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Arek Nawo
28 Sep 2020
3 min read

Google Play is now not better than Apple App Store

Following Fortnite ban from both the App Store and Play Store and all the legal struggles, there’s a hot debate right now in the developer and tech community about whether’s Apple’s 30% cut of all App Store apps purchases is right.

In this case, there are as many different opinions as there are people arguing, but that was primarily regarding Apple and the iOS ecosystem. Google managed to stay relatively quiet in this hot storm, but this was for a reason.

Unlike iOS, Android is a much more “open” platform, where there’s much more customization, options, variety, and the whole openness going on. This also applies to the app side of things, where users can side-load apps with relative ease, and Google Play fees are much more flexible… or are they?

And this is where we get to the news. Previously, Google allowed developers to use any payment system they wanted for their apps, with the only exception being games where, arguably, the highest profits were made. But now, or rather very soon, this is going to change.

Effective January 20, 2021, Google Play Developer Program Policy will require developers to use Google’s payment system for all apps (except for those selling physical goods, physical services & stuff alike).

Developer Program Policy Preview: Payments - Play Console Help
To view the current Payments policy, visit this page.Effective January 20, 2021 Developers charging for apps and downloads from Google Play must use Google Play’s

Now, that’s a pretty big deal. Google’s payment system takes the same cut as Apple’s - whether you think it’s whopping or perfectly reasonable - 30%. And the rules starting late January will be pretty much the same as they are on the App Store.

Google will no longer get to be the good guy, and funnily enough - they’re announcing this right now, during the whole Fortnite drama - how ironic.

Whatever you think of this (leave your thoughts in the comments below), it’s surely a big deal. With such change, it’ll be interesting to watch how things play out in the long term. Right now, iOS reigns supreme as the “more profitable” platform, where users are willing to spend more $$$, which is an argument many have in favor of the 30% cut. However, on Android - the “open one” - convincing all developers to the 30% cut, with far fewer users willing to spend their hard-earned money, how will Google handle the potential backlash?

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to tell you. Now, feel free to leave your comments on the matter below. I’m not usually blogging about such stuff, but I thought it’s really important to get it out there.

Either way, if you’re into development, programming, and all things web, then be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or through my newsletter. Thanks for reading!

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