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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at George Mason University chapter.

On September 23, 2019, Google released their subscription-based service, Google Play Pass. The service gives you access to hundreds of premium games and apps, free of ads and in-app purchases. Essentially, Google Play Pass allows you to download several games and apps that range from $0.99 to $9.99 and also allows you to unlock in-app purchases and expansion packs “free of cost,” as long as you have Android version 4.4 and above. In return for the access, you must pay $4.99 per month on a subscription basis and can even share the apps with up to five family members. With newer subscription style services coming out from a variety of companies, from magazine subscriptions to movie streaming services, let’s look at the pros and cons of Google Play Pass.

The Pros

The pros of this service includes the idea itself. In an attempt to bring in new customers and users, Google understood the main reasons why consumers get frustrated with the apps they have. This can be due to the high cost of the app itself or a free app, but loaded with unnecessary in-app purchases. When you take the additional costs out of the picture and are presented with an “all or nothing” model where you pay a fixed cost monthly with little risk, it has the potential to attract more customers throughout.

Additionally, with video streaming subscription services like Netflix or Hulu being exceedingly successful, the subscription model is well known and accepted among users, benefitting Google.

Another pro is the wide variety of apps of games you get access to. Apple also introduced their own spin on this concept, through Apple Arcade, but while Apple is limited to only games, Google provides a broader range of apps, including ones like Accuweather and Facetune.

Lastly, Google Play Pass also provides users ways to share the games and apps with five family members which can prove to be beneficial if the whole family uses the same apps.

The Cons

Cons of this service include the uncertainty of how many apps will be added or removed from the service. There is no guaranteed list of pre-approved apps that will stay forever and developers have the choice of removing their apps from Play Pass access. You also lose access to the apps if you unsubscribe from the pass, so all your progress and updates will be lost should you decide to do so. Additionally, Google Play Pass is only available in the United States, a small target market since the most popular mobile operating system in the USA is still Apple’s iOS.

Another con to keep in mind is that you are paying for the service whether you are using it or not, so the $60 per year that the pass demands might be unnecessary if you only use a handful of apps; if that’s the case, you might be better off just purchasing apps and games individually.

Overall, this new and innovative service has several pros and cons but if you are an Android user and do not use several apps or games regularly, you, and your wallet, might just be better off without it collegiettes.

George Mason Contributor (GMU)

George Mason University '50

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