As had been expected, the Federal Trade Commission sued Amazon, alleging that the online retailer made it too easy for children to make millions of dollars' worth of unauthorized in-app purchases on its Kindle tablet devices. The FTC wants to make Amazon refund money spent without parental permission and to stop Amazon from allowing in-app purchases without requiring a password or other mechanism that gives parents more control.
As developers have shifted away from a monetization model based on paid downloads to "freemium" or free to play approaches, many of them are looking at in-app purchasing (IAP) as a better way to create a revenue stream for their work. However, there's one major concern that could drag on both big and small app vendors: in-app fraud. Special report
Amazon said it is prepared to go to court with the Federal Trade Commission rather than submit to increased oversight and other measures the FTC says are needed to ensure children do not make unauthorized in-app purchases from apps in Amazon's Appstore.
BlackBerry announced a deal to gain access to the 240,000 apps and games in Amazon's Appstore, greatly expanding the number of apps BlackBerry 10 customers can use. The agreement was announced hours ahead of what is expected to be a major foray by Amazon into the mobile market with the introduction of its first smartphone.
How many consumers think about buying an application or mobile game in an app store but then change their mind and don't install it? It's a pretty difficult figure to know. However, there are a growing number of firms that are focused on increasing the exposure developers can provide to potential customers through mobile ads. Special report.
Having your app found by consumers is becoming incredibly difficult, especially for smaller developers and companies. That's why app store optimization (ASO) is beginning to evolve as both an approach to making what developers create more "discoverable" and a set of tools to automate the process. Special report
Facebook, as expected, unveiled a mobile advertising network at its annual f8 developers conference, catapulting the social networking giant into competition with Google and Apple's more established mobile ad networks. However, in addition to unwrapping the Facebook Audience Network mobile ad network, Facebook also announced a host of tools designed to make life easier for developers and consumers on mobile.
For most developers of apps and mobile games, $25,000 may be more than they need--or more than they're likely to get. In some cases though, developers are using Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other sites not to get money to produce their app but to validate their business. Special report.
How can developers get more consumers to spend money inside a mobile game? A few companies are working with developers to help make that happen. Special report
Sprint worked with Facebook to develop a Facebook application that lets customers invite friends on Facebook to join a Sprint "Framily" group plan. The collaboration is novel and an indication that Sprint is putting a great deal of emphasis on the plans, which were unveiled in January.