Google launches subscription trial feature for Play Store

October 9, 2012
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Earlier today, Android Developers sent out a tweet announcing the Google Play store's newest feature: try-and-buy for in-app subscriptions. This follows the in-app subscription feature - which was announced in May - to give developers more control over their apps and how they potentially gain new customers. Try-and-buy will only be available on apps where the developer has elected to offer a free trial period.

How does it work? If a developer elects to add the try-and-buy feature to their subscriptions, they can set up a trial period that lasts as long as they like, such as 30 days. Once this feature is added, users will have access to the subscription for the duration of the free trial. Customers are required to provide billing information and will be "charged" $0.00 when making the purchase. At the end of the trial period, the billing information they provided will automatically be charged and the subscription renewed unless they cancel before the trial runs out.

For developers concerned about users attempting to take advantage of the free trial period by signing up, then immediately cancelling, fear not: the subscription will be "marked as expired" when the subscription is cancelled. The minimum trial period that can be offered is 7-days. Developers can change the trial period's duration whenever they'd like, but it will not be retroactively applied to those who have already bought the try-and-buy subscription.

Read up on in-app subscriptions in general first if you're unfamiliar, then check out the newly-added "Free Trial Period" section on Google's Android developers website for more info. There's no word on whether a trial subscription is available more than once per app, although that's likely not the case, due to how the service would be abused. Also not mentioned is whether simply uninstalling the app will end the subscription, or if users will have to specifically request cancellation, so be sure to read the fine print when signing up for your first trial subscription.

[via Android Police]


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