Google Play is not only Android’s go-to app store, but it’s also one of the biggest digital distribution services in the world. Almost 2 million apps have become available on the platform to the reach of billions of active Android users around the world since it was first introduced in 2008 as the Android Market (the Google Play name was introduced in 2012). But micro-transactions and purchases are also commonplace. Some games and apps include paid items: whether it’s a membership on an app or service or an item in a game, we’ve all come across them at least once. If you’re a developer making apps with paid content, we have news for you: new ways for paying in apps and subscriptions are coming to Google Play.
Most of these improvements were unveiled today at Google I/O 2021, and they’re pretty interesting for both users and developers alike. Google Play has been adding more and more ways to pay on the Play Store during the past months: in 2020, they added 34 new payment methods across 30 markets around the world.
Throughout the year, Google is set to bake in several new features into the Google Play Store, such as multi-quantity purchases, which will allow users inside an app to buy more than one item at a time from the cart. Multi-line subscriptions, which will allow you to sell multiple products as part of a single subscription, will also be making an appearance on a device near you. Finally, prepaid plans, which will let you offer users access to content for a fixed amount of time, will also become available. This will give both users and developers more choice as to what they want to pay, and make it easier to do so.
Does this all sound good to you? Google says that many of these changes will be available with Google Play Billing Library version 4.0, which is now available for developers to implement. In the meantime, the window for updating your apps to version 3.0 is closing: new apps are required to integrate the Billing Library version 3.0 by August 2nd, while new app updates will also be required to do so by November.