Android Finally Gets In-App Billing
In a move that could be very good news for developers focused on Android, Google has finally unveiled in-app billing for developers and users. In a blog post, Eric Chu from the Android Developer Ecosystem reports that Android users will now be able to make purchases of many kinds directly within their applications. This move makes Android much more competitive with Apple's iOS platform, and will bring economic incentives to developers that weren't there before.
"Today, we're pleased to announce the launch of Android Market In-app Billing to developers and users. As an Android developer, you will now be able to publish apps that use In-app Billing and your users can make purchases from within your apps. In-app Billing gives you more ways to monetize your apps with try-and-buy, virtual goods, upgrades, and other billing models. If you aren’t yet familiar with In-app Billing, we encourage you to learn more about it. Several apps launching today are already using the service, including Tap Tap Revenge by Disney Mobile; Comics by ComiXology; Gun Bros, Deer Hunter Challenge HD, and WSOP3 by Glu Mobile; and Dungeon Defenders: FW Deluxe by Trendy Entertainment."
Google has also supplied many resources for developers interested in in-app billing:
"To try In-app Billing in your apps, start with the detailed documentation and complete sample app provided, which show how to implement the service in your app, set up in-app product lists in Android Market, and test your implementation. Also, it’s absolutely essential that you review the security guidelines to make sure your billing implementation is secure."
This functionality should have arrived for Android earlier than this. The fact that it hasn't is yet more proof of what a young smartphone platfrom Android really is. Let's not forget that in early 2009, everyone was still wondering if Android had any future at all. It was also in 2009 that Apple unveiled in-app billing for its iOS platform. With its latest move, Google is leveling the playing field for developers and users.