Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quote of the Day: Apps for Cats Edition

Via TUAW, a game for cats does what it says, but it isn't truly free:

The game does what it advertises, however it's extremely easy for your pet to accidentally make an in-game app purchase unless you've disabled that feature in your settings.

This actually relates to something I find pretty offensive about Apple’s app store.

Even now that age ratings and parental controls are implemented for apps, Apple rejects apps that contain nudity. But they allow games targeted at children, like “Smurfs Village,” to offer expensive in-game purchases:

Rummelhart had no idea that it was possible to buy things — buy them with real money — inside the game. In this case, her son bought one bushel and 11 buckets of "Smurfberries," tokens that speed up gameplay.

"Really, my biggest concern was them scratching the screen. Never in my wildest dreams did I think they would be charging things on it," the 36-year-old mother said.

She counts herself lucky that her son didn't start tapping on another purchase button, like the "wheelbarrow" of Smurfberries for $59.99.


Apple defends its system. Spokeswoman Trudy Muller says the password system is adequate and points out that parents can restrict in-app purchases.

If the technological measures are, as Apple suggests, sufficient for preventing kids from buying $880 of virtual fish, why are those measures inadequate for protecting them from boobies?

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