13
Feb
play store

If you're a dedicated gamer who's wary of the ever-present freemium model (or an Android blogger who's tired of reaching for his phone for every app in the roundup), there's good news tonight. A recent adjustment of the Google Play Store website will let you know whether an app features in-app purchases or not. It appears just below the Install button, right next to the drop-down list of compatible devices.

dungeon keeper

This change mirrors the one made to the on-device Play Store back in December. It should help users decide whether or not they want to try out apps or games at a glance.

Unfortunately, both the web and device versions of the Play Store lack a more robust breakdown of how many IAPs are being offered - see the web version of the iTunes store for a good example. That means there's no standardized way to differentiate between an app that's based almost entirely around in-app purchases, like EA's Dungeon Keeper, or one that offers just a one or two premium upgrades or disables ads, like a lot of the smaller Android tools out there. A dedicated section for IAPs and their popularity could fix this.

Even so, it's a much-anticipated addition to the Play Store. IAP indicators should be visible on all apps that use the standard Google Play payment system. Please note, we've only tested this on the US version of the Play Store.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Karl Smith

    Much addition. Such writing.

    • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

      Womp womp. Fixed.

  • Pratik Holla

    They should just call it the "Avoid like the plague indicator"

  • Fry

    Good. I'd rather pay for the app than have IAP any day of the week.

    • https://steamcommunity.com/id/m-p-3 m-p{3}

      Would be nice if there was a count of how many possible IAP there is in these apps.

      • Fry

        Definitely would be nice to see. While they're at it, they could throw in a "app purchased" menu to.

      • PhilNelwyn

        What would be nice is a more robust breakdown of how many IAPs are being offered...

      • Matthew Fry

        This isn't sufficient. The prices of the IAPs are also important. There are a games that give a lot of customization options as single purchase IAPs without being manipulative asshats. Since their IAPs aren't purchases of virtual currency they would show as a large number of IAPs (but the avg price would be 0.99) whereas Dungeon Keeper would show only 6 or whatever (but the avg price would be like 30 bucks).

  • http://jamieellis.co.cc/ Jamie Ellis

    Personally instead of a text indicator I would prefer a icon version as Words clutter (rollover icon image could indicate what the icon mean)

    I agree with @m-p{3} with an in app purchase (IAP) count notification concept. People should be able to click say a icon and display a list of IAPs and costs.

    In Settings All Web Stores should consider an option to turn off all In App Purchases.

    Other icons that could be explored to be added could be icons for Chromecast 'cast' Compatibility, Google Glass, Google Play Games Support, Age/Rating.

    With Version information I also personally use + for "... and up" e.g. "4.0+".

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    That's long overdue, especially since the app had it for a while now, but what I really want is the list of IAPs and prices, just like the appstore. That would be really useful info.

    • Morgan

      Would be nice if there's separate rating for IAP too.
      We need to know which app has acceptable IAP, and which one has horrible IAP to avoid.
      A list of IAP & prices sometimes can't measure how good or bad the IAP used.

    • Guest

      So what you really want is Google to get sued by Apple yet again?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Yeah... that's exactly what I said. ಠ_ಠ

  • anzensepp1987

    Why can't Google do that a little bit similar to iTunes? A listing of the IAP's and also a rating in general and for the last version available at one glance would make sense!

    • Matt Dowdy

      It's probably patented, after all, such an innovation to create a list of items you have to pay for....

  • Matt Dowdy

    I just wish they'd put the update/release date back at the top where it used to be rather than at the end of the description

  • itchyro

    I don't want an indicator. I want a filter!

  • http://dennisbareis.com/ Dennis Bareis

    I'd rather they allowed sorting and searching. Come to think of it the Android phone correctly indicates which apps I've installed but the play web site doesn't, fix that.

    • Sorian

      It does, White checkmark in a green circle for Installed (at one time), Free or price if never installed.

      • http://dennisbareis.com/ Dennis Bareis

        Like thats useful...

  • Mike

    Not helpful, when I need to open the apps page first and I'm not willing to install apps with that "feature" at all. A simple "Free(*)" would be enough to see it while scrolling through apps.

    • Matthew Fry

      To be fair, there are still a few of the ad revenue free game dinosaurs.

  • thermoplastics

    I got tired of wondering if the IAPs in a game were worthwhile so I created a site/service that only lists Android games that have an upfront cost or a single IAP to purchase the full content of the game ad free. http://honestandroidgames.com

    There are no ads on the site and every game is purchased and played to make sure if fits our requirements of an Honest game. Playing the game also gives us a way to find out what kind of multiplayer (most Play Store descriptions do not go in detail about this) whether it's online, local or pass & play and also lets us take our own screen shots so we can upload them to the site uncroppped (a lot on the play store are) as to give a truer sense of what the game looks like on screen.

  • h4rr4r

    Now let us filter them out.
    I never even want to see them.

  • Melissa Brannon

    How do I download google pla
    y store

    • markotamcar

      You don't download google pla
      y store.
      It downloads you.

  • Matthew Fry

    They should add tags like Steam (http://kotaku.com/the-first-day-of-steam-tags-will-make-you-laugh-and-cr-1522262945) so we can treat Dungeon Keeper fairly.

  • Liam Guest

    Been going on for like 2 month now, a little delayed.

  • Eloy Antunez

    I think I wanted more that games should properly show google play games services, as they do in the mobile app version of the play store.

  • Bill Do

    A nice addition although completely pointless.

    You can pretty much assume any game that's free and more than half of the paid games will have iap.

    A list of iaps would be more useful.

  • Guest

    The app version does this as well

  • alwin006

    Google for the love of god GIVE ME PAID APPS AND APPS WITH IN APP PURCHASES IN THE CARIBBEAN

  • Anon

    It's also shown in EU version of the Play Store.