Google has stepped up to the plate, finally rolling out support for promo codes at the Play Store, where app and game developers have the privilege to give them out for free.
Of course, promo codes aren't exactly new. Apple allowed developers to dish them out way back since 2014. At any rate, they are fairly fresh on the Android scene.
Now, apps and games keep app stores alive. Some of them are free, and some of them are not, which means that not everyone can get their hands on every downloadable software there.
For those who can't afford or use online paying methods, a promo code is a godsend. It's like a golden ticket or a VIP pass that gives instant access to a particular app.
"Promo codes let you give content or features away to a limited number of users free of charge. Once you create a promo code, you can distribute it subject to the terms of service. The user enters the promo code in your app or in the Play Store app, and gets the item at no cost," Google says.
Like most things, this feature has some restrictions, and Google has put its technological foot down and laid down the law.
First off, promo codes can't be used for in-app subscriptions, but for in-app purchases, they're A-OK.
Developers can only issue 500 promo codes for each app or game per quarter, where unused ones won't be carried over to the next. That amounts to 2,000 potential codes a year.
Just to be clear, it doesn't matter whether the code is for the app itself or for an in-app purchase, it counts to the total. For instance, 250 promo codes for the app plus 250 for an in-app product max out the limit.
As for their expiration dates, developers can set them up to one year.
It sure took a while for Google to get support for promo codes off the ground. Nevertheless, it's a feature that's welcomed by developers and users alike.
For app and game makers, take note of the limitations and use them wisely. Remember, great power comes with great responsibility. For users, let's all hang on to our hats and wait with bated breath for the goodies that'll come.