Google is adding a new feature to the Google Play Store which lets users pre-register for soon to be released mobile apps for the Android mobile operating system. In order to pre-register, users need only tap the pre-register icon located on the exact same spot where the install icon usually appears for mobile apps which have already been released.
As reported by Android Police, the first mobile app to make use of the pre-registration feature is Terminator Genisys: Revolution (by Glu Mobile). This movie tie-in game has no release date yet nor any pricing information, but its landing page on Google Play Store already contains details like screenshots, a video, and a brief description.
The good news is that pre-registration for Android users is made absolutely free of charge. Furthermore, users who pre-registered are not obligated to purchase the upcoming mobile app or even download once it goes live on the Google Play Store. And if users want to do undo their pre-registration, they can just cancel it anytime they like.
Obviously, not all app users will be spurred into pre-registration, but it could be handy for certain fans, especially of mobile apps that have timed releases (like the new Terminator mobile app, for example).
In terms of functionality, the pre-registration icon gives Google Play something that helps it differentiate itself from Apple's App Store. Google has always been more open to adapting new features for its Google Play Store, including incorporating a tool that lets developers reply directly to reviews of mobile apps. But having said that, the tech giant also has a reputation for being a bit lenient when it comes to screening new mobile app additions to its store and updates to its existing app offerings. Some even suggest that this is one of the reasons the risk of malware is higher on the Android app environment.
As for developers who put their creations on Google Play Store, the pre-registration feature is one way for them to assure consumers that the apps the developers are creating are actually in the works and will be available soon.
Of course, like any other feature out there, the pre-registration is not perfect. With no accompanying release date or pricing information, other users may not be too keen on pre-registering for a mobile app that they may not be able to purchase after all or wait long enough for. Then there is the issue of compatibility -- users will have no idea if the app will run on their smartphones or tablets. All things considered, the pre-registration feature is still very new, and perhaps Google can continue polishing and fine-tuning it in the weeks to come.
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