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Google Play Movies & TV picks up account switcher, new navigation drawer and improved timeline scrubbing

Design falls in line with other recent Google apps while adding a few new features Wednesdays are turning in to "Google app update" days, and the second one of today (behind Keep) is Google Play Movies & TV. The update is making the same interface changes here as we have seen on other recent...
Google Play Activity page

See all of your ratings and +1s in Google Play on the web

A new menu item is showing up for some users in the Play Store on the web, giving you a look at all of your +1 and comment activity in the store. This reflects a change that was added to the Play Store on Android back in December, letting you have a broad look at all of your Play Store engagement...
Nexus 5 camera

Android camera app reportedly getting portrait and effects improvements through Play Store

To be updated independently of Android, gaining custom filter support The Android camera app will soon be split off into the Google Play Store and is looking to get an update with a refreshed UI and new effects. Manufacturers have put a lot of effort into expanding the capabilities of their...

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Nexus 5 camera

Android camera app reportedly getting portrait and effects improvements through Play Store

To be updated independently of Android, gaining custom filter support The Android camera app will soon be split off into the Google Play Store and is looking to get an update with a refreshed UI and new effects. Manufacturers have put a lot of effort into expanding the capabilities of their...
Google Play

UK closes tax loophole on digital downloads, Google Play prices likely to increase

New rules see standard VAT of 20% to be paid from January 1 2015 Buried within the recent Budget, it seems that UK Chancellor, George Osborne, has announced that digital content downloads will pay tax based on the country they are sold in. In other words all content from Google Play, Amazon,...
Google fixes Heartbleed

Google updates back-end in light of Heartbleed vulnerability

If you've been online at some point in the last 36 hours, chances are you've heard of 'Heartbleed', a flaw in OpenSSL that has exposed data to theft on approximately 2/3 of servers in use around the globe over the past two years. It's not known how bad the damage may be, but the revelation of the...
Play Store Mother's day sale

Get a head start on Mother's Day shopping with Play Store sale

Even though it's not for another month, Google is holding a Mother's Day sale on the Google Play Store, offering major discounts on certain books, as well as magazine subscriptions. Books are available for 50% off, including I Remember Nothing, Lean In, and The Goldfinch. Customers can also...
Android Central

Hangouts 2.0 now rolling out with SMS support

New version lets you use Google's IM app to send and receive texts As promised at last week's Google+ event, the new version of Hangouts capable of sending and receiving text messages is now rolling out through Google Play. The update to brings things up to speed with the version of Hangouts on...
Sense 6 apps

HTC Sense 6 apps hit Google Play ahead of new HTC One launch

BlinkFeed, HTC Service Pack and SenseTV listed on Google Play, complete with screenshots We're just hours away from the expected arrival of the new HTC One (M8), and we're starting to see signs of the final preparations being made for the phone's launch. HTC has this morning released three new...
Google Play Store 4.6.16

Google Play Store 4.6.16 now rolling out with new password options, batch app installing

A few interface and wording changes make the app a little more friendly A new version of the Google Play Store is rolling out to a wide number of people this week, bringing with it a few new options in the settings and some visual tweaks that make the whole app run a bit smoother. Nothing will...
Yeezus

Kanye West's 'Yeezus' leads Google's holiday deals

As is prone to happen this time of year, Google's got a bunch of holiday deals in order on Google Play. The savings spans across just about every category, from Kanye West's "Yeezus" album free for a limited time. The Star Wars: Tiny Death Star game has an exclusive  Google Play bundle available,...
Galaxy Note 3

Samsung offering U.S. Galaxy Note 3 owners $50 Google Play credit

If you've got a U.S. Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung's running a promotion until Jan. 6 that'll allow you to claim $50 of free Google Play credit. Simply hit up the promotion site, enter your details — including phone number, address, email and IMEI — and you'll be able to score $50 credit to use...
Google Play Movies

Google Play Movies comes to dozens of new countries, Play Music expands to 4 more

63 countries now have Google Play Movies, with 25 now having Play Music as well Well it turns out Google has been busy signing deals to expand Google Play Movies, as the content choice has just expanded to 38 new countries around the world today. And the new countries truly are around the entire...

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Get your fancy magnetized charger in more places globally

Google's second-generation wireless charger is now available in a handful of new countries. As announced by the Google Play Twitter account, folks in Australia, India, Japan and Korea can get their hands on the Qi-compatible charger that also packs magnets to keep your Nexus 5 stable during the charging process.

