Google Play Pass: the pros and cons
Google unveiled the subscription-based service Google Play Pass for the company's Android operating system on September 23, 2019.
Google Play Pass gives subscribers access to "more than 350 apps and games"Â that are "free of ads, in-app purchases and upfront payments" according to Google. The company promises that new apps and games will get added to the service on a monthly basis.
Google launched Play Pass alongside a promotional offer thatÂ reduces the subscription fee to $1.99 in the first 12 months instead of the regular price of $4.99 per month; the offer expires on October 10, 2019. The service requires Android version 4.4 and above, and is only available to Android users from the United States at this point.
Subscribers may install any of the included apps and games, and use them on their devices. Additionally, Play Pass subscribers may share the subscription with up to five family members.
Games include Titan Quest, Space Marshals, LIMBO, Thimbleweed Park, Stardew Valley, Star Wars: KOTOR, and This is the Police.
Apps include Moon+ Reader Pro, Dictionary.com Premium, Photo Studio Pro, EnPass Password Manager, and AccuWeather.
What are the pros and cons of subscribing to Google Play Pass?
Here is why you may want to subscribe to Google Play Pass:
- You get access to over 350 commercial apps and games that don't include ads or in-game purchases.
- You may share the games and apps with up to five family members.
Here is why you may not want to (or can't) subscribe to Google Play Pass:
- Google Play Pass is only available in the United States.
- The selection of apps and games is okay at best; only a few games and apps stand out and you may be better off buying these outright.
- Apps and games are not exclusive, and many have been in sales in the past.
- It is unclear how many new apps and games will be added to the service, and if apps or games may also be removed.
- You pay the subscription even if you don't use Play Pass at all or only for some of the games and apps).
- If you unsubscribe, you lose access to all games and apps.
Price and selection plays an important role. If you hurry, you could subscribe in the first year for a little less than $24 in total. The price increases to a little less than $60 per year once the promotional offer expires.
Is it worth it?
Google Play Pass may be worth it if you would have paid more in total for applications, games, and in-app purchases than the subscription price. It needs to be noted that access is lost when you unsubscribe and that you need to factor that in as well.
Some users might use the same strategy that they use for media subscription services such as Netflix. Instead of paying for an entire year, they subscribe for a month or two to watch the shows and movies that they are interested in.
The strategy should work well for the games that are offered but may not be that successful for apps as you may want to use them throughout the entire year and not for just a month or two.
All in all, I'd say that most Android users may be better off buying apps and games outright especially since usage is not time limited.
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