One of the biggest gripes Android developers have about the ecosystem has been Android Market — it was slow to add support for paid apps internationally, and it’s taken ages for it to support in-app payments. Today, it’s finally fixing the latter issue: Android Market now supports in-app billing.
The news doesn’t come as a big surprise, as Google pre-announced the feature’s impending launch last week so that developers could prepare for it. But it’s still a big deal. In-app purchases have proven to be very lucrative for developers on Apple’s iOS (which launched in-app payments back in 2009). They’re particularly important for free applications, which often entice new users with a price-tag of ‘free’ and then upsell new levels, upgrades, and customizations.
As with application purchases, Android Market charges a fee of 30% for anything sold via in-app billing, which is the industry standard.
Hopefully this will help developers more effectively monetize their applications on Android Market — historically users have been less willing to pay for apps on Android than they have on Apple’s App Store.
In August 2005, Google acquired Android, a small startup company based in Palo Alto, CA. Android’s co-founders who went to work at Google included Andy Rubin (co-founder of Danger), Rich Miner (co-founder of Wildfire), Nick Sears (once VP at T-Mobile), and Chris White (one of the first engineers at WebTV). At the time, little was known about the functions of Android other than they made software for mobile phones. This began rumors that Google was planning to enter...