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It’s time to rethink how children’s apps are bought and sold. For less than the cost of a juice box,  Yet, for many parents, librarians, and even teachers — that’s too much money.

APP STORES Especially Google, Apple and Amazon should increase the transparency whenever “free” is used, to the point of asking publishers to include a paragraph about direct or indirect motive behind the app. If there’s a publicity agenda, it should be identified; if the app contains branded content, it should be disclosed. App stores should also feature quality paid-apps, and help consumers understand the benefits of taking the “non-free” route.

by Warren Buckleitner – Read the full article here:

“Free” apps tend to:

• Waste time and dilute the investment in your hardware.

• Tease children with tempting items that are slightly out of reach.

• Blur the difference between “free” and “paid” content.

• Use up storage space.

• Collect information about your child and your device, by way of hidden data collection tools.

• Are more likely to have a profit, rather than educational motive.

• Associate a child’s feelings of accomplishment with a purchase.

• Are more likely to include ads or sponsored content.

• Expertly apply behavioral psychology to keep engagement levels high.

• They tend to have easier age gates that can increase the risk of an unintended purchase that is non-refundable.

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