Over the past year, in-app purchases have made their way into the mobile gaming world in overwhelming fashion. “Freemium” games are the new normal, and nearly every game in the AppStore has some sort of IAP. Angry Birds is no exception, as Power Ups are now included in all 5 editions of the franchise.
We aren’t saying it’s necessarily a bad thing. For those who want to use Power Ups, all the power to them (pardon the pun). For those who don’t, score differentiation is all that’s needed, and Rovio has done a good job of rolling that out into a few of the titles.
But parents, how do you avoid your little ones from jacking up your credit card bill by purchasing 10,000 Super Seeds? That’s exactly what we’re gonna teach you today!
iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch
On an iOS device, when you try to make an in-app purchase, you should be prompted to enter your Apple ID and password, but if you recently entered your password, you won’t be prompted again for quite some time. And perhaps your child already knows your password — which is a dangerous thing to begin with.
Well, you can do even more to protect yourself. Go to your iOS Settings > General > Restrictions. If you have not yet enabled restrictions, doing so will prompt you for a 4-digit passcode. (Tip: Don’t pick a 4-digit code that your child will already know, such as your home’s alarm code, a birthday, or “1234”.)
Once enabled, look for “In-App Purchases” under Allowed Content. Make sure that one is on, and you can set the “Require Password” timer to whatever you’d like. Now, whenever Junior tries to buy $20 worth of Power Ups, he’ll be stymied by your passcode! Mwahahaha!
Android via Google Play
Go to Google Play Store App. Choose Menu > Settings > Set or Change PIN. Enter and confirm your PIN, then check the box for “Use PIN for purchases”.
Android via Amazon Appstore
Go to the Amazon Appstore App. Choose Menu > Settings > Parental Controls > Enable Parental Controls. Enter your password for Amazon.com. If you don’t want to use your Amazon password, check the box “Use PIN“, then enter and confirm your PIN.