Minecraft has gone through many a change and revision since its original 2011 launch, and the next big step for the mobile version will be the release of cross-platform Minecraft: Realms. Originally announced in 2013, Minecraft: Realms is technically a paid hosting service that allows players to run their own private, persistent Minecraft worlds and let other players join in only on an invitation basis. It's a great way to experience Minecraft with friends, which is why Mojang recently announced that Minecraft: Realms will also be released for Minecraft: Pocket Edition as well as Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition. And while no exact launch dates have been confirmed so far, Minecraft enthusiasts and Android users alike can now sign up and test Realms in its Alpha development stages.
In a nutshell, Minecraft: Realms is just an addition to Minecraft: Pocket Edition, which is already available for download through the Google Play Store. Once it will be released, Minecraft: Realms will allow players to join the same server, cross-platform, regardless if they play the game on Android, iOS, PC, or the Xbox One. Pocket Edition players on Android can now sign up for Alpha testing Minecraft: Realms and provide feedback regarding possible bugs, features and so on, helping with the title's development before its public release. Minecraft enthusiasts who may want to join the Alpha can do so through the Google Play Store (source link below), but they will be required to have an Xbox Live account in order to log into the game. The account will be required throughout the Alpha but once Minecraft: Realms goes live, it will only be required for online play and will not be needed for playing Pocket Edition in single player.
On platforms where Minecraft: Realms is already available, the service costs €7.19/£5.99/$13 a month and allows owners to invite up to 200 players to a private, persistent server; however only 10 people can play on each Realm at a time. Although Mojang has confirmed that Minecraft: Realms will be a paid service on the Pocket Edition too, no other details regarding pricing have been revealed. However, it's likely that the service's price will remain unchanged regardless of which platform it's being used on.