Mobile app stores are choc full of freemium apps which cost nothing to download… but which have functionality that can only be unlocked through in-app purchases.
Soon Android users will be able to get an idea of how much money you’re expected to spend on one of these “free” apps. Starting September 30th, the Google Play Store will show price ranges for in-app purchases available in Android apps.
Sometimes in-app purchases let you do things like remove advertisements, or unlock new features. But there are plenty of games that require you to pay money to upgrade a race car, get more lives, more ammo, a bigger gun, or other stuff that you might need in order to actually play a game. Sometimes entire game levels are locked away behind in-app purchases.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing… developers need to make a living. But it’s be nice to know whether apps and games are truly free before you download them.
Apple already offers prices for popular in-app purchases for games in the App Store.