to check it. Managing apps from a PC with a mouse and large screen can be far superior to using the phone, but now the clumsy phone interface is the only way.

    • ritz

      also missed the feature where you can read a comment by filtering it to the type of phone used.

  • Fastco

    Time to filter out those IAP-infested game from list!

  • Joshua Hill

    Not just the web store! Google play app on my N7 2013 indicates which apps have in app purchases near the install button.

  • nvog

    We NEED to KNOW not only if in-app purchases exist within a game, but HOW MANY there are and HOW MUCH they cost.