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John van de Waeter

D11, Android new App Billing Service

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Hi All,

I have a nice Android app, developed in D 10.4.2, which includes In-App purchases.
It runs on Android 6 and above.

1. The new Delphi 11 says the Android app will run on Android 8 and above.

This would be bad news for my cutomers with Android 6 and 7

2. Google says per november 2021 the new app billing service needs to be used.
Unless this new app billing service could be used by Delphi 10.4.2, I'm forced to use D11 but that would be bad news for (see above).


It would be nice if either
- D10.4.2 could handle te new Billing Service, so I could service those oldAndroid clients for say another year
or
- D11 can be used to create Android apps for Android 6 and 7. I guess there's a little more to it then just changing the minSDKVersion?

 

Any tips? Greatly appreciated!
tnx,
John

 

Edited by John van de Waeter

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The marketing of D11 claims that it has the latest billing service, if that is what you need, but I haven't checked if its working.

Quote

Compile for Android API 30!

Android API and Libraries updated - API 30, Google Play V3, Android X. Keep current with the latest requirements for Android as the platform evolves.

This includes the latest billing API (required by Google Play Store). Enhanced Delphi and C++ RTL for Android, with support for Android API level 30. Support for the new “AndroidX” libraries. In-app purchase component to help monetize your applications. Android solution Google Play Billing Library Version 4. Enhanced FireMonkey Application Platform for creating native Android ARMv7 applications for Android 11, 10, Pie (9.0), Oreo (8.1)

 

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7 hours ago, John van de Waeter said:

1. The new Delphi 11 says the Android app will run on Android 8 and above.

This would be bad news for my cutomers with Android 6 and 7

It says the officially supported versions are Android 8 and above. That does not mean apps will not run on lower versions - I have apps built with Delphi 11 running on Android 4.4.

 

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Hi John

 

The new Android requirements from November also include a requirement to support SDK 30 (as well as the new billing APIs).

To avoid having to upgrade to Delphi 11 just as it was launched (generally a little hit-and-miss) I looked into supporting the new requirements for Delphi 10.4 instead.

Unfortunately I hit a brick wall with the SDK 30 update. Too many internal components of Delphi 10.4 don't work properly with SDK 30, so it wasn't feasible.

The billing API support was fairly straightforward as it could be bolted into 10.4, but without SDK 30 support it wouldn't be allowed onto the Play Store anyway.

 

Best to upgrade to Delphi 11 - it seems pretty solid and a good upgrade so far.

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Hi Chris,

I tried.

From a 10.4.2 project, I copied the sources to a new Alexandria directory.

- removed all Android and iOS related files

- removed the DProj and .dsk files

- opened in D11`, reverting all library files to default

Compile, install, run, test: NO PROBLEMS

Upload to Google: Accepted, but with the same warning about the Billing Services: must use version 3 or higher.
Appearantly my app doesn't meet the november 1 requierments... In the Libraries-section of the project I see billing-4.0.0.dex.jar though.
Any idea how/where else to check for the correct Billing library?

 

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Posted (edited)

Oops.. it looks like something may have been missed. Can you add the following to the application node of AndroidManifest.template.xml:

        <meta-data
            android:name="com.google.android.play.billingclient.version"
            android:value="4.0.0" />

..and try again? If this fixes it, I'll file a report in the Quality Portal, unless you want to 🙂

 

If it doesn't fix it, you might like to use this tool: https://github.com/skylot/jadx to look inside classes.dex in the project output folder, and make sure com.android.billingclient is in there. Perhaps do this first

Edited by Dave Nottage

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Hi John,

I haven't tried uploading a D11 build to the Play Store yet, but when I do I'll let you know what mine says.

Dave's suggestion is a good one and will hopefully solve it, but it's also worth mentioning there's a new item in the Entitlements section of the Project Options you need to tick for billing.

What this seems to do is add the entry into the manifest for you (the one Dave mentioned, so you won't need to manually add it) but may do some other things you need.

 

Good luck!

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1 hour ago, Chris Pim said:

What this seems to do is add the entry into the manifest for you (the one Dave mentioned, so you won't need to manually add it)

The In App Purchase Service option adds the activity entry for the billing service, not the meta-data tag.

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I’ve just read this, which may be useful for the question:

Remove:
<uses-permission android:name="com.android.vending.BILLING" />from AndroidManifest.xml in android app folder.

Since Nov 1st Google count that as a sign of V2 billing library and does not approve releases.

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Dave, Chris,

 

I've first checked the Classes.dex with the jadx-tool, and all info I could find was about Billing version 4.0, so this looked okay.

The Check in the Entitlements list was already there.

Then I tried a new build to upload to the playstore with the meta-data line Dave mentioned included, and Voila, accepted without the warning! 🙂

 

I think you'd better file it to QC Dave, that will definitely draw more attention...

Thanks for the help guys!

 

John

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10 hours ago, John van de Waeter said:

meta-data line Dave mentioned included, and Voila, accepted without the warning!

Is this your experience, @Chris Pim ? I am yet to submit an app to Play Store that has IAP.

10 hours ago, John van de Waeter said:

I think you'd better file it to QC Dave

https://quality.embarcadero.com/browse/RSP-35834

Edited by Dave Nottage

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I've finally managed to upload my app from D11 (Billing v4) to the Play Store. The manifest includes both the activity and meta-tag entry and I removed the legacy BILLING permission as described above.

 

The app works perfectly when tested locally and through the Alpha and Beta test channels on the Play Store. I can successfully make purchases, restore them etc. I've implemented subscriptions and they work, renew and cancel correctly.

 

However... as soon as the same build is promoted to Production, things go wrong. Every user who tries to make a purchase gets a "Error 5, DEVELOPER_ERROR" response from the PurchasesUpdated listener. These are likely be users new to the app rather than existing users who have upgraded (they usually buy pretty quickly if they're going to).

From the logs I've captured, it's showing the purchase pop-up fine (launchBillingFlow returns OK) but when they actually try to buy the product, it shows the DEVELOPER_ERROR described above.

 

I'm still investigating this and will post in here once I've figured it out. Almost all posts about that error in Google say that Error 5 is returned much earlier in most cases (e.g. when querying the inventory or initialising the store) but those return OK for me. They say it usually appears if the parameters passed into the purchase call are wrong (they're correct) or bad signing (it's correct and worked for all previous builds).

 

I found the following which is exactly the same situation as I'm facing:

https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/204353360

 

They solved it by adding the legacy BILLING permission back in, so maybe that's something. I've successfully uploaded a new build to Production with this permission turned on along with the meta-tag and activity, and it was accepted no problem.

 

It will be a few days before the new release is reviewed and enough users get it to capture anything useful, but once I have some news I'll report back.

Hopefully that's all it needs otherwise I'm really at a loss over this. If it works I'll add this to the QC report about the missing meta-tag.

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6 hours ago, Chris Pim said:

They solved it by adding the legacy BILLING permission back in, so maybe that's something. I've successfully uploaded a new build to Production with this permission turned on along with the meta-tag and activity, and it was accepted no problem.

I thought that's something that what was causing problems before? Weird. Anyway, good to know, and thanks for the update

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