Google Play is now showing Android developers’ addresses and pricing for in-app purchases


Google Play Store wm watermark

In a followup to previous posts in which we highlighted some controversial new changes making their way to the Google Play Store — namely, developers being required to display their home/business address in app listings, and pricing for in-app purchases finally being a thing — it looks like both are now live on Google Play.

While showing the price ranges for apps and games with in-app purchases is being lauded (still sucks that individual items aren’t shown), it’s the address portion that’s leaving some with a bad taste in their mouths. What’s the big deal? Well, the Google Play Store (once Android Market) was built on the backs of smaller indie developers — the same developers who may or may not have the money to afford an office or workspace away from home.

Google Play IAPs and addresses

With their addresses now in plain view on all of their app listings, you can see how this could potentially create a weird situation if fallen into the wrong hands. What kind of weird situation you ask? Android developer Koushik Dutta of Clockwork Mod fame sheds some light on this subject with a brief anecdote on his Google+ page. The post describes a “creepy” situation he encountered after a disgruntled customer showed up to his place of residence.

“A few years ago, some guy bricked his Galaxy SomethingOrOther by flashing the wrong recovery. He started messaging me on Google Talk, and then on IRC asking for help. I told him I was not tech support, and that he shouldn’t have flashed the wrong recovery hoping it would work. I said to use Odin and find a debrick guide.

He knew I lived in Seattle, and said we could meet up for me to fix it. I declined. Twenty minutes later… I receive a call. It’s this guy, begging for help. I tell him that’s totally inappropriate, and that he needs to stop.

After I got off the call, I realized that the call was made from the call box downstairs, outside my building.”

We should note: the above stated situation occurred before Google’s new Play Store policies and wasn’t a result of the new changes. While it’s true, technically anyone could grab a developer’s addresses by making an app or game purchase and viewing their Google Wallet receipt, the fact that it’s now openly made public online is still a legitimate concern for some.

It’s being speculated Google was forced to go this route to stay in accordance with European laws and for the most part we get it. But it’s still unclear if developers can simply use a PO Box, UPS address, or if a physical home or business address is absolutely mandatory. What we do know is developers have 30 days to comply with Google’s request starting today, or run the risk of having their apps/games removed from Google Play.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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