Google Play Pass is rolling out in the United States and everyone’s getting a 10-day trial to figure out what sort of apps and games they’d like to install — perhaps even keep around — and which of the tonnage of free, unlockable extra features they’ll make use of. But if you’re outside our shores and curious as to how you’ll go about it when Play Pass comes to your region or are just a bit puzzled and need a little crash course on what’s going on, we’ve got it for you right here.
It’ll be any visit to the Play Store when Google will randomly nudge you with a prompt about Play Pass. You can choose to decline the prompt — when you’re ready to take it on, you’ll find Play Pass through the hamburger menu. Just set up a debit or credit card for the subscription fee if in case you forget to cancel within the free 10-day period. Remember that Google is offering all signees an introductory rate of $1.99 per month for the first year. Otherwise, you’ll be paying $4.99 a month.
If you don’t have one set up already, the Play Store will nudge you towards creating a Family Library Account. You’ll be able to share your Play Pass with up to five members. Each person’s downloads go to their own Google account, so no one gets another’s installs.
From that point on, you’ll see a new Play Pass tab in the Play Store featuring the top games and apps being promoted right now as well as a dedicated kids’ page. You can also see categorical breakdowns such as action games and puzzle games or productivity apps and education apps. Wherever you happen to be in the store, though, you’ll always be able to find out which apps are on Play Pass by looking for the ticket icon — including a new, dedicated header section in Play Store search results.
Once you download, install, and enter an app, you’ll find an ad-free experience and, in some cases, absolutely no paywalls whatsoever. If you do encounter what would usually be an in-app purchase opportunity, you’ll see that the price has been zeroed out. Tap on the upgrade and a Play Pass prompt will say that the feature has been unlocked. You should then be able to use said feature.
So, the initial roster stands at over 350 apps. What’s there to it? Well, there’s two versions of Smashy Road (Wanted and Arena), LIMBO, Chameleon Run, Star Wars: KOTOR to run through a small portion of the gamut of games. Touching up photos? There’s TouchRetouch and Camera MX. You need a White Noise Generator to send you to sleep? You got one here. And for you nerds, we’ve got Signal Spy and Tasker on board, too.
That’s all there really is to Play Pass. More apps will be added every month — Google claims hundreds, but time will have to tell. We suspect some publishers will pull their apps if they find that the math doesn’t work out for them: the company says their publisher royalties are determined by time spent in the app and takes into account how the app is used.
The best of all downloads to you!