Android Developers has announced that in-app billing is set to launch on the Android Market next week. It’ll finally allow developers to charge Android users for in-app content. Previously, the only way to “monetise” was to sell an app directly.
In-app billing is already a big deal over on iOS. For example, Zynga’s FarmVille is a free app, but allows users to buy junk within the game. The lack of a similar facility on Android has put some developers off working for Google’s platform. But that’s all about to change.
Apple’s App Store currently pips the Android Market, with 300,000 and 200,000 apps respectively, but in-app billing could very well see a flood of new apps hit the latter.
Scott Kveton, CEO of Urban Airship, who provide tools to app developers, told eMoney: “There’s a boatload of pent-up demand from applications that have been successfully deployed on iOS, but haven’t had the means to monetize yet on Android. There’s a deluge of developers who will go live with it.
“We announced we would be supporting [in-app billing] and we have 300-plus developers who have signed up already. It’s mostly our customers from iOS.”
Amazon also launched its Android Appstore this week, further raising the profile of the Android Market. Can it finally bridge the gap with Apple’s App Store?