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Google today announced a few new features for developers building apps for the Google Play Store. For one thing, Google will be providing a new option for subscription pricing for apps that are available through its Android app store.

Ultimately, the change will let end users take advantage of limited-time discounted prices when they sign up for subscriptions.

“For example, you can offer a subscription for $1 per month for the first three months before the normal subscription price kicks in,” Larissa Fontaine, global head of apps business development at Google Play, wrote in a blog post. “Along with local/custom pricing and free trials already offered, introductory pricing will help you acquire more subscribers and grow your subscription business.” Fontaine said the option is “coming soon” and did not provide a more specific date for the launch.

The Google Play Store is obviously a big deal for Google; it has more than 1 billion active users. So with so many apps for so many users, it does make sense for Google to give developers lots of choices for customization and monetization. The move comes a few months after Apple said it would introduce automatically renewing subscriptions in the iOS App Store. Google has offered auto-renewing subscriptions through the Play Store since 2012.


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One of Google’s more interesting recent methods of driving attention to apps is the option for people to pre-register for an upcoming app and then receive a notification when it’s available. That’s the route Google took with Allo, its smart messaging app. Google has also worked with Supercell and King to let users pre-register for Clash Royale and Candy Crush Jelly Saga, respectively. The system has led to more than 30 million app installs, Fontaine wrote. Google isn’t necessarily going to let every developer create a pre-registration program for any app, but that could end up happening. “The program is limited at this time,” Fontaine wrote.

Also today, Google said it’s beginning a beta of a new voidedPurchases application programming interface (API) that developers can use to “identify users who have requested refunds so they can better manage their economies,” Fontaine wrote.


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