Developers are understandably upset about the new requirement that they provide a publicly visible address for paid apps in Google Play, but another interesting (and much more positive) tidbit has surfaced in relation to that change. The developer of the GoneMAD Music Player contacted Google to ask about the new policy. In addition to confirming address requirement, Google support says the Play Store will also start listing in-app purchase price ranges. Yes—a million times yes.

Here's the full text posted by the developer on Reddit (relevant part bolded).

Thanks for contacting Google Play Developer Support.

As of September 30, 2014, we are implementing a number of new changes to how apps are listed and displayed on Google Play, in accordance with consumer protection laws and current best-practices, ensuring a more transparent and positive experience for users. They include:

  • We are requiring developers to provide a physical address for all paid apps or apps that enable in-app purchases. The address will be displayed to users in the app store listing page. By September 30, 2014, you'll be able to add a physical address by going to your Settings page on the Developer Console ([1]). Please comply within 30 days of the warning notification on the developer console. If you do not provide an address within this period, Google may take action affecting your account. This may include restricting your ability to update apps or publish new apps. Continued failure to provide an address may result in published apps being removed from the store.

  • We will display the price ranges for apps that offer in-app purchases and/or subscriptions on the app's store listing page.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions and I'll be happy to help.

If you want background on the address requirement, check out our earlier post. As for this price range listing, it's really the silver lining. Apple has listed the price of popular in-app purchases in iTunes for a while now, and it's really useful information to have (see below). It's not entirely clear how Google will list the IAP prices, but something is better than nothing ("price ranges" is pretty vague). And just to be clear, this is all based on a posting from a respected developer, not Google itself. It might technically count as hearsay, but it's really good hearsay.

2014-09-19 00_03_58-Star Wars_ Commander on the App Store on iTunes

Google Play currently only shows you whether or not an app has IAPs, but there's no way to tell if that means a single full version upgrade, or a two-tiered currency system designed to bleed you dry. Knowing what the developer is selling and how much it costs will help you decide if it's worth your time.

Google says this change is being made in order to comply with "consumer protection laws," but it's not clear to which laws Google is referring. Maybe it's just overcompensating in an effort to prevent more legal action in Europe. Whatever the reason, more in-app purchase transparency is a very good thing. The addresses, maybe not so much. Both changes are expected by September 30th, if the email is to be believed.

[Reddit – Thanks, Matthias]