Apple's ban of 'incentivized app installs


7 Apr 2011
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Apple's ban of 'incentivized app installs' and 'offer walls' gives momentum to Android Market.

Some jaded individuals might question Apple's timing, but just as news came out saying that the Android Market would surpass the App Store in the number of applications available as soon as the end of this summer, Apple decided that it no longer cared about the actual number of downloads in the App Store and would now focus on the quality and fairness of apps.

Apple has now banned "incentivized app installs" in which a player of a particular game needs to install another app to continue playing the original game. Also banned is "offer walls" in which a game player participates in an offer in order to receive currency related to the original game being played. The reason for the ban is to prevent misleading rankings as games are downloaded just for the in-game currency. This allows certain games to climb up the iTunes rankings, but not by legitimate means. A game that moves up the rankings snares a lot of attention and results in higher sales to the developers.

Many young children have been scammed by "in-app payments" to the tune of hundreds and thousands of dollars. In these cases, the child is playing a game and is told that he or she needs to purchase special currency to buy weapons with special powers, as an example. The child might be using his Dad's smartphone and simply makes the purchase without his parent's knowledge until the bill arrives with a huge surprise for Pop.
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