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Google Play Movies & TV

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...

Google Play Store - Top Articles

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...
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...
Moto G Google Play edition

Moto G Google Play edition now on sale for $179

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...

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Right on cue, mobile game developer Rovio has released Bad Piggies, the swine-centric Angry Birds spin-off, on Google Play and other platforms. The game is available now as a free download from Google's app store, and comes in regular and HD (tablet-optimized) flavors.

Bad Piggies sees players take on the role of the mischievous green pigs from Angry Birds, building all manner of precarious vehicles in order to reach the end of the level, and steal some eggs along the way. The pig-focused gameplay has a lot in common with an earlier Rovio title, Amazing Alex. Players build contraptions, out of parts in a 2D grid, before taking them for a spin in the game world.

Our early impressions are that it's a fun little game, and with two zones consisting of 45 levels each, in addition to an unlockable sandbox  mode, there should be plenty of content to keep you entertained. We'll have a full review of Bad Piggies up before long, so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can grab the game from the Google Play link above.

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Google has announced that its Google Play app store has delivered its 25 billionth app download, up from the 20 billion figure quoted at Google I/O in June. To celebrate, it's launching another app sale, where this time you'll be able to pick up a selection of popular titles from developers like Gameloft, Electronic Arts, Rovio, runtastic and Full Fat for just 25 cents over the next five days. In addition, Google is promising special collections of content in the near future, including "25 movies you must own, 25 banned books and 25 albums that changed the world."

Google Play, which launched a little under four years ago as the Android Market, as grown considerably in the past year, adding movies, TV, music and magazines, and becoming a fully-fledged content platform. And in under twelve months, it's gone from a total of 10 billion downloads to today's 25 billion milestone. The total app count now sits at 675,000, up from 600,000 in June.

Right now we're not seeing any 25 cent apps on Google Play on our devices, but we'll keep you posted when they start to appear. In the meantime, let us know in the comments if you spot any bargains.

Source: Official Android Blog

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The Google Play Developers portal has received a welcome update, confirming now that developers in India can register to sell paid apps in Google Play. This is potentially huge news for two different reasons. India is one of the most populated nations on the planet, and the smartphone market in India is exploding at a tremendous rate. 

Developers having the facility to be paid for their work is a big deal too. Famously, the lack of paid app support in the UAE became the reason that Carbon will eventually be given away for free. While this nation is still omitted, the addition of India to the list that now reaches 32 is a welcome one. 

Source: Google Play Developers thanks Vishal!

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We know lots of you still use the Twitters for a lot of your social networking needs -- no matter how good Google+ becomes -- and so we bring news of a hot new account that you all should follow. Google Play is widening its horizons, and now has an official Twitter account, @GooglePlay. 

The first tweet from Google Play read like this: 

Hello World! Follow us for special promotions, exclusive content, updates, and awesomeness from Google Play

We don't know about you guys, but special promotions on its own makes it worthwhile. Hit the source link below to get your follow on. 

Source: @GooglePlay

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A quick reminder in case you weren't aware -- Google's $25 Play Store credit offer for new Nexus 7 purchases will expire in just under a couple of weeks on Sunday, Sept. 30. Previously buried in the small print, the expiry date for the Google Play promotion has been confirmed by a recent tweet from the @GoogleNexus Twitter account.

Nexus 7 owners are reminded that all they need to do to claim their $25 credit (£15 in the UK) is sign into their new tablet with a valid Google account and fire up the Google Play Store. For anyone yet to splash their cash on a Nexus 7, Google will be hoping the ticking clock will prove an added incentive.

Source: @GoogleNexus

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How have we ever coped until now, without being able to get our Family Guy fix in Google Play? Well, that's all about to change, as today Google has announced that Family Guy, along with 600 other Twentieth Century Fox titles, will be coming to the Play Store sometime soon. 

It isn't just limited to content you may have already seen either. As of today, you can buy Prometheus from Google Play, in HD, a full three weeks before the general release date. Over the coming weeks we're also promised such titles as X-Men, Ice Age and Black Swan, alongside TV shows such as Modern Family, Glee and New Girl. Say what you will, but these are some popular titles and their presence in the Play Store is more than welcome. 

