In the light of the escalating battle between Apple and Epic Games, Google has decided to offer more information about the way in which the company will collect its cut from paid apps and in-app purchases.
Developers have the option to integrate Google’s payment system until September 30,2021. The long term allows developers to collect payments directly for close to one year, and it is likely that the deadline will match the release of Android 12. Third-party app stores will also be easier to use in the future Android versions.
Loud and clear
Google has been trying to make Google Play Store policies a lot clearer for developers in recent months, while also offering additional support for developers who wish to share their apps across several platforms. The extended grace period is a great boon for many developers.
Developers will have to use Google’s billing system for paid apps and in-app purchases if the system has already been integrated within the app. It is also mandatory in the case of services that can be acquired within apps. Some exceptions have been mentioned, including payments for physical goods and fintech apps that allow money transfers.
Freedom of choice
The use of a mandatory billing system might seem a bit restrictive, but Google has also underlined the fact that it will continue to support the open nature of the Android API platform, noting that developers can decide how and where to distribute their apps.
It is also worth noting that developers who don’t want access to the Google Play Store will not be forced to use Google’s billing system. A high-ranking Google employee mentioned that while Fortnite was banned from the Play Store for breaching the guidelines, it can be installed from Epic’s website or Samsung’s Galaxy App.
The policy is more relaxed than the one used by Apple, and it might allow Google to skip antitrust allegations.
Willie Hahn, senior editor at The Trending Times, writes about the intersection between money and politics with a focus on lobbying and tech articles. Willie previously at the Android Authority and Vice. Willie can be reached by email.