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In-app purchasing comes to Android apps

We heard a lot of news at today's event at Google, and one thing many have been waiting for is in-app purchases.  These will allow for things like buying songs, upgrading to premium versions of apps, add extra levels or content, and provide a way to use virtual currency.

Disney Mobile showed off several things today, including in-app purchasing to buy a song for their upcoming Tap Tap Revenge for Android application, and it looks to be integrated really well and should provide a seamless way for end users to enhance their applications, as well as provide developers with a way to generate more income.  We all know that happy, well fed developers make for a robust Marketplace and happy users, so we can't wait to see it!

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • Seems to me that the Amazon Kindle app had in-app purchases for quite a while now. Purchases went direct to Amazon, and Google wasn't involved. I sure hope Google doesn't try the money grab that Apple is now pulling for in-app purchases by demanding vendors use the Google solution instead of their own.
  • Those are different things. Amazon was allowing you to use the app as a portal to buy things on their site. In-app purchases allow developers to create additional downloadable content for their apps that users can buy from within the app. For example, this would allow game developers to push "expansions" containing more levels, weapons, etc while selling the base game for free.
  • You've made a distinction without a difference. How is buying yet another book to use with the Kindle app different than buying yet another level to use with a game app? I don't need an account with the game maker is the only difference I see, which matters more to the game maker (less infrastructure) than to me. But this makes for more Ca-Ching-ware. Suck you for free or cheap, then start charging for levels. Back in the day, would you have bought Doom / Quake if sold on this model?
  • Amazon has their own back-end to support the Kindle purchases. Each developer could do the same thing, but it is simply to expensive for most. With in-app purchasing API's, Google handles all the back-end. Think of it like adding Google Ads into you app rather than trying to create your own mobile ads platform. Much, much easier for developers and more consistent experience for users.
  • I don't need an account with a developer either and won't be paying for any game "levels". Trusting Google checkout was a stretch for me. I'm not trusting some developer with any of my banking or personal information. No thanks. Google Checkout had better not be removed as an option.
  • Tap Tap revenge is a game my kids love on the ipod touch and they love it. Its nice to see some more high profile games coming to Android. Im glad for developers in app purchasing is coming as it does encourage more development in the platform.
  • I expect a lot more "free" games with in-app unlocks or micro transactions.
  • In app purchasing? YAY!! NOT. No thanks. Google checkout works fine for me. I hope they don't remove that option any time soon.
  • Well that sucks.