Feeds

Android gets in-app billing

Insert coin to continue

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.