Android Users Banned From Using This Hulu Feature – Better Life

While constant pronouncements of loyalty to Apple and its products may make you feel like most people in the world use an iPhone, that bragging right actually belongs to Android. According to Statista, Android has nearly 70 percent of the global market share as of January 2022, while Apple’s iOS is only 25 percent by comparison. With this in mind, the new change from Google is likely to negatively affect a large number of people and how they use their phones. Read on to find out what Android users have been prevented from doing.

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Google updated its payment policy for Google Play – the Android app store – in September 2020, according to The Verge. With the update, the tech giant announced that it will tighten its requirements for third-party apps to use Google’s billing services, allowing it to cut revenue generated by an app. This change went into effect on March 31, after Google offered a six-month extension from the original September 2021 deadline.

“All developers who sell digital goods and services in their apps are required to use the Google Play billing system,” Google now states in its store payment policy. “Apps that use an alternative in-app billing system will need to remove it in order to comply with the payments policy.”

Hulu streaming app on smartphone screen close up Android Google Play Store app.

After Google’s crackdown on external payments, Hulu made a massive change to its Android app, 9to5Google first reported on April 29. According to the news outlet, the streaming site no longer allows users to sign up for Hulu on their Android devices. Hulu has removed the option to create a new account or start a new free trial of its app for both Android and Android TV.

The streaming company has not officially disclosed the reason for this decision, but tech experts believe it is in response to recent billing changes from Google. “By not offering in-app subscriptions, Hulu is able to retain its full revenue by creating new accounts via its website,” 9to5Google explains.

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Hulu's home page.  It is a US subscription video on demand owned by Hulu LLC.  Hulu logo visible.
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Before this change was made, the Hulu Android app originally opened to a page announcing the starting prices for their service, along with a “sign in” or “start free trial” button, according to 9to5Google. The app’s recent update removed these options, as well as any reference to the cost of its plans or to a free trial.

But you can still use the app on your Android devices. “Sorry, we can’t do in-app signups. If you’re already subscribed, log in below to start watching,” a message now appears on the Hulu app for Android, per 9to5Google. The app’s new user interface now also features a more prominent “Sign in” button at the bottom of its screen.

A Facebook icon notification appears on the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus.  Close-up selective focus with oblique and off-center perspective.
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Hulu isn’t the only company to make similar tweaks after Google’s decision to toughen billing requirements. The Verge reported that on April 1, Amazon stopped allowing Audible users to purchase audiobook titles with a credit or debit card on its Android app. Then on April 4, Barnes & Noble removed the ability to purchase digital books or other content from its Nook app for Android.

Barnes & Noble told The Verge that it had “decided it was unable to integrate with Google billing” but Android users can still purchase e-books directly from the company’s website, which can then be synced to the app. Google also states in its payment policy that developers “not in compliance” with billing requirements will be removed from Google Play, starting on June 1.

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