Google Android Market Getting Carrier Billing Options

Google's Android Market is getting payment options for wireless carriers, the company said July 23. This will allow consumers to buy applications from the Android Market and charge them to their wireless bills.

Google's Android team indicated it is preparing to allow consumers to purchase applications from the Android Market and charge them to their wireless phone bills, a major convenience that bridges the gap between the application store and phone service providers.

Android developer evangelist Tim Bray wrote in a brief blog post July 23 that Google has updated the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA) to prepare "for some work we're doing on introducing new payment options, which we think developers will like."

Specifically, "authorized carriers" have been added as an indemnified party in section 13.1.

T-Mobile, which offered the first Android phone nearly two years ago, already processes payments for Android apps on users' monthly bills. This means users don't have to whip out their credit cards to pay for the apps before they can download them.

Bray wasn't specific about what additional carriers will support this payment plan.

However, Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint all provide several high-end Android smartphones, so it makes sense that all providers be on board to help users procure the 70,000-plus applications in the Android Market as efficiently as possible.

These new terms apply straight away to anyone joining the Android Market as a new publisher. Existing publishers have been notified of this change via e-mail and have up to 30 days to accept the new terms.

Jonathan Rosenberg, Google's senior vice president of product management, alluded to new billing and payment options in the company's second-quarter earnings call July 15.