If you’re an avid smartphone user, knowing how to turn off in app purchases can be a game changer when it comes to avoiding any nasty financial surprises.
Love it or hate it, our lives are inextricably linked to the smartphones that live in our pockets. Industry titans such as Apple and Samsung know just how much consumers value the quality, performance, bells and whistles of their smartphones – however, some users tend to forget that everything comes with a price.
For some, especially younger generations or gaming enthusiasts, the temptations to purchase any one of the many ‘add ons’ that live within their smartphones can be too great. As a means to avoid unexpected bills and impulse spending, learning how to turn off in app purchases is one of the more popular tactics to deploy as a tool to curb this unique expense.
As a general rule, there are three types of in-app purchases for smartphone users – subscriptions, consumable purchases, and non-consumable purchases, and are defined by how the purchase is designed to be used or consumed.
Subscriptions – In app purchases that are subscription based usually bill users weekly, monthly or annually. Although relatively new to mobile platforms, more apps are choosing to use this business model as a means to provide a steady stream of revenue required for development and expansion, with some of the more well known players being Netflix and Spotify.
Consumable Purchases – Users need to buy these items every time you want them, which in turn can make them highly addictive if in the wrong hands. If you remove and reinstall an app or install an app on a new device, you might lose your consumable purchases. Examples often include currency for games such as coins, gems or a form of ‘power up’.
Non-Consumable Purchases – These types of in app purchases are usually bought one at a time, and are often associated with your smartphone’s identification. As such, many of these are transferable between devices, and can often include upgrades to an app’s pro edition, the removal of in app advertisements, and usually have an expiration date.
If you suspect that you or someone in your family are prone to overspending with the above purchase formats, it might be a good idea to learn how to turn off in app purchases. For Android users, Google has a couple of ways to ensure that your device is protected against unintended purchases, with the most common across all of this brand of devices being password protection. This can be set up via the Google Play Store on an Android device, through the settings menu. Once in this section, users will see the phrase ‘require authentication for purchases’, at which point they will have three options to choose from: password authentication for purchases, biometric authentication for purchases, or setting up a parent control for underage device users.
For Apple users across iPhones and iPads, the latter in particular can cause billing headaches if the device is commonly used by children to play games, and can either intentionally or unintentionally rack up a hefty bill from in app gaming purchases. To avoid this, or to simply remove spending temptations for yourself, the solution also lies in the Settings app. Once in the menu, simply follow the below path: Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > switch the toggle to ‘on’ > select iTunes & Apple Store purchases > select In App Purchases > tap Don’t Allow – yes, it really is as easy as that.
For further tips on avoiding in-app purchases on your smartphone or tablet, be sure to understand the device controls, consider further setting restrictions (passcode, fingerprint lock, face recognition), download apps for additional parental controls, and use device based gift cards for kids to minimise any potential accidents.
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