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Google Play simplifies redeeming Android app subscriptions, adds vanity codes, more

Google is still in the process of detailing everything new in Android 11 over the coming weeks. Some features are not directly tied to the upcoming OS version, with the Google Play Store seeing a number of updates to subscriptions in Android apps.

Building off last year’s introduction of one-time promotion codes for subscriptions, Google Play now supports custom vanity codes that can be redeemed multiple times. They are especially useful during marketing campaigns, ads, and other social promos.

Meanwhile, there’s a new frictionless redemption flow that “greatly simplifies the user experience by reducing the friction users go through to use your code.”

After entering, users will be prompted to purchase the subscription and install the app. It builds on Google wanting to make it easy to “discover and purchase items” outside of apps, like directly on Play Store listings.

To help retention, developers will be able to remind subscribers of membership benefits — up to four — before they cancel from the Play Store. Another tweak lets apps lower the price of subscriptions without requiring users to opt-in for the better deal.

For returning members, the Play Store recently added the ability to resubscribe (within 12 months) to recently expired memberships from the Subscriptions list.

Lastly, Google is requiring apps to support account holds — “the state the user enters after a renewal fails due to a payment issue” — and restores to “resume auto-renewals after [users] have canceled the subscription but before the subscription expires.” The app store is also encouraging support for subscription pauses (up to three months) and re-subscriptions. These changes will be implemented on November 1.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: