Google Follows Apple; Launches Its Own Subscription-Based App Service For Android
Apple held its biggest hardware event a couple of weeks ago and one of the biggest revelations was its Netflix-like game subscription service called Apple Arcade. Apple Arcade wasn’t only an industry-first, it the next logical step for a company seemingly relied too much on iPhones.
Google, who it would seem don’t want to be outdone, recently announced a similar service where users can subscribe to a service that offers up to 350 apps for a single monthly fee of $4.99 and what is even better, there is a limited-time introductory fee that is as low as $1.99.
The search giant is calling it “Google Play Pass” and users using devices running the Android operating system who subscribe to the service will enjoy a large catalog of apps without annoying ads or in-app purchases.
Google’s iteration of the service might share similarities with Apple Arcade but they are different in some areas like not featuring games exclusively — Google is offering both apps and games through its service– and featuring an enticing introductory fee for the first year.
When it arrives, the service will include everything already available on the Play Store and previously installed apps that are included in the service will automatically see ads and support for in-app purchases removed as soon as you signed up.
To woo even more subscribers, Google said big Android games like Monument Valley, Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic and Stardew Valley will be available at launch tagged along by apps like AccuWeather as well as lesser-known games like LIMBO, Lichtspeer, Mini Metro, Old Man’s Journey.
The company said it is going to create a new Play Pass tab on the Play Store to make it easy to find games available for the service but you will still be able to search for them manual across the app platform. Apps included in the service will display a small identifiable “ticket” making them easy to distinguish.
Google also shared details about how the subscription is handled and one account can be shared among five users with each their own dedicated library allowing each user to access Play Pass individually.
Also, Google mentioned how the relationship between the platform and developers will work stating that as long as they use standard APIs for ads and in-app purchases, the apps they create should be compatible with Google Play Pass.
However, getting included in the service is currently “invite-only” for developers but Google mentioned putting up a web form where developers interested in being part of the platform can “express interest in participating.”
Google Play Pass is expected to hit Android devices this week with global expansion expected to follow later. Fresh sign-ups get a 10-day free trial while the limited-time introductory fee of $1.99 kicks in when the trail ends.