iOS 6 Could Permit Free App Downloads Without Passwords

It has been reported that the latest version of the iOS 6 beta no longer requires users to input their Apple ID password to download free apps from the Apple App Store, in what some are saying is an indication of what could be expected in the final product.

It is unclear whether this feature will be maintained through to the final version of the iOS 6 or whether this is just something to help developers using the beta version. Currently Apple iOS users are prompted to enter their Apple ID password for every purchase or download, whether the download is paid for, or free. However, Apple may be looking to make the iOS 6 more user friendly by doing away with the number of times users are forced to enter this password.

Many users may feel this is a move in the right direction. The main purpose of having the password prompt is to stop a user's credit card being charged by anyone but the user themselves. Currently those with an Apple ID account can link their credit card information to their account, meaning they do not need to re-enter their payment details every time they want to purchase something from the Apple App Store. However, to stop breaches of security and unwanted charges onto the credit card, the user will have to input their Apple ID password for every download. However, even if the app being downloaded is free, the user currently is asked to input their password. By removing the extra, somewhat annoying hurdle, a user should be able to download free apps without having to enter their password for something that will not affect their credit card.

However, some users might like the extra "security" so that friends cannot use their iOS device and just download apps the main owner does not want on their device (although apps can be deleted very easily afterwards). Some bloggers have suggested a compromise to add an option into iOS 6 settings so that users can themselves select whether they want to allow free app downloads to take place without the need of the password prompt.

Also some bloggers have pointed out that once a password is input, then a user can continue to download further apps for another 15 minutes without being prompted for the password again.

The iOS 6 is expected to be released on the iPhone, iPad and iPad Touch later this year in the fall.