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. In addition, developers can now upload apps utilizing the service to the Android Market Developer Console, though said applications won't be published until next week. In the meantime, devs can create catalogs of in-app products, set prices for them, and even set up accounts to test them.

As a reminder, in-app billing enables users to purchase and download additional features (for example, a new song track in Tap Tap Revenge) within an app. Theoretically, at least, that means that instead of separate free and paid versions of programs, there could be just one edition from which users could purchase new capabilities - therefore ending the demo app crisis once and for all.

P.S. For some nerdy humor, check out the date of the post to which "Back in January" is linked - Google fail.

Source: Android Developers Blog