For AT&T customers, the myAT&T app serves as a mobile portal into their cellular accounts, a place to view usage, curse, and make payments (though not necessarily in that order). Version 3.0 has rolled out a new UI, and while it does look better than the previous version, it's still just a mobile web page with an app wrapped around it. Slideout menus are pretty and convenient though (perhaps even pretty convenient), so the app gets points for having one.
Two weeks ago, Google announced a series of expansions to carrier billing options for Play Store Apps, Movies, Books, and Music on various carriers. While some changes went into effect immediately, Sprint, which already allowed direct billing for apps, was one carrier that was listed as "coming soon."
As of today, all three additional options are available to Sprint customers: books, music, and movies. Not surprisingly, carrier billing is the default option since it's by far the cheapest to carriers and Google as they get to bypass credit card fees.
Well, seems like Google wasn't lying when they said they would continue to work on providing carrier billing as a payment option in the Android Market, announcing the addition of the feature to Sprint handsets, alongside T-Mobile and AT&T. With three out of four major US carriers down, will carrier billing be coming to Verizon any time soon?
The feature has long been the request of many customers across all carriers, particularly internationally.
"Great news, everyone!" Last week, Google launched the new in-app billing capability of the Android Market into private beta testing, promising a public release this week, if all went well. Apparently, all did go well, as the company today opened this most-exciting feature to everyone. To be fair, iOS users have been enjoying in-app billing in the App Store since 2009, so Google's move is quite a bit late (don't make me bring up the whole copy-paste thing to balance the argument!).
February 2nd was an exciting day for Android fans - we were given an in-depth preview of Honeycomb, laid our eyes on some stunning 3D tablet games, and were even treated to a much-anticipated online version of the Android Market. But 2/2/2011 was also the fateful day that spelled "doom" for lite / demo versions of Android apps, as Google unveiled their new in-app billing system.
Today, Google made another announcement regarding in-app purchases: the feature will launch publicly next week.
That's right, carrier billing is now available for some Android users on the least Android-friendly wireless carrier in the US. Huzzah. I guess I shouldn't be so cynical - I am an AT&T customer, after all. Unfortunately, I also run CyanogenMod 6 on my AT&T Nexus One, and have not yet received any Market update to allow me to use carrier billing, and doubt I will until an official Gingerbread build coaxes me off my custom ROM goodness.
Well, Verizon is up to their old tricks again. Last time they did something worthy of a head-scratch was just a short time ago, when they forced Bing onto the Fascinate and abandoned the built-in Google bits and pieces for search.
Now they've decided that, in addition to Google Maps, Google Search, and Google Voice Search not being necessary, the Android MARKET is insufficient. Introducing the Vcast App Store!
In a short post on the Android developers blog, Googler Tim Bray let word out that the Android Market’s Developer Distribution Agreement had been updated in a significant way:
As a developer myself, one issue with the Android market has always been the payment methods…or rather, the lack thereof. Aside from Google Checkout and carrier billing for some companies within the US, there really aren’t a whole lot of options to consider, especially when dealing with the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement.
Well, as with all things in the world of technology, a company seems to have found a bit of a loophole in regards to carrier billing for developers, or more specifically, integrating it into their applications and games.