Google might have an app subscription service

Science

26 Oct 2018

Is Google working on a paid app subscription service?

Google Play Store offers a massive selection of free apps but also charges a certain price for select games and apps.

The one-time price provides full access, but only to the app being purchased. For other paid apps, one has to pay again.

However, Google could introduce a paid app subscription service, called 'Play Pass', to change that.

Here are more details.

Evidence #1

'Play Pass' signs spotted in Play Store code

'Play Pass' signs spotted in Play Store code

Google has not announced any service, but the team at XDA Developers has seen signs related to it.

Back in June, a developer, recognized by them, spotted an in-development feature called 'Play Pass' during Play Store app's teardown.

Tweaking the feature didn't reveal anything new, but decompiling the code suggested it was related to some sort of subscription.

Evidence #2

Google's survey on subscription service

As the feature couldn't be activated, there was no way to explain Play Pass or its benefits.

However, just recently, a Google survey user was asked to suggest if the name "Pass" suits an imaginary app store "subscription that offers hundreds of dollars worth of paid apps and games for a monthly fee."

This indicated Play Store could also get a similar subscription service.

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Interestingly, Google had also hinted Android's name via survey

Notably, this isn't the first case of a feature being hinted via Google survey. Back in 2016, Google asked users to suggest tasty foods with the letter 'N'. One of the options there was Nougat, which later became the official title for Android 7.0.

Availability

However, there's no saying when or if it will launch

However, there's no saying when or if it will launch

The idea of a subscription service providing access to paid apps in return for a periodic fee sounds pretty interesting.

But, as we said, the feature has not been confirmed by Google, which means there's no saying when or even if it will hit the Play Store.

Features seen in the teardown are unimplemented and can be pulled anytime by Google.

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