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Google Play may reportedly introduce app trials, letting you try before buying

If the latest report from The Information proves correct, Google is actively considering and experimenting with an app trial system, which would allow you to try out a demo of a premium app before buying.
October 8, 2014

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Ever wish you could simply try a premium app before making the full commitment to buy? If a new report from The Information proves correct, that’s exactly what Google is considering implementing in the not-too-distant future.

The Information claims that consumers wouldn’t have to download the apps in full for these trials “something that could save people time and data-usage on their mobile phone plans as well as lead to more downloads, according to a person involved in the discussions about the technology.” Further the report suggests that these app previews could be useful in emerging markets where folks have less money to spend on app downloads.

consumers wouldn’t have to download the apps in full for these trials

So how exactly would these apps work and would it be something Google requires from all premium app developers? Both of these points are a bit unclear, though the report suggests the app trials would only give access to specific features. To a degree, this idea already somewhat exists with some apps offering a basic version and a “premium” upgrade addition.

Of course this is Google, so we wouldn’t be too surprised if they gave their own twist to the familiar concept of apps previews and game demos. For example, a company called already offers HTML5 demo versions of native iOS and Android apps on the web, and so perhaps Google is considering something similar. They could also stream the demos so they wouldn’t have to be fully downloaded similar to Playstation streaming, OnLive and other streaming services. Of course, that might not work so great in emerging markets where Internet Connections are often relatively poor.

Regardless of how they implement it, we could see this being a welcome change for consumers and could result in more folks buying premium apps in the long run. What do you think of the idea of app trials and previews as part of the Google Play experience? How do you think Google would handle such a scenario: HTML5 mini-previews, full app downloads with reduced capabilities, or something else entirely?