Feeds

Android gets in-app billing

Insert coin to continue

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.