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Android in-app purchases launching next week

Google begins testing period for microtransaction system

A post on the Android developers blog has revealed that a long-awaited in-app billing system is launching on the platform next week, with a developer testing period already underway.

Android Ecosystem representative Eric Chu's post explains that apps using the microtransaction service can be uploaded for assessment, but won't be released to end-users until some point next week.

"In preparation for the launch, we are opening up Android Market for upload and end-to-end testing of your apps that use In-app Billing," wrote Chu.

"You can now upload your apps to the Developer Console, create a catalog of in-app products, and set prices for them. You can then set up accounts to test in-app purchases. During these test transactions, the In-app Billing service interacts with your app exactly as it will for actual users and live transactions.

"Note that although you can upload apps during this test development phase, you won't be able to actually publish the apps to users until the full launch of the service next week."

The service was initially announced in January, and should open new opportunities for app monetisation in a market currently largely led by ad-supported titles.

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