There has been a lot of fuss over in-app-purchases for a while now when it comes to mobile apps and games from the Play Store, with people’s issues coming from all different angles. Although Google has yet to be pulled in the U.S court system over the IAP lawsuit that Amazon is currently facing, they have been in talks with the European Union and the European Commission over IAP’s and as a result, they will no longer be referring to apps that come with IAP’s as “free” applications. As it stands right now, the talks that Google has had with European Commission means that any sort of changes that take place regarding free apps with IAP’s involved are limited to the EU for the time being. That doesn’t mean that the same thing can’t and won’t happen here in the United States.
Because of these complaints from consumers and due to regulations being forced upon Google from the EC, Google will no longer refer to apps or games that harbor IAP within them as free, but more than likely they will still be listed on the app’s pages themselves as free since they don’t cost any money to install them. With that said, Google will likely leave IAP containing apps and games out of any lists that are targeted at consumers searching for free downloads. Examples of free installs and downloads are all over the Play Store, and Google has special categories that are strewn throughout which they cycle out about every two to three weeks it seems. Going forward, the EU Play Store will probably only have truly free apps and games without IAP’s in these lists as a result from the European Commission’s requests.
While some would be happy to see Google implement these sorts of changes here and elsewhere, as in-app-purchases are widely despised by a large portion of the community, there is nothing to suggest that they would take what is happening with free IAP laden apps and apply that type of change herein the U.S. It does make sense for consumers to want this though, especially those who are parents with kids that may or already have spent a good amount of money on IAP’s due to their nature of easily convincing children that they’re OK to buy.