Pricing and shipping costs will of course vary across countries (it's $49.99 in the U.S.), but we're never going to turn down expanded availability of accessories from Google Play. Hit the Play Store link above if you're in one of the above countries and want to get your hands on the first-party charger.

Source: @GooglePlay

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Same case, louder color option

Google Play is again expanding its Nexus accessory ranks with a new color of the Nexus 7 Sleeve. Now sitting alongside the black, grey and yellow options is a new bright red version adorned with the same subtle "Nexus" branding and black accent stitching. The sleeve offers a good bit of protection for either generation of the Nexus 7 as well.

We're starting to see a trend for all of Google's new accessories hitting these bright and bold colors, and while not everyone will gravitate towards them (black is still an option, of course) it is certainly a good way to add a little personality to your device while protecting it.

The Nexus 7 Sleeve will still set you back a cool $29.99 plus shipping, and is currently in-stock and ready to ship.

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Same great phone at a budget price, with a slightly different take on software

In yet another quiet release, Google has just put up the Moto G Google Play edition for sale at $179 for the 8GB model. That mirrors the price that Motorola has been selling it directly, but this version will follow in the footsteps of other GPe devices with a slightly different software experience. The differences will likely be a bit more subtle on the Moto G considering that Motorola's current offering is barely changed from Google's take on the software.

The hardware specs seem identical to what we've seen in the current Moto G, as they should be. And although the device is unlocked and listed as being compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile, it's worth mentioning that the spec sheet does not show 1700MHz (AWS) support for HSPA+ — that means T-Mobile customers in markets that have not been refarmed to 1900MHz will be sitting on EDGE with this one.

If you're looking for more storage you'll be able to option up to 16GB for $199, and both versions are listed in the Play Store as in-stock and shipping in 1-2 business days.

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Digital coupon brings discounts to select retailers

Whether you are looking for a gift for someone else, or you just like a good deal yourself, you will want to check this out. Select retailers are offering a discount on Google Play gift cards to the user of a digital coupon. The current offer gets you $2.50 off of a $25 gift card and $5 off of a $50 gift card. While the discounts may not be huge, it is the equivalent of a few free songs or a free app for yourself.

The promotion is available the retailers listed in the image above and ends on 1/11/14 or when supplies have run out. If you are interested be sure to act quickly on this deal.

Thanks, Ali!

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Deal available both online and in-store, with Play Store codes sent by email

If you didn't happen to pick up a Nexus 7 during your holiday shopping, Best Buy is running a pretty great sale you may want to take advantage of. You can pick up Google's latest 7-inch tablet for just $199, that's $30 off, and also pick up a $25 Google Play credit in the process. Even if you don't see too much value to the Google Play gift, $30 off an already cheap tablet is nothing to sneeze at.

The sale is active from Best Buy's online store, including free shipping, and we've also heard from a few different folks who have found the deal active in brick-and-mortar stores as well. There's no special coupon code to receive the deal, and it looks as though the Google Play gift will be sent to customers via email. The one unfortunate part of this deal is that it seems to only apply to the 16GB Wifi model, not the higher storage capacity or LTE variants. 

Source: Best Buy; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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As is prone to happen this time of year, Google's got a bunch of holiday deals in order on Google Play. The savings spans across just about every category, from Kanye West's "Yeezus" album free for a limited time. The Star Wars: Tiny Death Star game has an exclusive  Google Play bundle available, Asphalt 8 has an exclusive Google Play Cup challenge, Despicable Me is free (in standard definition), and so on.

Hit the link to check 'em all out.

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A classic family-friendly holiday movie to enjoy for free

Google Play is bringing some holiday cheer to us all with a free SD version of what has turned into a classic Christmas movie in recent years, Elf. For what we can assume is a limited time only, Google Play Movies is offering up Elf for free so that even more people can watch or re-watch this family-friendly Christmas movie.

To watch, simply head into the Play Store — you could do so from the link above — and select "add to library" and start watching. You can always return to it later if you don't have the hour and a half free this moment. When we picked up our copy we noticed you could still buy the film in HD for about $5.99, but there's no shame in snagging the free version for now.

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27 countries in total now have access to the expansive movie collection

Google Play is expanding its reach for Google Play Movies to 13 new countries today. That brings the total number of countries served by the movie service to 27, which is a solid number considering the deals that likely have to take place to make that happen.

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Belize
  • Botswana
  • Fiji
  • Hong Kong
  • Jamaica
  • Nepal
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Zimbabwe

Unfortunately, Google Play TV shows is still lacking in its distribution, only being available in the U.S., U.K. and Japan at this time.

