Source: Android Central
What you need to know
- Google will begin enforcing Google Play Billing on all in-app purchases starting September 2021.
- It will also make Android 12 a bit friendlier to third-party alternative app stores like the Epic Games Store.
- Google points out that it regularly promotes competitors' software and that it supports apps like Xbox Game Pass in contrast to Apple.
Google has confirmed a story first broke by Bloomberg last week saying that by September 2021, all app developers and publishers selling digital goods through the Play Store will be required to use Google's own billing system.
The company says this does not the vast majority of existing developers, 97% of which don't sell digital goods. Of the 3% that do sell digital goods through their apps, 97% are already in compliance. Google is giving that small number of developers an additional year grace period to get those apps in line with the company's newly-clarified Play Store billing guidelines.
In response to that feedback, we will be making changes in Android 12 (next year's Android release) to make it even easier for people to use other app stores on their devices while being careful not to compromise the safety measures Android has in place. We are designing all this now and look forward to sharing more in the future!
While it's not clear what those changes will look like, right now alternative app stores are subject to additional security checks and pop-up notifications that may turn off some less experienced Android users. This was one of the core tenets of Epic's argument against Google
In its blog post, Google also made passing jabs at Apple, claiming that Google often promotes its competitors' apps in the Play Store, and that services like Xbox Game Pass are not only allowed but encouraged in the Play Store, a stark contrast to Apple's App Store.
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