Countdown to mandatory move to Google Billing 5
Google Play Billing Library 5 is the latest version of Google’s in-app billing and subscriptions library. It was released in March 2023, and it includes a number of new features and improvements.
One of the most significant changes in Google Play Billing Library 5 is the introduction of subscriptions. Subscriptions allow users to purchase access to your app or service on a recurring basis. This is the gold standard to generate recurring revenue from your app.
Play Billing Library 5 subscription architecture
From this version of the Billing Library onwards, single subscriptions can now have multiple base plans, and base plans can have multiple offers. In this new architecture:
- Subscriptions refer to a set of benefits that users can access during a period of time (what you sell). For example, a “Gold tier”
- Base plans refer to a specific configuration of billing period, renewal type and price (how you sell). For example, “annual with auto-renew”, “prepaid monthly”
- Offers refer to discounts available to eligible users of your app (any modifications to the base price). For example, “20% for monthly to annual upgrade”, “free 14-day trial for new users”
Previously, every unique combination of benefits, billing period and discount or offer, required its own subscription.
Another new feature in Google Play Billing Library 5 is the ability to offer prepaid plans. Prepaid plans are subscriptions that do not automatically renew. Instead, users must proactively extend their subscription before it expires. This can be a good option for apps that are targeting markets with limitations on auto-renewing subscriptions, such as India.
Other Google Play Billing Library 5 improvements
- Improved support for multiple currencies
- Improved error handling
- Improved performance
If you’re developing an app that uses in-app billing or subscriptions, you must upgrade to Google Play Billing Library 5 by October 2023. It includes a number of new features and improvements that can help you improve your app’s monetisation.
Google Play Billing Library 4 deprecation timeline
As a rule, Google supports every version of their Play Billing Library for (at least) 2 years after it releases. This means that:
- Play Billing Library 4 can no longer be used in newly launched apps from August of 2023
- Play Billing Library 4 can no longer be used in updates to existing apps from November of 2023
The timeline to switch over is fast approaching andGoogle has recommended that developers try and remain on the newest version of Play Billing Library at all times. That not every developer takes that advice to heart is clear when reviewing the Google Play Billing Library adoption by version in the Google Play SDK index:
How to Upgrade to Google Play Billing Library 5
Well, make it simple and offload all this work to Glassfy and let us seamlessly bring you over to Google Billing 5.
Please upgrade your Glassfy SDK (Capacitor 3.2.0, Flutter 1.5.0, React Native 1.5.0 or Android SDK 1.5.0) and you will have support to Google Billing 5. No changes are required to your app: just install the new SDK.
In the coming weeks we will release another update of the SDK that further improve Billing 5 feature with BasePlan and offer support: stay tuned!
In short, to upgrade to Google Play Billing Library 5, you’ll need to update your app’s dependencies. You can do this by editing your app’s build.gradle file and updating the version of the Google Play Billing Library dependency.
Once you’ve updated your dependencies, you’ll need to rebuild your app. After your app has been rebuilt, you can test it to make sure that it’s working properly.
Follow Googles guide here if you are going down that route.
Conclusion and how Glassfy makes it easy
Google Play Billing Library 5 is a major upgrade that includes a number of new features and improvements. If you’re developing an app that uses in-app billing or subscriptions, you must upgrade to Google Play Billing Library 5.
If you would rather not have to deal with the complexities and overhead of moving to Google Billing 5, you can offload that to Glassfy - signup here.