Initially -- and unsurprisingly -- these titles will initially only be available in the United States. Google has promised that they are working to bring them to other countries soon. They also made the point that they're now working with all six major studios and many independent studios to bring us the content we so desire. 

Source: Google Blog

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In the event that you've just dropped some cash on a shiny new Sony tablet and matching Xperia smartphone, Sony's launched a new Android app to allow for easier tethering between the two. The Xperia Link application, now available on Google Play, lets you you pair your devices over Bluetooth, then share your phone's data plan with your tablet.

That sounds a lot like plain old tethering, but Xperia Link aims to simplify the process, allowing you to remotely enable, connect and disconnect tethering on your phone via a widget on the tablet. It's probably not going to revolutionize the way you use your tablet, but if you often find yourself tethering, you may want to check it out. Sony's Xperia Link app is available to download from Google Play for free, and works on all Sony tablets, as well as Sony phones running Android 2.3 or higher.

If you're already packing the prerequisite Sony hardware, you can check the Google Play link above to get started.

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Google Chrome for Android has been updated over Google Play, the first such update since Google's mobile browser exited beta at Google I/O back in June. There are no major feature additions in the new version 18.0.1025308, but there is a selection of fixes for "medium"-rated security issues, as well as stability fixes.

The new Chrome also seems a tad speedier on image-heavy sites like Android Central -- let us know in the comments if you're noticing the same effect.

If you're already running Chrome, head to the "My Apps" menu in the Google Play Store to grab the new update. If you're not, you can use the Google Play link above to jump straight to the latest version. Note that you still need to be on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or 4.1 Jelly Bean to install Chrome.

Source: Google Chrome Releases

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Google Play Books is now available in Korea, offering thousands of Korean titles in what Google calls the "world’s largest eBookstore". We don't know about it being the largest, but we do know it's convenient being able buy all your books in one place and read them on all your Android devices.

If you're reading from Korea, fire up your Google Play app and have a look.

Source: +Google Play

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After a fairly lengthy beta test period, UK TV streaming service TVCatchup has graduated its Android app from beta, and launched it on the Google Play Store. The app, like the TVCatchup website, allows license fee-paying Brits to watch live online streams of many of the country's free-to-air TV channels -- currently over 50, the app claims. We've been using the app throughout its beta test phase, and we've found it to be just as reliable as the website.

Note that you'll need to be in the UK to download this app, and that it won't work if you're not on a UK ISP or mobile network. Also, if you want to stay on the right side of the law, you'll need to hold a TV license to view live broadcasts.

With that out of the way, Brits can head to the Google Play link above to download TVCatchup for Android. It's free and ad-supported, and you'll need a phone or tablet running at least Android 2.2.

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Gameloft isn't the only one putting their Android wares on discount for the long weekend; Google Play has an official end of summer sale that has quietly started, with many apps already discounted. Check out this search to see what's currently discounted, and expect that list to grow as the weekend wears on. We've received a few tips about the impending sale, but we're still waiting for a big promotional banner on the front page of Google Play, or some equally obvious place to find all of the discounted apps in one spot. (Update: Ahh, here we go.)

Have you found any particularly great apps with recent discounts? 

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The Google Play Store has quite stealthily started showing "Recommended for You" sections today. Tapping into the recommendation area (found inside Apps, Music, Magazines, etc.) you'll see a list of apps based on a factors described within each entry. For example if you're recommended a camera app, it may say that the app is popular with users of another camera app which you've purchased previously. Other recommendations come from the nondescript "popular with similar users", "+1'd by your friends" and "popular in your area". The exact metrics for recommendations aren't known, but if we had to guess we'd say Google has a pretty sophisticated algorithm working on this.

Thankfully, you can help Google define what you'd like to see in your recommended list by hitting the hide button on any app that you'd prefer not to see from that point out. It's yet to be seen whether or not that will permanently hide the recommendation forever or if it'll come back eventually, but it's nice to know what you can influence the selections a little bit. What it all comes down to is increasing app discovery, which is a good thing. There are a ton of really great apps out there in the Play Store that just don't get enough attention.

