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Google Now Allowing Android Developers to Implement Trial Subscriptions

by Todd Haselton | October 10, 2012October 10, 2012 12:30 pm PDT


Want to try the hit mobile MMO Order & Chaos without paying a monthly fee? Well, now that’s possible (although we’re not sure if the game will implement the option), thanks to Google’s new tools that allow Android developers to introduce “free trial periods.”

“For any subscription, you can set up a free trial period that lets users try your subscription content before buying it.” Google explained on its official Android developers blog. “The trial period runs for the period of time that you set and then automatically converts to a full subscription managed according to the subscription’s billing interval and price.” So, instead of dropping $1.99 per month for an app that requires a subscription, you may soon be able to try the app for a month first. It kind of reminds us the way that World of Warcraft and other games provide consumers with a free month of play before billing their credit cards.

You’ll need to manually cancel the subscription before you’re billed, however. “When the trial period ends, Google Play automatically initiates billing against the credit card that the user provided during the initial purchase, at the amount set for the full subscription, and continuing at the subscription interval,” Google said. “If necessary, the user can cancel the subscription at any time during the trial period. In this case, Google Play marks the subscription as expired immediately, rather than waiting until the end of the trial period. The user has not paid for the trial period and so is not entitled to continued access after cancellation.”

Trial periods must last a week or longer but developers can change that period on the fly. Any changes will only apply to new customers, however.

[via Ars Technica, Google]

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...