Google Play Licensing Service

What is Google Play Licensing service?

Google Play offers a licensing service that lets you enforce licensing policies for the applications that you publish through Google Play. With the licensing service, your applications can query Google Play at run time to obtain their licensing status for the current user, then allow or disallow further use as appropriate.

Using the service, you can apply a flexible licensing policy on an application-by-application basis. Each application can enforce its licensing status in the way most appropriate for it. If necessary, an app can apply custom constraints in addition to the licensing status obtained from Google Play.

To help you add licensing to your application, the Android SDK provides library sources that you can include in your application project. See the Licensing your Applications section in our Developer Guide to learn more about the licensing service and how to add it to your application.

How does the licensing server work?

When an application checks the licensing status, Google Play server signs the licensing status response using a key pair that is uniquely associated with its publisher account. Your application stores the public key in its compiled APK file and uses it to decrypt the licensing status response. Note that the license keys are now on a per-app basis rather than a per-developer basis.

Any application that you publish through Google Play can use Google Play Licensing service, and you can manage licensing for all apps at once from inside of your current account on Google Play Developer Console. No special account or registration is needed. Additionally, because the service uses no dedicated framework APIs, you can add licensing to any legacy application that uses a minimum API level of 3 or higher.

Availability

Google Play Licensing Service is available and recommended for all applications. We especially recommend it for paid and IAB applications.

Is there a fee to use Google Play Licensing service?

No, the service is free and available to all publishers on Google Play.

How do I find my app's Google Play Licensing key from the Developer Console?

To find the license key for your application:

  1. First, log into your Google Play Developer Console.
  2. Next, click on All Applications and find the application that you'd like to review.
  3. After that, go to the section Services and APIs
    Services and APIs
  4. You will find your license key under the section labeled Your License Key For this Application.

Please note that starting with JellyBean release of Android OS, all apps, paid as well as free, are encrypted by default, and therefore, do not require any additional protection against unauthorized copying such as Google Licensing Server. If you only develop for devices running JellyBean, you don't need Google Licensing Server. You can learn more about app encryption in the Developer Guide.

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