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Android In-App Billing Launched

David Gilbert


Android In-App Billing Launched

Google was not happy with its returns from the Android Market and so decided to do something about it – and today we have in-app billing allowing developers to charge users for everything from extra levels within games to virtual bunches of flowers for their virtual girlfriend.

Flagged up by Google's Android group manager, Eric Chu a couple of months ago, the system is rolling out today to users and developers. “As an Android developer, you will now be able to publish apps that use In-app Billing and your users can make purchases from within your apps,” Chu said. For developers this will give more ways to monetise their apps rather than a one-off payment up front. Models such as try-and-buy, virtual goods and upgrades will be among the ways developers will be looking to make more money.

Of course it’s not just developers who will be making the money, as Google will be taking the standard 30 percent cut of all in-app purchases. A number of apps are launching today with the new in-app billing, including Tap Tap Revenge, Comics, Gun Bros, Deer Hunter Challenge HD, WSOP3 and Dungeon Defenders: FW Deluxe. If you are a developer and looking to get on the Android money train, then there are details instructions on how the system works here

Google is obviously hoping this in-app payment system becomes as popular (and financially rewarding) as Apple’s version in iOS. However despite the obvious boost this will give to the Android Marketplace in the short term, it won’t make up for a lack of quality content – which has been a complaint we’re hearing more and more - particularly in the potentially lucrative games market.

Source: blogspot/hsDu (Android Developers Blog) Android Developers Blog


March 30, 2011, 2:34 pm

What Google really has to fix is the currency problem. I never know if what I am buying is going to cost me some extra depending on what card i'm using and what the currency is. In an ideal world i'd like it charged to my mobile bill for the exact price in pounds and pence that is displayed. They can at least make sure I am charged in pounds and pence every time through google checkout.


March 30, 2011, 2:49 pm

"Google was not happy with its returns from the Android Market" Google have shot themselves in the foot as they have become synonymous with ad support free stuff, so i don't see how anyone is going to go with them (or their app store) with the idea that they will have to pay for anything.


March 30, 2011, 3:54 pm

@TechnicPuppet Google has finally been addressing this and it appears that by at the end of this month all apps will have a price set in the buyer's currency not the seller's, for at least few countries including the UK. I think for mobile billing most operators would want a somewhat larger share of the price.

@Simon I agree, but just maybe pushing free apps and then later charging for premium features or content can open up a few more sales. However looking at the complexity of the in-app payment security guidelines which include obfuscating the code, I suspect most apps will continue to be pirated very quickly.

At the end of the Google doesn't care for paid apps: they make money on the ads and get NOTHING of the 30% commission on sales ("the remaining amount {30%} goes to carriers and billing settlement fees â€"Google does not take a percentage" according to Eric Chu, but not sure if this rule also applies to in-app purchases)

I can see how they're not going to help the market move in that direction.

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