Source: Google Support

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Google Cast Chrome extension still required

Building on its recent expansion of supported apps, Chromecast will now interact with Google Play on the web for Music, Movies and TV shows. Similar to what we've seen happen in the new Youtube player, you'll now find a "Cast" button in the web interface for these two Google Play properties, making it simple to send content from your computer to the Chromecast.

In order for this functionality to work, you'll need to have the "Google Cast" Chrome extension installed to your browser, and then look for the Cast button in Play Music or Play Movies & TV. The option showed up for us after a refresh of the Google Play Music page, and worked right away. Note that the Chromecast won't respond to your computer's system volume, but rather the volume slider in the web page, found next to the Cast button.

It's one more step in making both the Chromecast and the Play Store on the web more powerful, and we love having multiple choices when it comes to pushing content from one screen to another.

Source: +Google Play

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Lists are inescapable this time of year, and Google today announced the winners of its "Players' Choice: Top Google Play Apps and Games" poll.

The categories included "most addictive game," "best Google app" and "best franchise game," among others,  Some of the winners you likely know. Some might be your introduction to something new and special. Check out the list after the break, and be sure to swing by the collection on Google Play. And while you're at it, there's still time to nominate your favorite hardware and software in our year-end awards, too.

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Free shipping for both thrown in as a bonus

Just in case you were looking for yet another reason to pick up a Nexus 7 and Chromecast, Google Play is running another deal on the devices. If you buy both at the same time, you'll be offered $35 in Google Play credit to spend on apps, books, movies and whatever other digital content tickles your fancy. Further, you'll get free shipping on the order as well.

This follows a $25 Google Play credit previously offered for picking up just the Nexus 7, but is more beautifully timed with the recent announcement of 10 new apps coming to Chromecast. If you planned on picking up both devices this holiday season, now's probably a better time than any to do so from Google Play.

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New colors of Nexus 7 Sleeve, Nexus 7 Case now shipping as well

Just when you thought two new devices and a white version of the Nexus 7 was enough Google Play news for one day, Google has just made available new Nexus 7 cases as well. The Folio case is designed for just the Nexus 7 (2013), and offers an open-back bumper style along with a dual-fold cover on top. Just like many other cases of the style, the screen cover can fold up on the side to prop up your tablet at one of two angles. Buying the Folio will set you back $49.99 plus shipping, which ranges from $3.99 for 5-10 day to $15.99 for overnight. 

Google has also begun selling two new colors of the previously-released Nexus 7 Sleeve (which works with both Nexus 7 generations), yellow and grey — both will set you back $29.99, and are a pretty solid value even at that price. Additionally, the hardcover Nexus 7 Case is also now for sale in white/red, grey/blue and grey/red color combos for $49.99 as well.

You can pick up the new Folio at the Play Store link above, and the new colors of the previously announced cases at the links below.

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¥1500 ($15) to ¥20,000 ($194) cards available

Japan has joined the exclusive list of countries offering Google Play gift cards for sale. According to Google's support site, the cards will be available in ¥1500 ($15) , ¥3,000 ($29), ¥5,000 ($49), ¥10,000 ($97), ¥15,000 ($146) and ¥20,000 ($195) denominations, making Japan's cards the most valuable.

The introduction of such a high denomination is a curious move, since Google Play gift cards are currently limited for use with books, music, movies, TV shows and magazines, not devices. So with the top-level ¥20,000 bundle you're looking at an awful lot of digital content.

In addition to Japan, Google Play gift cards are also available in the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia, France and Germany in a variety of sizes, most between $15 and $50.

Source: Google support; via: TNW

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Free for 30 days, €7.99 promotional deal if you sign up by Jan. 15

Almost four months after it first reached parts of Europe, Google Play Music All Access is now live in one of the continent's largest markets. From today Google's music subscription service is available in Germany where, as with previous launches, it's available to try for free for 30 days. And to tempt early adopters onboard, if you sign up by Jan. 15 you'll pay just €7.99 per month for the life of the subscription, versus the standard price of €9.99.

Signing up to Google Play Music All Access gets you access to Google's massive library of streaming music on the web at play.google.com/music and through the Android and iOS apps. (It's also pretty easy to cancel the subscription at any time if you're not happy.)

If you're signing up today in Germany, join the comments after the break and let us know.

Source: Google Support; via: @arnehess

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Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Girls and Veep available through Play Movies & TV

Google Play's library of TV content continues to expand, with the arrival of five HBO shows for British audiences. Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Girls and Veep are now available in the UK through Google Play Movies & TV on the web and on Android devices. Episodes are priced at the usual levels — £1.89 for SD, £2.49 for HD, with season costs varying per show.

