Amazon is giving more power to developers, as the company is now allowing devs to charge higher prices for in-app buys thanks to new strengthened parental controls. The company sent out an e-mail to developers today that said:
“With our parental controls functionality now updated, in-app items over $20 may now be submitted via the developer portal.”
Anyone who is familiar with the intricacies of how applications are priced know that developers depend heavily on pricier items to go alongside their games — which they only get paid scraps. Apparently, transactions that are more than $20 brings in the majority of revenue for top-notch games on both iOS and Android.
Now the problem with an in-app business model is the threat of unauthorized buys from people (like children) using your phone. This is a problem Apple went through all of last year with all of its iProducts: iPods, iPhones, and iPads. Apple addressed that problem by shortening login time, in essence, making the phone user sign in on all app buys and updates — effective on the security front, but annoying as hell on the usability front.
Amazon is going about this business strategy smartly by implementing the parental controls off jump. If set up properly, all purchases will require an Amazon.com password or 4-digit PIN, this security feature can be accessed in the ‘Settings’ menu on the Kindle Fire.
Regardless, this is a one up for Amazon’s AppStore over Google Play’s store, as the search giant continues to tinker with it’s store to improve both customer usability and developer support.