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Apple is making it harder to take out accidental app subscriptions

Apple has added a new safeguard to make sure you’re not left on the hook for app subscription charges you don’t want or need.

As spotted by app developer David Barnard, you no longer just pay for a subscription via your finger (TouchID) or likeness (FaceID). You’ll now have a pop-up asking you if you’re sure you want to subscribe with the option to cancel if you’ve accidentally approved something by resting your finger on the home button.

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“The subscription will continue unless canceled in Settings at least one day before a subscription period ends,” the notice warns.

Barnard himself welcomed the change, later adding that he’d been emailing Apple repeatedly about the issue of accidental subscriptions via TouchID. “This change is likely to prevent $10M+/mo in accidental subscriptions,” he tweeted later in the thread.

The lack of a confirmation pop-up like this not only led to accidental subscriptions, but was also taken advantage of by scammers. In December, Apple banned a couple of apps that were abusing the TouchID confirmation to stick a $119.99 in-app payment behind an instruction to protect data via the fingerprint.

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While the change to subscriptions wouldn’t have fixed that particular case (it was a one-off payment), it should make users more aware of what they’re signing up for. It will also mean that scammers that enjoy the benefits of a subscription before claiming it was an accident for a refund have less of a leg to stand on, which is good news for developers and presumably welcome to Apple’s support department too.The only downside is that it’s taken so long to implement that TouchID is nowhere near as prevalent as it once was. The last iPhone to use the technology was 2017’s iPhone 8, although it still continues on the brand new iPad Air and iPad mini.

Have you ever accidentally subscribed to something with TouchID? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.

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