In-App Payments Coming Soon for Android, says Eric Chu


Speaking at the Inside Social Apps conference yesterday in San Francisco, group manager for Android at Google Eric Chu gave us the skinny on the current status of in-app payments when it comes to applications found on the Android Market. Turns out the feature was supposed to launch during the final quarter of last year, but developers busy readying holiday apps left little time for the payment system to be tested and perfected after developer feedback.

The new timeline has in-app payments launching this quarter, and when they do they will bring along plenty of options for developers. Payment methods will include carrier billing as well as your standard Google Checkout, among others. When finally launched, in-app payments should play nice on most Android devices, according to Chu.

It has been a long time coming for ability to make in-app purchases, and it’s hard to say who will benefit more when they finally do arrive. Developers get extra avenues to monetize their hard work while users get access to even more features. We’ll be looking forward to it.

[via TechCrunch]

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  1. This will be great. It’s one thing I really like about the App Store – when I subscribe to a magazine I’ve downloaded the app for on my iPad, it bills it to my itunes. When I buy an item in another app, it bills it to my itunes. It makes it so much easier than having to re-enter my details to every app itself, and also more secure.

  2. @Dan
    So this would be Google Checkout too.

    Is this a big deal breaker for any devs or consumers? I guess options are fine, but I don’t need/want to pay my provider a penny more. I am fine Google checkout and i actually like use for other stuff then my app purchases.

  3. I think it is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it’s good for magazine subscriptions and things where regular content will come out and you don’t want to have to pay each time but bad for other apps and games.

    I say this because it will make developers less likely to put functionality straight into the app and instead put in into a paid-for add-on. For example, if I made a Google Reader app for $2 that included all the features except for sharing/starring articles, I could just have a tempting button saying “Want to share? Buy the share add-on for 50 cents!”.

    So, depending on how greedy developers are about it, it could be a bad thing.

  4. I’m fine with Google checkout when it works. Every time I buy an app, it hangs on “authorizing,” and I have to cancel the download over and over before it finally goes through.

  5. I don’t think really see how it could be a bad thing. Developers aren’t really “greedy” for charging for their content or software. If you don’t want to buy it, you don’t have to.

  6. Here’s the thing, I definitely wish Apple never did this for anything but subscriptions. I think the fact that free low-quality “free” games that are basically purchase games end up at the top of paid lists because people pay for content to get ahead (stupid concept in and of itself). But now that Apple does this, Android needs it to motivate their devs to cross-port and/or jump ship. I def don’t want those shit games, but some games are decent that offer in-app purchases (i assume, lol).

    Re: go

  7. Bad trackpad…

    Re: Google reader example, well, the market will sort that out well. There will always be Google’s free version to compete with. Let’s say there is a free app for twitter/facebook whatever, where the app is free and it’s 1.50 for a widget, that’s a good value proposition. I don’t think tiny “features” that used to be commonplace will be disregarded. So, your calendar apps wont suddenly do something like, take away sync, unless you pay. It’s just too easy and common a feature to take away for a price.

  8. @savagejeep – “i dont need/want to pay my provider a penny more” – what a retarded thing to say. Why, even if they give the option to do carrier billing, wouldnt you just pay for the app up front? You wouldnt be paying the carrier more by billing it to them – you would be borrowing money from your carrier (essentially). Get a job, move out of your parents’ basement, and just pay for the apps yourself rather than have your carrier foot the bill, you douche troll.

  9. @andy: While there is a certain lameness rightfully associated with anybody who’d pay money to simply buy a higher score in a game, it’s hardly a stupid concept. It works, devs make money from it — they’re clearly answering a need in the market. Sounds pretty smart to me.

  10. @Tom, a few developers already do this though for their Android applications. You pay $1.99 for an app, if you want more features, you pay for it. I don’t see what’s wrong with it? Crappy yes, but if you only need the basic, you pay for that instead of paying $4.99 for features you do NOT need. Examples include themes cosing 0.99-1.99 for ADW. If you want to skin your AudioManager widget, it’s $0.99 for every skin.

    I don’t get your complaint of why there will be more developers that will charge for ad-on features with more checkout options?

  11. If Google isn’t happy about the market, how about getting that new Market website up and running like we say way back in Sept ‘ 10? That would certainly help a lot!


  12. this is going to be great for android a lot of people dont spend money in the market because they dont want to put their info on google checkout or some people just dont use cards now people wont think twice about purchasing because they can do it through their verizon accounts like the old days android will benefit from this and android users are viewed as cheap hopefully this does something about that

  13. you forgot to mention that google is not happy with the amount of paid apps being sold, the market should be performing much better than this especially with that large number of Android phones being sold.
    They need to add paypal support and open the paid market for the rest of the world, this will make the market better place for devs especially game studios.

  14. @DumbAss
    Of course I realize I am paying for my apps up front. I would just rather give to operators of the Market, NOT have a portion of the proceeds go to any greedy carrier.

    I have a lot money tied up in my apps; I prefer to pay rather than pirate as I am sure you do troll. But you would rather bill your carrier as I bet your parents still pay your cell bill.

  15. Put it on my bill. That is a great idea, seeing as I won’t pull out my credit card for anything $6 and under. Now the app market has a new customer.

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