Many of us have been caught out by subscriptions that they forgot about after the free trial or just did not know about the payments required after the free trial. Google are looking to change that with a new update to Play Store policy that will start in June.
Google have published their new Play Store policy today and there are two big changes in it regarding subscriptions and location access.
The new policy states that apps want to use your location while in the background will have to first get approval from Google along with of course the user. The new policy might be published now but new apps have until August to comply and existing apps until November.
The other major change is to the way subscriptions are handled in the Play Store. The idea behind the change is to make subscriptions more transparent to the user so that they understand the terms of the subscription, free trials or any other offers.
The new policy states that a user should know if the subscription is required to use all or part of the app and if a subscription isn’t required to use the app it should be easily dismissed. The price of the subscription and the billing cycle should also be made clear to the user.
Users will now also be emailed before the end of a free trial or introductory price ends and also before any long term renewals (3,6 or 12-months) are coming up. If you uninstall the app you will also receive an email stating that uninstalling the app does not cancel a subscription.
Google hope that these changes will lead to higher quality and more committed subscribers with lower refund and chargeback rates — a developer with a decent product should not complain about having to be transparent with users.
This change will definitely help many users not get ripped off with so many apps turning to subscription models to allow for a sustainable, consistent income.