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Google is testing a $5/month subscription service called Play Pass that’s like a Netflix for apps

Published Aug 1st, 2019 6:50AM EDT
Google Play Pass
Image: YouTube

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Apple unveiled its Arcade gaming subscription service back in March, but it will not be available to buyers until later this fall. Apple hasn’t revealed the pricing for Arcade, but it did say that Arcade games will contain no ads or in-app purchases. The games will work online and offline, and they’ll be developed specifically for the service.

Google, meanwhile, launched its Stadia game streaming service that lets you play some of the hottest PC games on any device, as long as you own them, with Google’s servers handling the heavy workloads. Stadia isn’t quite the Arcade competitor you might have expected, but Google has an alternative for Arcade as well, called Play Pass. And Play Pass isn’t only about mobile gaming.

Google has started testing the Play Pass monthly subscription service, which was in development for quite a while now. AndroidPolice obtained screenshots of the new service, which reveals the pricing structure for Play Pass.

Image source: AndroidPolice

For $4.99 a month, you get access to “hundreds of unlocked apps” that feature no ads or in-app purchases. Well, the in-app purchases are unlocked, so you don’t have to spend extra on games.

Image source: AndroidPolice

While the name suggests it’s a gaming subscription, Play Pass will offer access to plenty of premium Android apps. That means we’re looking at a Netflix for app sort of service that’s not targeting only gamers. Here’s what an info page reads:

Explore a curated catalog spanning puzzle games to premium music apps and everything in between. From action hits to puzzles and fitness trackers, with Google Play Pass, you unlock access to hundreds of premium apps and games without ads, download fees or in-app purchases.

Google confirmed to Android Police that it’s testing the service, although it’s unclear when it’ll launch.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.