By: Nick Gambino

Google may start offering a subscription service to its Google Play Store, allowing users to access hundreds of paid apps and games for one monthly payment.

Now, before you reach for your wallet, realize this is an unsubstantiated rumor, but there are some signs that indicate Google is most likely thinking about it as an option to paying outright for each individual app.

XDA Developers has done the legwork on it and has provided some interesting dots that need only be connected. They spotted an APK Teardown by developer Kieron Quinn that made mention of “Play Pass.” An APK Teardown, in the simplest terms possible, is where an Android app is decompiled, or reverse engineered, in order to see lines of code that might tell us what features are planned for the future. It’s hardly a crystal ball but it sometimes proves out.

In pulling the string further to see if something might unravel, Quinn saw further mention of “subscription.” That was it in the APK Teardown. There wasn’t much there to illuminate what this might all be in reference to.

Then a couple of days ago, Quinn received a screenshot of a Google Opinion Rewards survey someone took. In that survey it asked the person taking it to imagine an app store (not necessarily Google Play) that “has a subscription that offers hundreds of dollars worth of paid apps and games for a monthly fee.” It then asked what the user thought of the word “Pass” to describe the service. Bingo.

These two data seem to indicate that Google is considering and possibly working on a subscription service for Google Play. This would be unheard of in any app store but is in line with the current subscription model being used everywhere and for nearly everything.

Google Play has struggled to catch up to Apple’s resident App Store and the amount of money people spend in it. This move might create a steady stream of payment from users to Google Play and encourage users to engage with new apps, bringing more attention to deep-corner apps in the store.

Then again, this whole thing might be a stretch, and if it’s not, Google may never even go through with execution. Time will tell.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.