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Monday, July 21, 2014

Google will stop calling games 'free' if they offer in-app purchases

The European Commission says Google has agreed to change its policies in response to EC proposals about mobile gaming and in-app purchases.

In December 2013, the EC said games advertised as ‘free’ shouldn’t mislead consumers about the true costs. It also said consumers “should be adequately informed” about payment arrangements and shouldn’t be charged without giving explicit consent.

Apple, Google and the Interactive Software Federation of Europe were asked to provide concrete solutions to the concerns raised.

According to a recent EC statement, Google has decided on a number of changes that’ll be in place by the end of September. These include not using the word ‘free’ when games contain in-app purchases, developing guidelines for app developers and introducing measures to help monitor apparent breaches of EU consumer laws. It has also adapted its default settings so that payments are authorised before every in-app purchase unless a consumer changes these settings.

The EC also notes that “no concrete and immediate solutions have been made by Apple to date to address the concerns linked in particular to payment authorisation” although Apple has proposed to address those concerns. It says EU Consumer Protection Cooperation authorities “will continue to engage with Apple to ensure that it provides specific details of changes required and put its practices into line with the common position”.

Neelie Kroes, EC Vice President responsible for the Digital Agenda, said “The Commission is very supportive of innovation in the app sector. In-app purchases are a legitimate business model, but it’s essential for app-makers to understand and respect EU law while they develop these new business models.”

Any enforcement or other legal action is the responsibility of national authorities. Earlier this year, the UK’s Office of Fair Trading introduced new principles for game developers to help ensure their games didn’t break the law.

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Opinion Articles

How AI technology is transforming the smartphone experience

How AI technology is transforming the smartphone experience

From improved performance to personalized recommendations, AI is enhancing the functionality and usability of smartphones for users

By incorporating advanced algorithms and machine learning capabilities, AI can help to optimize a smartphone's performance, providing users with a faster, more efficient and user-friendly experience.
Author: The Fonecast
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Whatever happened to all my tech?

Whatever happened to all my tech?

Mark Bridge revisits his mobile technology reviews

Mark Bridge writes:

I've been taking a look back at the devices I've written about during the past few years. Some are still faithful companions, others... well, let's just say my faith was misplaced.
Author: The Fonecast
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Predictions for 2016: Network Function Virtualisation, 4G throttling and video calling

Mark Windle, head of marketing at OpenCloud, predicts that this year’s reduction in the number of traditional telecoms operators in some countries will provide an opportunity for other operators to innovate and capture market share in 2016.

He says next year will be a year of rapid change for telecoms… whether it’s MVNO disruption, competitive tariff pricing or simply defence from the ‘dark art’ of hacking.

Author: The Fonecast
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Kapture review: the audio-recording wristband

Kapture review: the audio-recording wristband

A 'recording watch' that links to your smartphone

Mark Bridge writes:

The most memorable moments in life often go unrecorded. You don't have your camera in your hands. Your finger is still hovering over the 'pause' button on your audio recorder. Or you were simply too busy experiencing whatever was happening. It's all about the one that got away.

That's where Kapture can help.

Author: The Fonecast
4 Comments
Article rating: 4.0
Making mobile websites work better

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James Rosewell shows me a colourful roll of paper that's the width of an iPhone but well over three metres long. When I look closer, I can see it's a printed copy of the Wall Street Journal's mobile website. That's a lot of scrolling to do... and a pretty unfriendly user experience for anyone reading the news online. Why does it work so badly?

Author: The Fonecast
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Article rating: 4.0
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Recent Podcasts

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Author: The Fonecast
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Author: The Fonecast
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We talk about 4G LTE coverage and device sensors with OpenSignal at Mobile World Congress

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