T-Mobile became the first carrier to support additional payment options for the Android Market when they began rolling out an update last week. The new payment option allows users to purchase paid applications and bill them to their T-Mobile account. This means users no longer need a Google Checkout account or a credit card.
Many readers had reported receiving the new update, but most of them said the additional payment options were missing. We noticed T-Mobile had adjusted the completion date for the rollout to early January and were starting to think the carrier billing option was delayed.
We learned of the new Market update from a forums post which left many questions unanswered. I was curious if T-Mobile was going to publish a press release like they have done for other updates and wanted to know how parents would be allowed to moderate app purchases on their child’s phone. T-Mobile responded with the following.
T-Mobile does not plan on issuing a press release. Regarding Family Plans, T-Mobile Family plans offer parents the option to block certain content on their child’s phone, including access to the internet.T-Mobile USA
So according to T-Mobile, any supported phone that has a data plan is capable of purchasing application from the Android Market. This feature is still rolling out so we will have to wait and see how purchases appear on your monthly bill.
Thanks to one of our readers Nathan Schwiz, we were able to obtain some screens of the new Android Market. You can see below that the Downloads category was replaced by T-Mobile on the home screen. Pressing the button will take you to the new T-Mobile channel that is full of suggested applications (think T-Mobile AppPack, but now built in to the Market client). The Downloads section can now be accessed by pressing menu from any screen.
When purchasing an application, users can now choose between using Google Checkout or their T-Mobile account.
Please note that the new Market is only available on T-Mobile phones with Android 1.6 and is not currently available on the Motorola CLIQ or Samsung Behold II.