Firecracker to the moon
Looks like along with the cosmetic and visual changes in the Play Store, Google has added the ability for Android users to pay using their billing plan with the mobile carrier.
This means that in addition to the debit and credit cards, users of the Play Store will be able to add their purchases to their post-paid account with the operator. The feature can be found if you have installed the leaked apk of the Google Play Store, which updates the app and content storefront for the popular OS to version 4.0.25.
However, it must be noted that selecting operator billing as a payment option returns an error currently. This could be explained by the fact that the update hasn’t rolled out officially to many handsets yet.
The operator billing option in the checkout dialog
Early Symbian users would recall a similar payment option for games and apps on the Nokia store, but this functionality for Android would further increase the sales of apps on the Play Store, thanks to the ease in which one can potentially get paid apps. It would also give Android a leg up over iOS in terms of payment options for apps on their respective stores. iOS users in India do not have the option of carrier billing when it comes to app purchases.
We reached out to Google asking when we can possibly see the official update and the proper implementation of the operator billing feature, however the company’s spokesperson declined to comment on the subject.
The new Play Store was announced by Google last week and it can be downloaded as an apk from several websites, including this thread over at XDA. The update brings a much cleaner look to the Play Store. The new design is pretty image heavy, but is easier on the eyes thanks to ample use of white space in the design. It looks like the home page now no longer contains featured apps but shows off movies and books. As you scroll down the landing page, new recommendations will keep populating on the screen
It also brings faster download and installation of apps, as well as a smoother checkout process for paid content. Similar themed content has now been strung together so it becomes easier for you to discover new apps, movies and books on the Store.
Revamped Google Play Store to bring operator billing support for India
I think this is a great move, especially for a country like India