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Google adds better app-buying protection

A new update to the Google Play store allows users to set how easy or difficult it is to install apps on a smartphone or tablet.

apps Updated: Mar 15, 2014 11:08 IST

A new update to the Google Play store allows users to set how easy or difficult it is to install apps on a smartphone or tablet.

And although it's a simple tweak, it will be one that parents in particular will be grateful for. The new option allows users to set up their device so that every time they want to download an app they are obliged to re-enter their password, and every time they wish to make an in-app purchase the same authentication is required.

However, for those smartphone owners less worried about their children ringing up huge bills thanks to in-app purchases, password requirements can be disabled altogether or there's a compromises setting of re-entering the password every 30 minutes instead.

Apple already has a setting within its iOS iPhone and iPad operating system that when activated, requires the user to enter a password every time he or she makes an in-app purchase.

However, it's down to the user in question to activate that extra layer of protection. That's why in its iOS7.1 update, made available this week, a new prompt window appears on screen when making an in-app purchase. It informs the user about Apple's default in-app purchase policy and offers a link to the phone's settings and restrictions menu where they can make changes.