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.