All three seasons of Game of Thrones are available, as are all episodes of Girls and True Blood aired to date. Also included are the first three seasons of Boardwalk Empire and the first season of Veep. The shows' arrival on Google Play in the UK comes a couple of months after a slightly different lineup of HBO broadcasting landed on the service in the U.S.

If you're in the UK, hit the source link to browse the available HBO content.

Source: Google Play

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Bulk up your digital book library on the cheap

Google Play is kicking off a big sale of books, putting over 100 bestselling titles on sale up to 75 percent off. Usually you expect to see lesser-known or old titles on sale at this time of year trying to capitalize on folks who are in the buying mood, but putting some of the best books out the right now at deep discounts is great to see.

Popular titles like the Hunger Games trilogy, Ender's Game and more are all here, and they're at some pretty amazing prices — some as low as $1.99. If you're looking to pick up digital copies of some of the hottest books out there right now, or just want to build up your Google Play Books library for the future, hit the link below.

100 bestsellers on sale at Google Play

Source: +Google Play

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Google's making it easy to get a few apps or some media for your new Nexus 7

Google wants to make your holiday gift of a Nexus 7 a little bit better, as they are giving away $25 in Google Play credit with a new purchase from Google Play.

Holiday Special: $25 Google Play credit and free shipping.

For a limited time, you will receive a $25 Google Play credit when you purchase a Nexus 7 from the Play Store. Your Google Play credit will be emailed when your Nexus 7 ships.

This goes along with free shipping for the tablet, which makes one of the best purchases even better. The offer is good for all sizes, and for LTE or Wifi models. See the Play Store for the full details.

If you'd rather not order from the Goog, Amazon also has a pretty good deal going on where you can save 10-percent on any Nexus 7 purchase. Either way, we win.

Via: @GooglePlay

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Another reason for developers to consider tablet designs for their apps

Just as was previously announced, the Play Store is undergoing a few changes for those with tablets today. Although it has been an option for some time, when browsing app categories on a tablet you'll now be shown apps that are marked as "designed for tablets" by default. In addition, any apps that haven't been updated to be fully tablet-compatible will be marked as "designed for phones" under their title in the Play Store, giving you a warning of sorts that the app may not work properly.

Google is taking this opportunity to remind developers how to make their apps compatible with tablets, as well as to go above and beyond to make experiences that are preferable on tablets rather than simply compatible. Through the Developer Console you can simple head to the "tablet optimization tips" area and see what is keeping your app from being listed as tablet ready.

Source: +Android Developers

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New destination for newspaper, magazine and online content on Google Play

Google has today taken the wraps off Google Play Newsstand, its new app for consuming newspaper and magazine content on mobile devices. Newsstand combines Play Magazines and Google Currents, and is available as an update to the former on the Play Store from today.

For the first time users can subscribe to newspapers as well as magazines, with launch titles including The New York Times, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Huffington Post. These join the range of magazines already available through the old Google Play Magazines app, as well as web-based content you may have subscribed to through Google Currents. The main "Read Now" section incorporates all this content into a scrolling card-based view, and you can view and manage individual subscriptions from the "My News" and "My Magazines" areas. It's also possible to save individual articles of interest and pin them to the "Bookmarks" section for quick access later on. And naturally, these are synchronized across all your devices.

So Newsstand is supposed to be your one-stop shop for written content on the web, whereas things were split between Currents and Play Magazines before. And the addition of leading newspapers to the mix is an important step for Google, to be sure.

Google says Play Newsstand will be available on devices in the U.S., Canada, UK and Australia as an update from Play Magazines in the next few days. Other countries can download it directly from Google Play. Check past the break for more screenshots and Google's introductory video.

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If you've got a U.S. Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung's running a promotion until Jan. 6 that'll allow you to claim $50 of free Google Play credit. Simply hit up the promotion site, enter your details — including phone number, address, email and IMEI — and you'll be able to score $50 credit to use on apps, music, movies or other content on Google Play. The offer is open to all U.S. Galaxy Note 3 devices regardless of when you purchased, but you'll need to sign up before the Jan. 6 cut-off.

And you'll need a valid U.S. Galaxy Note 3 IMEI to complete the process — even if you fake your way through the address and phone number requirement, a non-U.S. IMEI won't work.

Hit up the promotion page to get started.

Source: Samsung Promotion; via: SamMobile

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