Rolling out slowly over the next several days, the purpose of Play Pass is all but given away by its branding. The service provides Android users with a wealth of apps and games for one low monthly cost.
Google and its app partners say the purpose of the service is to help users discover new experiences on Android that they might not otherwise. Google’s making it even more accessible until October 10. Users who sign up between now and then will get a promotional cost of just $1.99 per month for the first year.
Google Play Pass not quite Netflix for mobile games, but it’s close
Because Google first hinted at the launch of Play Pass earlier this month, the launch effectively confirms a lot of the details that were already known. But it also provides a bit more detail regarding exactly what will be available with a subscription.
To begin with, Play Pass comes with access to over 350 pieces of Android software. That includes both standard apps and mobile games. The apps are “unlocked,” meaning that there won’t be any in-app-purchases to deal with, no advertisements, and no paying to unlock features. Specifically, Google says apps from Stardew Valley to AccuWeather are included to start.
The media shared alongside the launch shows an interface that’s similar to the rest of the Google Play Store. It will occupy its own tab and comes complete with recommendations, top apps, and new titles.
For now, the provided media also shows games such as Terraria, Monument Valley, Risk, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and LIMBO. All told, that alone is a set of games valued at over $23. Apps for content creators are showcased too, in addition to plenty of apps specifically aimed at younger users. So there should be something there for just about everyone, right from the start.
Google has partnered with tons of developers here but it is an invite-only program on that side of the equation. Despite that, the search giant says that new content will be added on a monthly basis.
Rolling out now for a relatively low cost
The sheer number of high-quality titles available from launch makes Play Pass a high-value offering. To truly take advantage of Google Play Pass, users won’t necessarily need to download a lot of titles or play games all the time either.
Ordinarily, the service is going to cost $4.99 per month, although it does come with a 10-day free trial.
Stacking on even more value, the subscription is compatible with Google Play Family Sharing. That means up to five family members can access all of the apps and games on their own account. That will work the same way as other sharing services where user accounts with Play Pass will remain individualized. Apps can be downloaded and used on Android phones, tablets, Chromebooks, and elsewhere Android apps are accessible.
For the launch, Play Pass is rolling out to users in the U.S. It will come “soon” to users in other countries, but Google doesn’t reveal a set timeframe. The company does say the service will be available for any Android device running Android 4.4 KitKat or newer.
The service can be found under the three-dot menu at the top-right-hand side of the Play Store UI. After signing up, users will see a new tab in the bottom bar navigation UI labeled Play Pass and featuring a Google Play-themed ticket icon.