Reuters' business division: reports are coming in that Google is telling major Android Market/Google Play developers to adopt Google Wallet for in-app purchases, or be removed from Android's official app distribution platform. Major developer Papaya Mobile told Reuters that Google sent them an email in August that they had to switch from their current payment system or be booted off the Android Market. Google declined to comment on the story.
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in-app payments system looks set to arrive in May 2011, extrapolating from existing payments provider - and Google acquisition - Jambool's exit from the segment. According to a Jambool email sent to its users, "the existing Jambool Social Gold product will be discontinued in favor of a new Google in-app payment product in May 2011." Unfortunately, the official Google service won't be quite up to the same standard as Jambool's system, at least initially. The new version "will enable developers to accept payments within an app, but it will not have the full functionality of Social Gold at launch" the company admits. The suggestion is that Google will officially launch in-app payments at Google I/O 2011, to be held on May 10 and 11.
Hello, Thank you for your use of the Jambool Social Gold platform. As you know, Jambool was acquired by Google last August. This acquisition meant that some changes to our business were inevitable, and we’d like to share them with you today. First, the existing Jambool Social Gold product will be discontinued in favor of a new Google in-app payment product in May 2011. Rest assured that you will be able to sign in to the Jambool merchant console through September 2011, and you will receive year-end financial statements in February 2012. Second, we’d like to invite you to participate in the pre-release beta of the Google in-app payment system. This system will enable developers to accept payments within an app, but it will not have the full functionality of Social Gold at launch. We understand that this will not meet the needs of all developers currently using Social Gold, but we highly encourage interested developers to join the Google in-app payments beta by submitting your information at http://google.com/checkout/inapp. Again, we thank you for your flexibility during this transition period. Please feel free to respond to this email with any questions about your Jambool account or the new Google in-app payment product. Sincerely, The Jambool Team[via TechCrunch]
Angry Birds developer Rovio has announced a new in-app payment system that will debut on Android, charging upgrades - such as to remove the adverts in the free title, or to buy the upcoming "Mighty Eagle" update - directly to a user's cellphone bill rather than demanding credit card details. "Bad Piggy Bank" will also be made available to other Android app developers, according to Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka, potentially filling a gap for in-app payments on the Android platform. The roll-out will begin with Finnish carrier Elisa, before a global roll-out in 2011; it requires carrier agreements so as to process the payments on a user's cellphone account. Meanwhile Vestabacka also revealed that Angry Birds has seen a total of 50m downloads to-date, a fifth of which have been on Android. [via TechCrunch]
PayPal has announced the availability of a new Android SDK. This release is aimed at developers and PayPal notes that it will be able to offer "everything a developer needs to accept both PayPal and credit card payments." On the flip side though, while the release of the SDK is for developers, it should also serve to improve the payment process for a user looking to pay through PayPal. While there isn't any timeline as to when this will show up in apps, the SDK will be available beginning on May 15th.
Google+ isn't the only one getting new tricks today. Google has just rolled out some new goodies for the Play Store that should help our friendly developers make even more cash money. Google Added in-app billing last year but today we now have in-app subscriptions. As of today developers can offer in-app payments for monthly or annual subscriptions to games, magazines and more.
PocketGamer reports that Gameloft will be placing in-app purchases in every game it releases for the remainder of the year, on every platform, for both smartphones and tablets. The company made the announcement during its financial report, adding that all its upcoming games will also have social elements.
Android Market, with Android platform manager Eric Chu telling developers that the company had several strategies for driving app buyers in 2011. Speaking at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco this week, Forbes reports, Chu confirmed that carrier billing would be extended beyond just AT&T, so as to remove the payment obstacle for more users, while in-app payments would also come sometime this quarter. Actual discovery of apps is also being streamlined, with Chu saying that Google is tweaking the Android Market search algorithm as well as investing in more people to weed through any titles that violate the ToS. There'll also be a new push for HTML5 apps, and better social integration with the Android address book which Chu described as "the best social graph."