Apple Is Cutting Off Your iTunes Allowance


Apple is ending support for its long-running iTunes Allowance program.

Effective immediately, users can no longer create new allowances. By May 25, automatic allowance refills will be cut off, though any unused funds will remain in the recipient's account until spent.

The feature, which dates back to 2003, allowed folks to automatically add money—$10 to $50 per month—into an iTunes account. It was used primarily by parents looking to keep their kids entertained without handing over the credit card. Children could simply log into their iTunes account, then use the credit as they would a gift card, to buy content from music, movies, and ebooks to mobile and desktop apps, even an Apple Music membership.

Apple did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment. In a notice to customers published by MacRumors, the company pointed to Family Sharing as "another way to manage iTunes purchases made by your family," as well as iTunes Gifts. Family Sharing has been available since iOS 8 and lets families (or groups of friends) of up to six people share purchases from iTunes and the App Store.

Kids have been known to overspend slightly when granted access to their parents' iTunes account. A 7-year-old memorized his father's Apple ID password, for example, and then went on a spending spree in the Jurassic World iOS game, making 65 transactions and spending about $5,900 in one week.

Apple, meanwhile, is reportedly considering a new paid search feature that would let companies pay for their apps to appear at the top of user search results and improve how customers browse the online shop.

Apple is also expanding its environmental efforts with the new Apps for Earth campaign, launched in conjunction with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Like the 2014 Apps for (RED) initiative, this program aims to raise awareness about conservation of forests, oceans, fresh water, wildlife, food, and climate change. Open the App Store on your desktop or mobile device to find green apps—from Best Fiends and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes to Trivia Crack and VSCO—that celebrate the Earth and help the planet. Through April 24, 100 percent of those app proceeds will go directly to the WWF, Mashable reports.

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