Posts tagged Apple
In app purchases have been in the news again recently following the revelation that one junior gamer unwittingly racked up a £1700 bill on his dad’s credit card during a particularly prolific 15 minute gaming session.
The BBC One Rip Off Britain team paid a visit earlier this week to ask me what in app purchases are what the so-called ‘freemium’ business model means; plus I demonstrated how you can very easily be no more than three screen taps away from expensive in app purchases within a supposedly free game.
We also filmed a lovely sequence of me and my 3 year old daughter Evie playing CBeebies games together on our iPad.
If you let your children play on your smartphone or tablet then here are my 5 top tips which I suggest will safeguard you and your family from any inadvertent in app purchases:
- Never share your password, even if it’s to download a so-called ‘free’ app.
- Enable restrictions on your device. At present they aren’t enabled by default so you must take action to make your phone or tablet safe.
- If the game doesn’t need a network connection then turn on your device’s airplane or flight-safe mode – this will disable its network connection preventing any purchases.
- Regularly check your purchase history, make sure you recognise all of the downloads on there – each app store has its own easy link to do this.
- Supervised play – vet the games you let your kids play and supervise when they play. Not only can you keep an eye on what your children are playing it’s a great way to share in their excitement, entertainment and education.
I’ve written in the past about how adults can safely introduce their children to smartphones and tablets, most recently for the National Childbirth Trust. This item on in app purchases for the BBC will be broadcast on later on this year.
On the day of the iPhone 5 announcement I was appearing on various BBC local radio stations (and some commercial ones too) throughout the UK talking about the unveiling, offering my insight into which new features it might include.
Apple’s annual announcement of its latest and greatest iPhone generates more tweets, posts, column inches and airtime than any other consumer technology product launch.
On air I also discussed some research carried out by gadget recycling website cashinyourgadgets.co.uk revealing what we do (or rather don’t do) with our old gadgets after we’ve upgraded. I’m as bad as anybody with several old laptops, mobile phones and cameras slowly gathering rust in my drawers contributing to the estimated £1 billion of old, unused tech cluttering up our cupboards in the UK alone.
Listen to an excerpt from one of the interviews where I chat with Tony Fisher from BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester:
Like most other pundits my predictions for the iPhone 5 came true, hardly surprising given all of the leaks ahead of the launch.
Last week I posted a piece for Computer Weekly about how Apple is losing touch with how its users use its mobile devices. You can read it here.
Unlike around three million others over the first three days of its launch (and no doubt record-breaking millions since), so far I’ve mostly resisted the urge to upgrade my 2010 original to the new third generation iPad.
I say ‘mostly’ as I did detour to a couple of stores to see what all the fuss was about, only their lack of stock saving me from a difficult decision and a sweaty store card.
Nevertheless, I am beginning to harbour some real reservations about the direction that Apple is, or rather is not, taking with the development of its mobile platforms, neglecting its users’ needs in favour of – well, what exactly?
I’ve been getting all tingly and excited lately about Siri, Apple’s all-hearing personal assistant technology.
Speech recognition has never reached the heights of the public’s lofty expectations, but in its inimitable style Apple has re-invented and re-invigorated a stagnating technology.
In this post for Computer Weekly a few weeks ago I explored how Siri is far more than just a neat trick inside an iPhone.
Siri can – and should – be embraced to help us interface better with other everyday objects. Think of it as a Universal Remote Control but instead of pressing buttons it listens to what you ask it and sends the commands to your TV, DVD player, alarm clock, central heating, washing machine, car – the possibilities are endless. This use of the iPhone as a VR Gateway has recently been demonstrated by some clever people using Siri Proxy.
You can read my full post in Computer Weekly right here.
Finally, I couldn’t help but share this video: just imagine if Apple had announced an Apple TV set at during its announcement last week (who knows what they might have called it: iTV, ATV, Apple TV?) and had gone ahead and integrated Siri rather than a traditional hand-held remote control. Might it have looked like this?