If you’re a veteran iPad / iOS user you may want to look away as this is a very basic tip. But it’s one that had escaped my notice (despite it being right in front of my eyes) for some time, so I’m hoping it may be helpful to some of you.
If you have kids who use iPads or other iOS devices in your household (their own, or your shared ones), you may well have come across one of the App Store’s money pits: In-App purchases. My daughter is only 7.5 and she has racked up some silly numbers paying for power-ups and the like in a few games that shall remain nameless to protect the guilty. My wife and I have preached to her many times about how we don’t want her playing games that require frequent and expensive In-App purchases in order to advance in the game. We want her playing games where you make your way forward by skill and perseverance, not by putting a serious dent in our iTunes account.
Despite the speeches, we’ve still had some mishaps with In-App purchases, and we’ve had to put a few more draconian measures in place on the devices our daughter uses. In some of the iOS games these in-app extras can add up to some serious expenditure …
One measure that I had not taken until yesterday, because I had somehow not noticed it there among the options, is to just turn off in-app purchases altogether. Yesterday I finally spotted this lovely little setting option, and applied it immediately.
So .. if you have kiddos who get tempted by extra mojo in We Rule or other similar shortcuts within games, here’s how you disable In-App purchase:
— Go to the Settings app and tap on the General section in the left-hand pane
— Then tap on Restrictions over in the right pane
— If you have not already done so, start by enabling restrictions, via the bar at the top right. You’ll have to enter and confirm a four-digit passcode when you do this.
— Once restrictions are enabled, you’ll want to look at the first entry in the third section of the Restrictions pane – In-App Purchases under the Allowed Content section, and tap to turn it off.
That’s it. Once you’ve done this, your kids will have to manufacture their own mojo or get your permission for any one-off exceptions that may make sense.