How Google will change Google Play subscriptions

Most applications for mobile platforms today operate on a subscription model. The developers realized that it is much more profitable to receive money on an ongoing basis than to earn only on a one-time sale of software. But if some developers conscientiously prescribed all the conditions for issuing a subscription, others – and there were quite a few of them – decided to hide important information in the hope of carelessness of users who will not notice the catch and will regularly pay for a subscription, even if in fact they do not need it.

How Google will change Google Play subscriptions

The developers deceived users for a very long time, but soon there will be no such opportunity

Google plans to change Google Play's policies for subscription apps. The new requirements will take effect in August 2020. From this point on, developers will be obliged to clearly prescribe the conditions for granting access to their applications, regardless of their type, price and other factors. After all, if earlier the developers could leave only information about the validity period of the trial period on the subscription screen, without disclosing the cost of the subscription, now this will not work.

Google Play subscriptions

How Google will change Google Play subscriptions

Left – how it should be, right – how it shouldn't be

According to the new rules, all the conditions for granting access to the application should be stated on the subscription screen without implicit or ambiguous wording and without small print. In addition to the trial period, which is provided free of charge, the developer must indicate the cost of the subscription, the frequency of write-off (week, month or year), a mention of the possibility to stop the subscription at any time, as well as the privileges that the subscription gives. All these points are obligatory for publication, and in their absence, the application will be considered a violator and subject to removal from Google Play.

In fact, changes in Google's policy regarding subscription applications have been asking for a long time, since unscrupulous developers often took advantage of users' carelessness and, in fact, slipped them completely unfavorable terms without the opportunity to familiarize themselves with them and refuse during the trial subscription period. Yes, Google Play has a special section with relevant information, but practice shows that most users not only cannot find access there, but have not even heard of it.

How to unsubscribe from Android

  • Launch Google Play on your smartphone;
  • Open the side menu with a swipe from the left edge;

How Google will change Google Play subscriptions

Cancel unnecessary Google Play subscriptions

  • Go to the 'Subscriptions' section;
  • Find the subscriptions you want to cancel and cancel them.

How developers cheat

How Google will change Google Play subscriptions

A strict subscription policy will keep many users from being tricked by developers

Providing objective information about the subscription will avoid situations when users subscribe to applications with functionality that is available by default in the firmware of most smartphones. After all, there are a lot of cases when calculators, QR code scanners, calendars and other primitive software appeared on Google Play, access to which was provided by subscription. But since the developers hid the cost of the subscription from users, they could not notice for months that money was being debited from their bank cards for maintaining applications, which are usually distributed completely free of charge.

In my opinion, this is the most elegant solution to the problem. After all, Google has no right to force developers to set specific prices for their applications, as this prevents the development of competition. However, by obliging the creators of the software to prescribe detailed conditions for granting access by subscription, the search giant gives users the opportunity to independently assess whether they need such a subscription or not. It would be nice if Android had notifications about the need to cancel auto-renewal when deleting an application like iOS.

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