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Google is launching a way to buy Android app subscriptions outside of the app itself



Google is launching a way to buy Android app subscriptions outside of the app itself

Alongside the Android 11 beta information and updates to Android developer instruments, Google has quietly rolled out a big change in how Android app builders can market their subscriptions on the Google Play Store. The firm confirmed a choose set of builders are testing a brand new characteristic that permits customers to buy an app’s subscription exterior of the app itself. That is, as a substitute of getting to click on by in-app pop-ups and skim the tremendous print inside an app, customers can select to purchase an app’s subscription instantly from its Play Store itemizing web page — even when they don’t but have the app put in.

Google vaguely introduced the change in a weblog put up, however didn’t supply concrete particulars as to how this characteristic labored, as a substitute describing it solely as approach for customers “to find and buy objects exterior your app.”

The performance is being made out there by the Android Billing Library model 3, which Google lately launched. The new library can energy a subscription promo code redemption expertise, the place customers can redeem free trials earlier than the app is put in. And it permits customers to resubscribe to subscriptions they used to pay for from the Google Play subscriptions heart.

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But probably the most notable a part of the replace is the way it permits builders to promote subscriptions instantly on their app’s particulars web page. Now, subsequent to the app’s “Install” button, customers will be capable of as a substitute select to click on a separate button to buy the app’s subscription and even its free trial.

In an instance, the robocall-blocking app Truecaller reveals a button subsequent to “Install” which reads, as a substitute, “Free trial & Install.” Beneath this, a window gives all the main points concerning the app’s subscription, together with the free trial size, the associated fee when the trial ends, and what the subscription gives, by way of characteristic set.

This extra clear advertising and marketing possibility advantages customers and builders alike.

Today, too many customers are nonetheless being duped by tough subscriptions that don’t play by app retailer tips. The downside isn’t distinctive to Android apps, sadly. A report from safety agency Sophos discovered that greater than 3.5 million iOS customers have put in fleeceware apps from Apple’s App Store, for instance.

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Google, for its half, launched a brand new set of Play Store insurance policies in April with the aim of guaranteeing that customers are capable of perceive the phrases of the subscription supply, the free trial interval, and the way they’ll cancel the subscription, if desired. The up to date coverage bans issues like hidden phrases, unclear billing frequencies, and hidden pricing.

This new characteristic providing a separate button only for subscriptions may give customers one other approach to study concerning the app’s pricing and have set earlier than making a dedication to obtain the app.

This, in flip, may assist scale back consumer churn — as fewer customers would drop out of the app as soon as they notice the options they wanted had been solely supplied as a paid possibility. It may additionally assist builders appeal to extra helpful paid subscribers by permitting potential customers a straightforward approach to evaluate their subscription pricing with opponents, whereas moreover decreasing consumer requests for refunds.

For now, Android customers can solely buy subscriptions exterior the app from a restricted set of builders who’ve been testing the characteristic, Google says.

The firm tells us it should broaden this characteristic to incorporate different digital items sooner or later.

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This newest change isn’t the one approach Google is making an attempt to extend transparency round subscriptions.

In a video shared with builders, the corporate famous it’s made enhancements to its checkout cart on Google Play so as to add additional distinctions between trial durations and common pricing. Google additionally now sends out e mail reminders to alert customers when free trials are ending and it now pops up a notification when an app is uninstalled to remind customers they might additionally wish to cancel the app’s subscription.

Google can also be altering the choice that lets a buyer pause a subscription. Starting on November 1, 2020, this may default to “on,” and different options like Account Hold and Restore will probably be required for app subscription-based apps. Plus, builders will be capable of pop-up an inventory of causes to maintain a subscription when a consumer hits the cancel button.

“We imagine that in rising consumer belief round subscriptions, you’ll profit from a rise higher-quality subscribers and decrease refund and chargeback charges,” says Google Play Commerce product supervisor, Mrinalini Loew, within the video.


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