Google Updates In-app Billing API to Version 3, Brings Faster Purchasing, Less Lost Transactions


Google has released version 3 of their in-app billing API which allows users to make purchases from within the app. While some developers abuse in-app billing, in-app purchases are crucial to legit developers trying to make an honest profit from their apps, and version 3 of the in-app purchasing API makes it easier for developers to implement.

The update also brings a new design for easier app writing and maintenance, local caching for faster API calls. Google also boasts that there is less code, which is always a plus for developers. Most of these changes will be unnoticeable to end-users, but the whole process for end-users should be a lot smoother.


The main points of interest from the Android Developers Blog are:

  • Requires Google Play client version 3.9.16 or higher
  • Provides a new Android Interface Definition Language (AIDL) file named IInAPPBillingService.aidl
  • Subscriptions are not yet supported in this version of the API

The features of the new AIDL are:

  • Provides a new API to get details of in-app items published for the app including price, type, title and description
  • The purchase flow is synchronous and purchase information is available immediately after it completes
  • Purchase information of in-app purchases is maintained within the Google Play system till the purchase is consumed
  • An API to consume a purchase of an in-app item. All purchases of one time in-app items are consumable and thereafter can be purchased again
  • An API to get current purchases of the user immediately. This list will not contain any consumed purchases

The main thing end-users should be concerned with, from this update, is that Google promises a "more robust architecture resulting in fewer lost transactions." If you're a developer, how much do you think these new features will simplify things for you?


Source: Android Developers Blog