As expected, Google is expanding its carrier billing options for the Android Market. This means users can either pay for apps using Google Checkout, or choose the carrier billing option so that the charges show up on your monthly phone bill.

Up until now, T-Mobile was the only wireless provider offering carrier billing, but now AT&T customers with Android phones should be able to add purchases to their phone bills. Google is rolling out the feature for AT&T users right now, so if you don’t already have this option, it should be available soon.

The move toward carrier billing definitely makes purchasing and downloading apps faster and easier, since you don’t have to authorize each payment individually. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, since it also means it’s going to be easy to rack up Android Market purchases over the course of the month without necessarily thinking about how much you’re paying as you go along. Still, carrier billing has long been a part of the iPhone App Store experience, so it’s good to see Google playing catch up.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing.He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...