Feeds

Android gets in-app billing

Insert coin to continue

The Power of One Infographic

Google is set to launch in-application billing for Android next week, and is encouraging developers to upload their billing-event-enabled apps now.

The Android Marketplace has been talking about in-application billing for almost a year now, and yesterday the team finally opened the store to developer testing with a view to launching commercially next week. In the meantime it's Android Marketplace only.

Apple's iTunes platform got in-application billing a while back, and even customers of Nokia's Ovi store can pay extra to get an Eagle to backup for their Angry Birds, but Android users have been left out until now. So from next week applications purchased from the Android Marketplace will be able to trigger chargeable events from within the application.

It's worth noting that this is a feature of the Android Marketplace, not the Android platform - other application stores, such as Amazon's recently launched alternative, will have to make their own arrangements and sell them to developers.

Developers are desperate to get in-app billing, as the "insert coin to continue" model is considered the holy grail of revenue generation. Some of the latest iPhone games (such as Craneballs Studio's Overkill) are entirely dependent on the capability to sell the player guns and ammunition, the game itself being free. But in the Android world in-application billing offers the store a differentiator too.

Google's Android Marketplace will now have a feature other app stores don't, and one in which developers will invest time and effort. Google will also be hoping to integrate the system into billing systems run by the local network operator too, for simplicity, though that's not happening as fast as some had hoped

But adding this kind of functionality increases store loyalty, and motivates other application stores to emulate the functionality as well as pushing Google to innovate further. That's the idea at least, and a laudable ideal, but still a lot more complicated than the Apple approach of just owning everything. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.