Google pressures Android developers to use Google Wallet payment service

“Google Inc has been pressuring applications and mobile game developers to use its costlier in-house payment service, Google Wallet, as the Internet search giant tries to emulate the financial success of Apple Inc’s iOS platform,” Alistair Barr reports for Reuters.

“Google warned several developers in recent months that if they continued to use other payment methods – such as PayPal, Zong and Boku – their apps would be removed from Android Market, now known as Google Play, according to developers, executives and investors in mobile gaming and payment sectors,” Barr reports. “Android Market, or Google Play as it is now known, is the company’s answer to Apple’s apps store, where consumers browse and buy or download everything from games and music to individual software or applications. Google wants Google Wallet to be the dominant way that people pay for anything on this platform.”

Barr reports, “In one email sent to a developer in late August, Google said the developer had 30 days to comply, otherwise the developer’s apps would be ‘suspended’ from Android Market.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: “Open.”

Google loves to characterize Android as ‘open’ and iOS and iPhone as ‘closed.’ We find this a bit disingenuous and clouding the real difference between our two approaches… “In reality, we think the “open” vs. “closed” argument is just a smokescreen to try and hide the real issue which is: What’s best for the customer? Fragmented versus integrated… When selling to users who want their devices to just work, we believe integrated will trump fragmented every time… So we are very committed to the integrated approach, no matter how many times Google tries to characterize it as “closed,” and we are confident that it’ll triumph over Google’s fragmented approach, no matter how many times Google tries to characterize it as “open.”Apple CEO Steve Jobs, October 18, 2010


    1. Google Wallet? Nothing to worry about.

      We here at Google have all your info and all the info that exists about you. We’re not Evil – Heck, No!

      Now we want to make life easier for you by taking control of all your finances.

      We know far better than you do what to spend your money on and how much to spend – less for you to have to think about – in fact we want to make it so you don’t have to think at all!

      Remember, we’re not evil – Heck, No!

      Oh, something new, soon we’ll be starting Google Loans, which you will definitely need after Google Wallet kicks in.

      Remember, we’re not evil – Heck, No!

      1. Pay no attention to our recent acquisition of Motorola as evidence of how responsibly we spend our money. They’re two entirely different things…because.

      1. That old Google mantra was ripped to shreads and died the death last year. I watched Eric-The-Mole LIE to the US Congress last summer. That slammed the coffin lid on this ridiculous joke of a manifesto. Now I can only laugh at it. 😛

  1. Are iOS developers required to use iTunes as their payment gateway within iOS applications? I mean, if I wanted to signup for Netflix, do I have to actually leave the netflix app on my own and go to their website and signup, or can I sign up for netflix right inside the App?

    If I build an App for iOS, can I charge the customer for a service (such as removing ads) or for a product and use my own merchant, or am I required to use the iTunes payment method?

    I am just curious because so many developers use iTunes billing (and with netflix you have to signup outside the app). If I must use iTunes billing, does that make Apple the same as Google?

    Not taking sides, I am really just curious as to what everyone thinks.

    1. @Ben, you are correct, Apple DOES require using their billing system.

      The difference is Apple doesn’t crow about how “open” they are, and how anyone who isn’t “open” is evil.

      Remember, these are the deep thinkers who got up on stage and said they created Android so “one man, one device” wouldn’t control mobile computing.

      You know, because they are the champions of “open.”

      The problem isn’t the requirement. The problem is the hypocrisy.

      1. “Open” was always a tradeoff for your personal information. What Google is doing is forcing a payment conduit that gives them access to what you buy, information that will be packaged with the rest of the information they have about you – gleaned from Google’s other services – and sold to advertisers. Apple does not do this.

        If Google subsidized the full value of the shartphones running Android, this might *almost* be justifiable. You pay for your phone with your information. In a world where the iPhone does not do this and costs the same as the 200 other Android shartphones that do, it is the height of hypocrisy.

    2. Apple has asked developers not to create LINKS to alternate stores/sites/gateways WITHIN their iOS apps.

      You are more than welcome to have other options going on — just don’t advertise them within the iOS app.

      If you use Apples standard API’s to CREATE proper in-app purchase options, then all that stuff is taken care of for you!

      It doesn’t matter if “Apple’s payment system” is “more expensive” than PayPal or anything else you use for your own options on alternative sites and marketplaces — because it is all part of Apple’s 30%, regardless.

      Apple takes care of all of it — hosting, accessing, downloading, payment, etc. It doesn’t charge payment processing on top of their 30%. You get your full 70%!

      Sounds like Google is making a hybrid approach — not prohibiting links to other outlets, or maybe not requiring 30% fee on all in-app purchases, but perhaps you do have to program/administer the payment processing somehow, while be now required to use Google’s payment processor.

      It’s not clear. In typical Google fashion, it seems a bit messy.

      By contrast Apple keeps it simple — it tells the developer he gets full service for his 30% (providing he doesn’t send customers to other marketplaces within the iOS app); and it tells the consumer that all he needs is one friendly and secure account with iTunes.

      1. I have heard so many people crow about Apple’s 30%, and I keep pointing out the “full service”. Never mind the fact that apple gives you a direct avenue to customers (so no paying for Google AdWords clicks). I didn’t think about the payment system in that Full Service approach. I like it.

  2. Let’s get real here:

    1) Android is NOT ‘open’. Google RULE it and do NOT ALLOW Android to be actually ‘open’ at all. Google only allow out code of which they personally approve. If they don’t like it, you can’t have it. That is NOT ‘open source’. Screw Google for lying.

    2) Google Wallet was HACKED LAST MONTH! Anyone with enough patience and physical access to an Android device can hack into Google Wallet and access the whole damned thing. Why would any Android device provider want this POS software on their phones? So their customers can rant at them all day about their identities being stolen? I think not. Screw Google for shoving BAD TECH down developer’s throats!

    3) ‘Open’ in Android’s case = INSECURE. Any app at any of the many Android app stores could be the one that PWNs your Android device. There is zero pre-analysis of any Android app before it is posted. Therefore, you MUST have anti-malware running on your Android device. How sickeningly Windows! AND we learned just this week that:

    2 in 3 Android anti-malware scanners not up to the job

    I’ll take one walled garden please! I don’t like rats.

  3. At last every platform is seeing the wisdom of Apple’s approach towards business. In the beginning everybody bellyaches against Apple’s approach in its business dealings.

    The upstart, greenhorn Google which was trying to be the savior of worldwide consumer movement against the capitalist businessmen began its mantra of “do no evil” in its holy war against the “wall garden”, “controlled” and “evil” nature of Apple’s approach. It wants everybody to have “choice”, “freedom” and to pay nothing for anything. Google, the communist state would guarantee that everybody would be “equal” and happy in its utopian world. Google would provides every essential goodies for “free” on the provision that they surrender their heart and soul to the Google’s “knowledge” octopus.

    Just as the communist states like the Russian Confederate and China found out that it would not be sustainable in the long run to be welfare states, Google is finding out the naked truth about its flawed policy and is now trying to ape the Apple way.

    Google, how evil art thou leading the masses into the garden path and now realizing your error?

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