In an effort to simplify the process of purchasing Android apps, T-Mobile is adding an option to post Android Market purchases to a customer’s monthly bill. Making good on a promise made by CTO Cole Brodman last month, T-Mobile will make it possible to have the costs of a paid app added to a subscriber’s monthly bill rather than use Google Checkout. The new option is available only to users who receive an “invisible” update that is being rolled out to T-Mobile USA customers in stages.
The current version of the Android Market requires that customers provide a credit or debit card to link to a Google Checkout account. While this is a short process for most people, others complain that the required credit card adds a burden to the app purchasing process. At last month’s Open Mobile summit, T-Mobile CTO Cole Brodman suggested that giving customers the option to bill apps to a T-Mobile account rather than through Google Checkout would increase app sales. It looks like we’ll discover the accuracy of that statement soon.
Android owners will still have to use Google Checkout if they wish to purchase apps from European developers. Because apps from these developers are set in Euros or Pounds, the T-Mobile billing option cannot yet convert the cost into US dollars. T-Mobile and Google are reportedly working on a fix for this problem.
To check if your phone has the update, follow these steps:
1. Press Menu > “Settings”
2. Press “Applications”
3. Press “Manage Applications”
4. Scroll to and click the Market application
5. Verify that the Market version is higher than 1660