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In-App Purchase Problems Lead to Refund Option

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Apple just sent out a quick notice offering a mechanism to get a refund for unauthorized in-app purchases by a minor. It should have been sent to all iTunes users who made an in-app purchase, but it's easy to miss, so I've included the text below. Despite Apple's efforts to limit in-app purchases to a 15 minute window without requiring re-entering a password, a lot of damage can be done in those 15 minutes. I've written about my troubles with IAPs before.



Apple News: iTunes Features Indie Game Developers

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With the success of independent game apps such as Flappy Bird, it was past time for Apple to highlight independent developers and small firms creating some terrific games. Now, iTunes has a button that takes you to a curated list of such developers, labeled Indie Game Showcase. As Apple says, "Often made up of just a few dedicated members, independent studios prove that what really matters is the size of your dream. In each Indie Game Showcase, we celebrate a popular game and its creative team, highlighting the developer's titles along with their favorite games from other studios."



Freemium vs. Premium: Best and Worst Games in the App Store!

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We do enjoy the games at iPhone Life. What's not to love about having something like a kabillion titles to choose from?! So, we decided to run a series amongst the gamers here that highlight our favorites over the years (some of us been swiping, tapping, or joysticking since the 1970s), and expound a bit on our opinions about freemium, downloadable content (DLC), and regular old-school purchase models. Siva Om has regularly covered this area (and does a superb job) in his column, but the other iPhone Life gamers thought maybe we would each throw in our two cents as well. Here is mine...



3 Apps to Fill the 'Flappy Bird' Void

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Several interesting new apps have emerged from the iOS store and at first glance they may seem to be of the same family as the infamous Flappy Bird app, yet these apps take on a different approach to the ever-widening pipes in Flappy Bird.



Apple News: iOS 7.1 Is Just a Little Bit Safer When It Comes to In-App Purchases

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I have a love-hate relationship with In-App Purchases (IAPs.) As a developer, Apple has been encouraging me to adopt IAPs. In theory, IAPs seem like a way to make a living off apps while giving users a free taste. As a user, I don't like them. I think when you download an app, you should own it and all the promised features. So in the PRO versions of my apps, there are no IAPs. And in the past, my free apps had advertisements with the only "upsell" being a link to the PRO version for unlimited features without ads. But Apple representatives told me personally at the Worldwide Developers Conference and at their Tech Talk Tours that I really should be using IAPs. When Apple talks, I listen. So some of my apps now have such purchase options. But on the IAP selling page, I rebel against the machine and tell users that the best deal is to buy the PRO version!



The Siberia Elite: An Early Contender for Best Over-Ear Headphone of 2014

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SteelSeries has garnered an international reputation as a leading company in both cutting edge personal listening gear, as well as gaming accessories, including what is in my opinion, the best MFi iOS game controller on the market, the StratusTheir Siberia Elite headphone ($199.99) are already considered a high-level, gaming-specific headphone, but read on to find out how they stack up as a dual purpose headphone, one that shines as both a gamer’s premium headset, as well as an audiophile’s dream headphone.



Game Centered: Featuring a New MFi Gaming Accessory and Brand New Games.

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Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. Among the App Store's myriad games, it's all too easy to overlook some of the greats. Each installment of Game Centered will take a close look at a select few worthy of special recognition. In this week's installment we'll take a look at some intriguing new games that recently landed in the App Store, as well as a competitive new MFi game controller that's about to hit the market.



Game Centered: Special Kids' Games Edition

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Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. Among the App Store’s myriad games, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the greats. Each installment of Game Centered will take a close look at a select few worthy of special recognition. This edition of Game Centered features fun and entertaining games that are perfect for young children.



Freemium vs. Premium: A Generation Too Young To Know Better?

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The success of the freemium model is impossible to deny. Taking a look at the top grossing games in the App Store paints a clear picture. In 2013 all ten of the overall top grossing games were freemium titles. The highest grossing paid game, Minecraft ($6.99) only ranked 18th in overall top grossing games.

If you migrated to iOS gaming from a dedicated gaming device like XBox, Playstation, or even PCs then the freemium game model is most likely not that appealing. Likewise, if you came into iOS gaming as a veteran gamer of the 90s or early aughts, then overall the freemium game system is very likely viewed by you as a travesty.

And yet, this hotly debated new gaming modality is undeniably bringing in the big bucks, at least for certain developers and gaming houses. Enough game developers are making money exploiting the freemium model that the trend continues much to the dismay of what seems like the majority of dedicated gamers.



Game Centered: Hot New Freemium Games with a Freakish Twist.

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Game Centered features roundups and in-depth reviews of the best in iOS games and related gaming news. Among the App Store’s myriad games, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the greats. Each installment of Game Centered will take a close look at a select few worthy of special recognition.

If you read my recent article about freemium games it's possible you came away with the impression that I'm a freemium hater, which really couldn't be further from the truth. Though the current modality of freemium games could use a shot of ethics and integrity, there are nonetheless some awesome games out there that won't cost you a penny and even though they may offer plenty of in-app purchases, they don't limit your free-flowing enjoyment of the game.

This week’s Game Centered will make you feel like Halloween is just around the corner, instead of almost eight months away, and features three excellent and eerie entries in the freemium category.



Best iPhone Games | iPhone Life Magazine

When searching for the best iPhone games, you can get lost in companies propaganda.  Articles like Top Ten FavoriteiPhone Games, can help to alleviate the stress.  The following snippets from articles can help you to decide what kind of game is better suited for you.

"Stinger Games' newly launched Stinger FoosballLeague takes a game that's already a step removed from reality into a truly virtual environment - topping as one of the best iPhone games.  Foosball, of course, is the table version of football or soccer.  With Stinger Foosball League, the field that was crammed into a table in a pub is now in your iOS device.  The premise sounds okay, but the execution is way cooler than it sounds.  That's because Stinger Foosball League is actually, well, cooler than actual foosball.  First of all, the 3D graphics and game physics are right on, putting this game at the forefront of console-style graphics on iOS.  Second of all, the view when playing real life foosball is… usually not that awesome. I'm sure there are people with foosball tables that are tricked out, but for most of us, they're usually a dingy affair.  But Stinger Foosball League hasn't been sitting in your uncle's basement for the past forty years.  Kick-ass flying cameras show off how much action there really is in a game known for being low-tech. And just to make it even more trippy, the ball leaves behind a golden light tail, kind of a comet-effect."

"The Universe of SPIRIT FORCE was inspired from the Japanese Samurai-era.  Discover an epic story giving you a social experience where players fight with monsters and collect Spirit Cards in order to save the world.  It places a core emphasis on player vs. player combat.  The player begins his journey as a member of the SPIRIT FORCE.  Battle with other players or clear the mission to get great treasure and rare card. Use crafting skills with the collected treasures in order to summon new Spirits.  Players can team up with friends and cooperate each other to fight against boss, unlock new rewards and new stages.  The most immersive and massively multiplayer online card game ever!"

Both of the previous two articles are on specific games, but perhaps you want a more comprehensive look on several games... The Free iPhone Games To Kick Off Your Summer articleis what you are looking for.