How to Use In-app Purchases?

ios in-app purchases

In-app purchases are available in many iOS and Mac apps. These are in-game currency, recurring subscriptions or full game/application unlocks.

What Available In-app Purchases Are Out There?

In-app purchases are additional subscriptions or content available for purchase within applications on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. Not all applications have in-app purchases. To see if an application provides such an opportunity, look for Offers In-App Purchases or In-App Purchases in the App Store application description.

If an application has a Get button, this means it’s available to download free of charge. However, this doesn’t mean that an app is completely free. Specific or all of the app features might require making a one-time or periodic (subscription) in-app purchase.

What Are the Types of In-app Purchases?

There are four types of extra content/subscriptions available for the in-app purchases:


Consumable items require downloading each time you need them, so you have to pay for every single purchase. In case of deleting or reinstalling the application, or installing it on a new device, chances of losing consumable purchases are high. For instance, when the same game you played on iPod touch is installed on iPhone, the game levels synchronize. However, additionally purchased health or experience points don’t sync. Listed below are the examples of consumable in-app purchases:

  • Game currency and hints;
  • Experience and extra health points;
  • Exports to the new file format.


Non-consumable items are one-time purchases transferable to other devices connected to your Apple ID. Losing non-consumable purchases doesn’t make any difference, you can download any of them again free of charge. Restoring in-app purchases is possible. Listed below are the examples of non-consumable purchases:

  • Upgrade to pro edition;
  • Remove ads;
  • Full game unlock;
  • Unlimited hints;
  • Extra characters;
  • Accessories;
  • Bonus game levels;
  • City guide maps.

Non-renewing subscriptions

Depending on the application, non-renewing subscriptions are only available for a limited time span, so you can buy these elements once again after the subscription is over.

  • Pass for a sports season;
  • 1, 3, or 6 months’ subscriptions.

Auto-renewable subscriptions

Auto-renewable subscriptions are available for a limited subscription period, but the subscription automatically renews by the end of that time. Depending on the application, subscription periods may have different lengths – from a week to a year. Specific apps can offer a discounted/free trial periods.

It is possible to cancel the automatic subscription renewal.

  • Newspaper and magazine subscriptions;
  • Audio and video streaming services;
  • Games.