The Apple App Store and freemium apps – Editorial 

There is a game in the Apple App Store called My Horse. It has lots of positive reviews. So my wife decided to try this game. 

It is a freemium game which are generally unpleasant games to play due to greedy developers. However, this game seems even more spurious due to the fact it requires the following –

1) Watch a video to earn some gems. Gems are needed to progress otherwise nothing much happens. The video option is a rarity and not so onerous. 

2) Earn gems by downloading and playing a different game, but you need to  sign in to your Facebook account. So is My Horse really a game to sell other games?

3) Earn gems by buying stuff outside of the game. Does Apple realise this?

4) Earn gems by taking a survey and revealing information about yourself. Warning signs on this one. 

But it gets worse. The app expands in file size every time you play it. At last count it was 14gb. 14gb !!!

 Anyway, my wife realised her iPad was full after getting low warning memory messages. After I checked what was using all the storage I was stunned by how big this game has become and how much it grows each time you play it. Add insult to injury the £10 in app purchases that had just been bought couldn’t now be used as the iPad was full. 

So I emailed Apple, who refunded the £10 without any fuss and rather quickly too. 

There are several issues here. Is it time for Apple to lay down some rules on what is  acceptable and not acceptable with regards to offering in app purchases. And will Apple really want to curb in app purchases when they get a 30% cut of the in app purchase revenue! 

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