Android in-app billing

Google just announced that in-app billing -- first announced at the Honeycomb event we were at in February -- will launch next week. In-app billing is an unsexy name for the way an app developer can sell you extra features -- levels, weapons, clothing, cheats, etc -- while you're inside the app. No diving back out to the Market, all seamless and smooth.

And to get things ready, developers can now upload and test apps for the service. It's all done within in the existing Developer Console, and the dev sets the prices.

It'll be interesting to see what sort of things developers offer, though we can think of one, for sure -- the Mighty Eagle! And Tap Tap Revenge will use it for song purchases. [Android Developers Blog]


Reader comments

Android's in-app billing system launches next week, developers can prep now


Keep us happy with apps so we spend more money. Thus is a good idea, there are way to many garbage apps in the market IMO. This will give the good developers a leg up on the posers. Win win.

I'll pass on "in app billing" unless they make it mandatory. That's a lot of trust to ask for after the recent malware hit to the app store. Unless Google tightens the approval process, all it takes is one rogue app with your bank details, to wreak havoc on your life. The only way I'd trust app developers with any in app billing is to pay via a pre-paid debit card, so fraudulent developers can't get anything more than the funds available on the card.

In-app billing does not work that way. Obviously Google would not create a system where any app could go and charge whatever amount it wants to your Google Checkout account without your approval. The system they've implemented is similar to Apple's on the App Store.

When you try to purchase something using in-app billing, the app you're purchasing from makes an IPC call to the Android Market app with the details of the whatever it is you're trying to purchase. Then, the Android Market app starts up and handles the rest of the transaction. You confirm the payment on a screen similar to the one that appears when you're paying for an app. Google Checkout charges your card and notifies the Android Market app. The Android Market makes an IPC call back to the original app saying "yes, successfully paid for 50 in-game credits".

The original app never sees your credit card information, and it cannot make an automated charge because you must manually confirm in-app purchases through the Android Market first.

How about expanding the Market to more countries first , then deal with this sort of things
This is one of the things that makes Apple's App store better

I think fixing the Android market app categories should be the first priority if we are comparing Apples to Androids

What makes Apple's app store better is Apple's effort to marquee the best apps. They reward the best developers by actively trying to get their apps on more devices thus ensuring that more high quality apps will be produced.

in app billing SUCKS!!!! Stuck on "authorizing purchase" for 12hrs. No google support. A total waste of time and money.