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Google Play introduces promo codes for apps, games and in-app purchases

Developers are now able to add promo codes for free apps and games in the Google Play Store to make the purchase price or in-app content free of charge.

Published onJanuary 15, 2016

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Developers are now able to add promo codes to make their paid apps and games free in the Google Play Store. The promo codes can also be used for in-app purchases (but not for subscription content). This change in Google’s attitude to making paid apps free, finally adds a feature to Google Play that our frenemies over on iOS have enjoyed for a long time.

Until now, the Amazon App Store was the main place you’d go to get paid apps for free, using the service’s free app of the day (which has now been consumed by Amazon Underground). Some apps in Google Play offered a similar thing – temporary discounts on other Android apps or games, but now developers can make their own apps and in-app content free to users.

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If you’re a developer, just look for the new promo code option in the developer console. There’s more information on what you can and can’t do here. If you’re a user, Google makes it pretty clear: “When a user enters the promo code in the Play Store or in their app, the user gets the item, just as if they paid full price for it.”

There doesn’t seem to be any restrictions or catches placed on users using codes, only on how many developers can actually make (up to 500 per quarter). Considering the ease with which promo codes can be added to games and apps, the only thing to do now is start keeping an eye out for them (to get you started, check this Reddit thread). We’re pretty sure someone will create an app to alert you to them in short order.

Have you spotted any promo code apps yet? Share them in the comments below.

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