Free Trials Come to Android Software with In-App Subscriptions

Users will still have to provide payment information

A new feature is now available for Android users who want to take applications with in-app subscriptions for a spin, namely free trials.

Basically, these trials apply to the subscription, enabling users to take advantage of the service for a limited period of time before they decide whether they what to purchase or not.

Application developers will be able to set the trial period they like, but not for less than seven days, it seems.

“For any subscription, you can set up a free trial period that lets users try your subscription content before buying it,” Google tells developers.

“The trial period runs for the period of time that you set and then automatically converts to a full subscription managed according to the subscription's billing interval and price.”

To be able to enjoy the free trial, users will have to provide all of their credentials through the standard In-app Billing flow, including a valid form of payment.

Even so, no charge will apply for the set free period, which means that Google Play will “record a transaction of $0.00 and the subscription is marked as purchased for the duration of the trial period or until cancellation.”

“When the transaction is complete, Google Play notifies users by email that they have purchased a subscription that includes a free trial period and that the initial charge was $0.00,” Google explains.

However, should the user not cancel the subscription before the trial period ends, Google Play will automatically initiate billing against the provided credit card.

Users will be billed for the amount set for the full subscription, and the charge will continue at the subscription interval. However, owners of Android devices will be able to cancel the subscription at any time they like.

“You can set up a trial period for a subscription in the Developer Console, without needing to modify or update your APK. Just locate and edit the subscription in your product list, set a valid number of days for the trial (must be 7 days or longer), and publish,” Google notes.

Developers will be offered with the possibility to change the trial period at any time, but not for already “purchased” trials. Only new subscribers will be affected.

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