Mar 29, 2011
[Update: In-app billing now live on the Android Market! Android Developers Blog]
Over on the Android Developers blog, it was announced that in-app billing would be coming some time this week.
In-app billing will enable developers to do micro-transactions, subscriptions or app upgrades right through their app. In an example given on the Android Developers blog, you can see several virtual items for a “dungeon” game that the player can purchase to use in game. The possibilities are virtually endless and allow app developers numerous ways to increase their revenue stream beyond the initial app purchase.
The move to implement in-app billing is important for Android to remain competitive as the feature has been available to iOS developers for quite some time. With this new source of revenue, app developers will have more incentive to publish their apps on the Android Market.
One potential benefit of this news for consumers is the slight possibility that they may start to see more free apps become available on the Android Market. At the very least, this news could lead to a significant price drop in the apps currently available, especially since, according to a story on Mashable, mobile analytics company Flurry found that in-app purchases are generating 8 times more revenue than mobile advertisements. Obviously, this makes the incentive quite high for developers to create apps for Android, and that’s good news for all of us who want to see more apps come to the platform.
For the developers interested in taking advantage of in-app billing, the Android Developers blog post links to several articles, such as, how to set up product lists, testing in-app purchases and some security guidelines to make sure your billing implementation is secure.
During the test development phase, developers will be able to upload and test their in-app billing implementations before the service goes live. After that, developers will be allowed to publish their apps on the Android Market and begin reaping the rewards.
Source: Android Developers Blog