Google reveals one change coming to Android 12

Google reveals one change coming to Android 12
UPDATE: The first Android 12 beta is official. Read all we know so far about the Android 12 release date and new features.


We've been asked this question multiple times. If both Apple and Google take a 30% cut of in-app purchases, why is Apple and the App Store considered a monopoly while Google and the Play Store are not? It comes down to this: Apple does not allow iOS users to install apps from third-party stores. Thus, the infamous walled garden forces iPhone users to install apps from the App Store even if it means paying more for an app. Google allows Android users to sideload apps from third party app stores such as the Amazon appstore or Samsung's Galaxy App Store thus giving Android users the opportunity to install an app from another store rather than the Google Play Store.

Thanks to the Epic v. Apple suit, the question about whether Apple is a monopoly because it demands that developers use its In-App Payment system (and only this system) to list its app in the App Store is highly relevant. Epic Games wanted to give iOS users who downloaded Fortnite from the App Store the opportunity to subscribe to the game at a cheaper price directly from Epic. Apple emphatically said "No!" and removed the popular game from its iOS App storefront.

According to The Verge, Google says that it will respond to feedback from developers with next year's Android 12. The 2021 release, Google announced, will "make it even easier for people to use other app stores on their devices while being careful not to compromise the safety measures Android has in place." However, Google is going to continue to demand that developers selling digital items in their apps use the Google Play billing system. Just to make this clear, it is changing the language of its payment policy. Any app not using the Google Play system for in-app payments must add it by September 30th, 2021.

Pointing out its differences with the App Store, Google notes that even with Epic Games' Fortnite kicked out of the Play Store for supporting alternative payment methods, the game can be downloaded on an Android device via a third-party store. Google states that, "even if a developer and Google do not agree on business terms the developer can still distribute on the Android platform."

Certainly Android 12 will bring plenty of new features which we will probably hear about next May during Google I/O 2021. But for now, Google promises to make the use of third-party app stores easier with Android 12.
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