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Google planning to display in-app purchase amounts in the Play Store
It looks like Google is set to make some major changes to the Play Store this month. Earlier today Google released an announcement for developers warning them that as from September 30 they will need to provide a physical address which will be displayed on an app’s details page, for all users on Google Play to see. This opens the door to all kinds of privacy issues and even abuse, since independent developers could be forced to publish their home addresses. As part of a response to a user who emailed Google about this change, the reply from Google Play Developer Support also stated that Google will implement another change: as of September 30 the price ranges for all in-app purchases and/or subscriptions will be shown on an app’s listing page.
While Google’s first change is clearly ludicrous and badly thought out, the second change is brilliant. I can’t remember the number of times I decided not to download a free app because it offered in-app purchases, but I had no way to know the depth or breadth of those purchases. Normally you would need to download the app, and then search for the in-app purchases section, and then look at the prices and the value of those purchases.
Google’s proposed changes would mean that pertinent information about the in-app purchases would be available before downloading the app. Apple implemented the same thing in iTunes and it is long overdue for the Play Store. Depending on how Google display this information it could either be a simple range (which is what the reply from Developer Support implies) stating the cheapest in-app purchase and the most expensive. Or if Google follow Apple’s scheme then in-app purchases will be listed individually, probably in increasing order of price.
This just goes to show that a giant like Google is quite capable of making a really bad decision and a really good decision, all on the same day.
What do you think? Are you looking forward to more information about in-app purchases in the Play Store? Please share your thoughts below in the comments section.