Spotify users’ lives will get a lot simpler with Google’s new Play Store update

Spotify and Google are teaming up to give users on Android smartphones more choice on how they pay for a Premium subscription to the music platform.

From later this year, you'll be able to choose for the payment to either go through Spotify's own system or Google Play Billing instead, according to the latest Spotify Blog Post. The change is expected to come to other big-name apps as well, though we’ve yet to hear specifics.

The initiative is being called ‘User Choice Billing’, and it will give you the option to choose between giving more to the creators of the apps you use or continuing to contribute to Google’s Play Store infrastructure. 

But, which payment system is likely to be best for you?

Analysis: Which payment system will be better? 

Giving people more choice is rarely a bad thing, but here it definitely feels like you’re being asked to weigh up two nearly identical options.

When Epic Games tried to circumvent Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store payments in Fortnite mobile, it attracted customers by charging less for in-game goodies than if they bought via the third-party. Unfortunately, we don’t expect this will be the case here, as it’s a Google-led initiative.

If Spotify Premium costs less through Spotify than through Google’s Play Store (or vice versa), then you’d have no reason to opt for the pricier option.

So, assuming both systems are equally expensive for the customer which is better? If you want to maximize the portion of your money going to Spotify, then most likely its own private system will be best. 

But, for convenience, Google’s billing is likely to be your best option. As all of your subscription payment data is stored in one place, the next time that you get a new debit or credit card you won’t have to remember everywhere that it’s used – you just have to update your details once, and your subscriptions will all continue.

Additionally, it’ll be easier to keep an eye on the subscriptions that you have. It’s not hard to forget that you have recurring billing set up for an app you rarely use, so by storing all of your subscriptions in one location within Google Play, you’d be able to quickly scroll through and find out what you’re paying without having to decode your bank statements.

If the service spreads to other apps and services, it might also give you the option to pay for digital goods without having to give your card details to a platform that you aren’t familiar with.

However, as with all upcoming features, we’ll have to wait and see just how much of a time or money saver 'User Choice Billing' ends up being when it launches.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Editing Microsoft Excel files online could finally get a lot simpler

Editing spreadsheets on the go or at work should soon be easier than ever thanks to a significant update to the web version of Microsoft Excel.

Microsoft has revealed a number of spreadsheet softwareupgrades that it says will help close the gap with its desktop-based sibling, including better support for larger files, as well as those with legacy features.

“We are excited to share that you can now open and edit more files on the web and complete your job anywhere, in the browser of your choice,” Microsoft noted in an Excel blog post announcing the news.

Excel for Web upgrade

Going forward, Microsoft Excel for the Web will now allow users to open and edit large files from SharePoint up to 100MB in size. This will expand possible files to thousands of rows of data, and means users will not have to switch to the Desktop version of Excel to finish work.

Users can also now edit files containing what Microsoft calls Legacy Art objects and SmartArt objects – including the likes of Form Controls, ActiveX Controls, Camera Tools, and OLE objects. The company says this will allow users to access and interact with any such workbooks but not with the objects themselves. 

Elsewhere, users can now also access password-protected workbooks on Excel for the Web, meaning there's no need to switch back to a desktop in order to open & interact with secured files. Similarly, users can now also edit files which are protected for editing using a password to modify, meaning you'll be able to access and interact with different types of protected workbooks on the browser itself. 

That's not all, as Microsoft also noted that more features will also be added soon, including support for Microsoft 365 subscribers to edit large files up to 100 MB from OneDrive, and further support for editing workbooks with legacy shared features and data wizard connections.

The news comes shortly after Microsoft revealed it will be bringing support for smoother scrolling to the Excel Desktop app, hopefully resulting in a much better user experience.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More