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Google lets you pre-register for upcoming Android apps

11 May 2015
Android pre-registration
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Terminator game is the first to use new pre-registration system

Google is adding a generous dollop of hype to the Play Store by allowing users to "pre-register" for forthcoming app releases. The new feature - which it appears is only open to major publishers - will allow developers to promote their apps in Google's store ahead of release, rather than having to wait until the app is live. 

The first app to offer pre-registration is Terminator Genisys: Revolution - the game that will presumably be launched to coincide with the release of the new Terminator film this summer. Users are invited to click a green pre-register button in the same spot where the Buy button normally sits. 

Pre-registering is not the same as pre-ordering. The system will merely send users an alert when the game is available for download, but there is no commitment to buy. Users will be asked to confirm that they wish to purchase the app upon its release. You can also "unregister" if you decide you're no longer interested. 

Pre-registration apps have all the same promotional tools as full releases: video previews, screenshots and text descriptions. Users aren't allowed to review pre-release games, however, meaning the PR monkeys will still have to wait until the game's released before they can start slapping their glowing 5-star "reviews" on their clients' apps.

The pre-registration feature is currently unique to Android. Apple allows users to pre-order albums and movies from its iTunes Store, but there's no equivalent feature for apps. The promotional tool might give developers more incentive to release apps on Android first.

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