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Google may offer a subscription service for Android apps

Play Pass might offer 'hundreds of dollars' of titles for a monthly fee.
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Chris Velazco/Engadget

Many people aren't that fond of paying for mobile apps, but Google might have a simple solution: bundle it all in a subscription. XDA and Kieron Quinn have discovered both code references and a Google Opinion Rewards survey hinting at a "Play Pass" app subscription service. According to the survey, it might offer "hundreds of dollars" worth of apps and games for an unspecified monthly rate. There's no indication if or when Play Pass would go live, so don't count on giving it a spin just yet.

This isn't the first Android app subscription service, but it could be the most influential. Studies suggest that Google Play doesn't generate as much revenue per download as Apple's App Store. This could close that gap by persuading some Android users to pay a relatively affordable recurring fee instead of buying apps one at a time. There are some lingering questions, though. How would Google choose which apps make the cut? Would this constitute favoritism? And would the company risk squeezing out alternative subscriptions by offering its own? It might have to address some of those questions before Play Pass is ready for prime time.

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