updated 03:45 pm EDT, Wed May 2, 2012
Play users can now charge more items to carrier bill
Users of Google's Play Android app store will now have even more options to charge items bought on the store directly to their wireless bills instead of a credit card. The company announced the change today on the Google+ feed for Google Play.
Users have been able to use carrier billing for app purchases, however starting this week the option will include music, movie, and book purchases. The new billing option will be restricted to certain carriers, although Google appears to have partnered with multiple large carriers internationally in order to bring the option to as many users as possible. In the United States, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile customers will have the direct billing option.
The change is indicative of a larger push by Google to solidify and improve the standing of its Play app store, which has seen increased competition from Amazon's app store, even as Amazon's Kindle Fire runs on a forked version of Google's Android OS. A recent study estimated that Google Play makes less than a quarter of the revenue that Apple's App Store does. Google continues to add capabilities to the Play store, recently opening up a Google Play Devices section where it now sells unlocked Galaxy Nexus handsets directly to customers.