Google starts its crackdown on Android in-app purchases in 2021
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Android 12 will make it easier to use third-party stores, however.
Google will better enforce rules requiring that apps and games on the Play Store use its in-app purchase system.

Android 12 will make it easier to use third-party app stores, however.

This comes just as Apple and Google are taking heat for removing Fortnite over in-app rules.

Google has a reputation for looser app policies than Apple, but that might change to some degree with an impending crackdown. The company is warning developers that it will more strictly enforce its in-app purchase policies for the Play Store in 2021, even as it promises better third-party store support in Android 12.

The internet giant has provided added "clarity" on in-app purchases in the Play Store, noting that they have to use Google's billing system (and thus provide a cut of the revenue) for digital goods like game add-ons. The policy takes effect January 20, 2021, but Google is giving developers until September 30, 2021 to make changes to avoid "unduly disrupt[ing]" plans.

App makers who bristle at the new approach won't be out of luck, however. Google said it would change Android 12 to make it "even easier" to use third-party app stores without affecting security. The company promised more details at an indefinite point in the future.

Related: The best third-party…
Jon Fingas
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