Google to roll out way to buy Android app subscriptions outside the app itself

Users can choose to buy app subscriptions directly from its Play Store listing page, even if they do not have the app installed.

Google has now confirmed that it is testing a new model which will allow consumers to purchase subscriptions outside of the app.

The company confirmed to Tech Crunch that a select set of developers are testing the new feature that allows consumers to purchase an app’s subscription outside of the app itself.

According to the report, instead of having to click through in-app pop-ups and read the fine prints inside an app, users can now choose to buy app subscriptions directly from its Play Store listing page, even if they do not have the app installed.

As per the report, the functionality is being made available through the Android Billing Library version 3, which Google recently introduced.

Google Play Store. Image: tech2

Google Play Store. Image: tech2

The library allows users to redeem free trials before the app is installed and also allows them to resubscribe to subscriptions they used to pay for from the Google Play subscriptions centre.

Google had earlier announced the change in a blog post.

"Billing Library version 3 unlocks the ability for users to discover and purchase items outside of your app, such as across the Play store. One example is the new frictionless subscription promo code redemption experience. Now when you offer promo codes for subscription-free trials, users can easily redeem them in the Play Store – even if your app isn’t installed yet. It’s a simple redeem–subscribe–install experience that reduces the effort required for users to get going," the blogpost reads.

According to the Tech Crunch report, users will see an additional ‘Free trial & install’ button besides ‘Install’ in the app listing page. When they click on it, they will easily be able to purchase the subscription.

According to The Verge, the move appears to be part of Google's effort to support digital subscription services.

It adds that in April, Google said it would start to make rules more stringent around in-app subscriptions to make it easier to cancel them and to force developers to be more transparent around billing cycles.

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