Google to Android devs: Support more form factors, get a higher sales cut

A collage of Google icons.
Enlarge / Google: “Simply have a look at all these kind components!”

There are 3 billion energetic Android gadgets in circulation now, and which means builders are desirous to help Android. The overwhelming majority of these gadgets are telephones, so for app builders not significantly within the wider Android ecosystem, which means pump out a telephone app and also you’re executed. A vibrant ecosystem of non-phone Android hardware can also be on the market, although—Put on OS, Android tablets, Android Auto, Android TV, and Google Forged. Google would really like extra builders to help these gadgets, and its new scheme for this has an actual shot at working because it depends on the common language: cash.

Google’s grasp plan known as the “Play Media Experience Program,” and it provides a compelling proposition to builders: help extra Android kind components, and Google will take a decrease minimize of your Play Retailer gross sales. Media apps specializing in video, audio, or books now have particular help targets they will hit that can end in Google chopping Play Retailer charges to 15 p.c. Google’s regular Play Retailer minimize is 30 p.c, however it solely prices 15 p.c on the primary $1 million in income. So this can be a play aimed particularly at multimillion-dollar media apps.

Google lays out the next necessities for numerous app sorts:

  • Video – high-quality video content material for the lounge; requires integrations with Android TV, Google TV, and Google Forged
  • Audio – subscription music and audio companies that work in every single place; requires integrations with Put on OS, Android Auto, Android TV, and Google Forged
  • Books – compelling studying expertise on bigger screens; optimized expertise on tablets, foldables, and integration with the brand new Leisure Area

Be aware that builders are “required” to help the additional kind components with the intention to get the decrease price. The Media Experience Program page lists extra eligibility necessities, like: “Over 100,000 month-to-month energetic installs on Google Play” and “a robust Google Play score.” Builders fascinated with this system might want to fill out a form with the intention to be thought-about.

Charging much less cash is unquestionably talking a developer’s language, so we won’t think about this would possibly not end in some elevated form-factor help. It is only a disgrace this system is so restricted. Solely multimillion-dollar apps get a shot at eligibility, and solely media apps, and solely apps charging actual cash versus being ad-supported. It could be nice if Google might entice different builders to make pill apps and help different kind components via extra incentives, however this can be a good begin.

Google has a variety of work to do right here, too. Google Chat does not help tablets, Put on OS, Android Auto, and even panorama mode on telephones. YouTube Music does not work on watches and has no pill UI. The brand new Google Pay app is phone-only, and Google Stadia’s Android TV app took 18 months to reach. Perhaps Google ought to speak to its personal builders about supporting extra kind components, too. It is actually paying them.