Google announces crackdown on in-app payments targeting Netflix and Spotify

Google announces crackdown on in-app payments targeting Netflix and Spotify

How is the latest smartphone app Developer treatment In Apple’s and Google’s app stores, Google now This is a great time to announce stricter app store payment rules. Official new post Android Developer Blog It promises a crackdown on in-app billing that sounds like it’s targeting big streaming services like Netflix and Spotify.

Google’s post is far better than trying to get this announcement to come, but “we Always needed Developers who use Google Play’s payment system when they distribute apps on Play to provide in-app purchases of digital goods and pay service fees at a certain percentage of the purchase. “But this rule has not been enforced. Large enterprise developers have ignored Google’s payment requirements. Today, Netflix and Spotify do not use Google’s in-app payments and instead launch new accounts with a web browser. In a web browser, the company pays PayPal. Or use Google’s 30-percent fee for direct credit card processing.

“We clarified our language. Payment policy Google continues to make it clearer that all developers selling digital goods in their apps must use Google Play’s payment system. Google will continue to say “one year (until September 30, 2021) to unfairly stop the roadmap and complete the necessary updates for users who already have apps on Google Play that require technical work to integrate their payment systems. Provides.”

That’s basically the heart of your blog post. Everyone will have to use Google Billing by this time next year. If you look at’Payment Policy’, you’ll find examples like’Subscription Services’ that offer things like’Music’ and’Video’. It also warns readers at the top, “There are changes to this policy!” And “Existing apps that are currently using an alternative payment system should be removed to comply with this update.”

Google clearly distinguishes between Android and iOS by pointing out that on Android, developers have a’store choice’ and most Android devices come with multiple app stores. Google mentions twice that “each store can decide its own business model and consumer capabilities,” which means that developers need to start following things to get involved in Google Play, which has 2 billion active users. Look at the rules or elsewhere.

Better third-party app store support on Android 12?

Another useful piece of information in this post is the news about Android 12 features. “We’ll be making changes to Android 12 (next year’s Android release) to make it easier for people to use other app stores on their devices, while taking care not to compromise. This is Android’s safety measure. We’re designing all of this right now, and more in the future. We look forward to sharing information.”

Currently, installing a second app store requires a few extra checkboxes, but leaving Google’s walled garden really exposes users to more threats, so the two warning messages don’t seem excessive. Google Posted regularly This is a statistic that compares the rate of malware on devices dedicated to Google Play and devices that have installed apps outside the Play Store. Google Play Never perfect, Google is one of the few app store operators that can put any app through some sort of screening process, and as a result, users are 5-10 times more likely to receive malware outside the Play Store than inside the Play Store. . Last 2 years.

Currently, the app store installation process is not that difficult. If you download something like F-Droid (Open Source App Store), first of all, Chrome will warn you that these types of files (APKs) can harm your device, you can click on it. If you haven’t installed the app from your browser before, you can go to your device settings and uncheck the’Allow install from source’ checkbox in Chrome. Then you can install the app store. Android requires you to place the’Install unknown apps’ checkbox for all apps that install apps, so you need to flip this setting to allow apps to be installed from the new app store.

Android 11's alternative app store installation process.
Enlarge / Android 11’s alternative app store installation process.

Ron Amadeo

This move to make it easier to use third-party app stores FortniteEpic, the developer of Current sue Google for alternative app store policies. Epic’s antitrust lawsuit says, “To download Fortnite directly to your Android device, you may have to go through 12 steps that require users to change their preferences and click bravely through multiple horrific warnings.” “Even if permanent users install competing app stores, Google prevents them from competing equally with the Google Play store by blocking them from providing basic features like auto-update apps in the background.”

Like any lawsuit, Epic’s filing is a bit messy. According to my calculations, installing a third-party app store requires 5 taps, not “12 steps”. The pre-installed app store (located on a locked system partition) can install app updates, but Epic is unable to automatically update apps by user-downloaded app stores. Letting downloaded apps install new code in the background without user consent sounds a bit scary, but Google can make companies like Epic happy by adding high-privilege “app store” permissions for downloaded apps. Epic also doesn’t like attaching “scary warnings” to these permissions, and says that they need some pretty scary warnings to tell users exactly how powerful the app store permissions are. Epic has already been caught using these forces irresponsibly. fortnight The installer opens the Samsung device Security vulnerability.

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About the Author: Nathaniel Marrow

Explorer. Entrepreneur. Devoted coffee enthusiast. Avid bacon geek. Lifelong internet nerd.

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