Thanks, Archit!

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Good news lands this morning of expanded European availability of the Google Nexus 7. The Asus made tablet is now available from Google Play in France, Germany and Spain. This is the first market expansion we've seen from the device since its initial launch in July, and while it may have taken some time, the end result is what's important. 

Pricing is set to match UK prices, so the two variants are priced at €199 for the 8GB model and €249 for the 16GB. Ordering one at the moment should see a Nexus 7 on your doorstep within 3-5 days. 

Source: Google

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One of the more popular weather apps on iOS, Weather HD, has finally come to Android. It provides all of the usual weather data you'd want -- current temperature / humidity / precipitation / wind, 7-day forecasts and a few other customizable odds and ends. What's nice about Weather HD is the interface. It's the simplicity of gray and white text on a nicely animated background image, which changes with the current weather conditions, that really helps set this apart from some of the cluttered and busy weather apps. Unfortunately, Weather HD doesn't include a widget, though we'd expect it to soon if they want to stay competitive with the other popular weather apps out there.

Weather HD is available in the Google Play Store at the link above. It'll set you back 99 cents, or is free with advertisements.

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Pandora has just released a much-welcomed update to its popular music app in the Google Play Store today. The update brings a completely refreshed and refined UI experience, that thankfully now follows Android 4.x guidelines, getting rid of the menu button and adding an overflow button on the right side of the top action bar. Behind the scenes, this update also adds the ability to review, rate and bookmark tracks in your song history and gives you access to full song lyrics and artist biographies.

Visually, the app looks great -- especially when considering how it looked before. Everything is smooth and works properly. As we noted, the legacy menu button is gone and replaced with a proper Android 4.x overflow button. There are several nice touches in the smoothness of the app when moving between windows and a very subtle feature that uses a sliver of the bottom of the app to show the track progress. Pandora has also done something slick with the volume control. Instead of simply overlaying the phone's volume slider, they take control of it and put their own slider at the bottom of the app even when using the hardware volume keys. It auto-shows and auto-hides when you're done switching. We're quite impressed with the progress Pandora has made here, and we hope more app developers can take note.

Check out a few screenshots of the refreshed UI after the break, then hit the Play Store link above to install it on your own device.

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An update has just been pushed out to Google Play Magazines with a small but welcome set of improvements. Version 1.0.1 has home screen and library performance improvements, better recognition of available space for your magazines and bug fixes targeted at the Nexus 7 and Jelly Bean.

These kinds of updates aren't glamorous, but we're okay with that. Every once and a while you've got to get excited about the ones that bring stability to your apps too. If you're a magazine reader, hit the Play Store link above and get your update.

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The Google Play Music app has received an update, which brings a few welcome and overdue features. One new feature is the support for expanded notifications for Jelly Bean devices. One of our favorite features of Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) is the richer and more interactive notifications, so it's great to see more apps taking advantage.  Plus, Google Play Music is one of my most used apps, so I'm definitely glad that I'll be able to control and view more directly from my notification tray. Another new item is a quick link to your Nexus Q settings should you have the Nexus Q app installed.

The update also brings support for Google TV devices. When we received Sony's new Google TV box last month, we were astonished to find that the Google Play Music app was deemed 'incompatible'. It was frustrating to say the least; If you are buying a Google TV unit, you expect to be able to install the core Google apps. This update has corrected that and should make the app work with the newer Google TV models, such as the Sony box mentioned earlier and the Vizio Co-Star.

To get the update or the free app, hit up our Google Play Store link, and screenshots of the notifications and settings are after the break.

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The latest update to AccuWeather for Android brings several notable enhancements, the biggest of which is complete Nexus 7 support. The new 4x2 widget is quite nice actually, with a simple layout and basic white/black/blue color setup, showing the current time and weather, as well as today's and tomorrow's forecast. It's interesting to note that the design of the new widget is starkly different from the old 4x1 widget, which is still available. A quick list of the updated features can be found below.

  • Now supports Nexus 7
  • Includes a brand new (optional), beautiful, bigger widget with the clock
  • Fixed the rare maps issue on ICS devices
  • Simplified permissions as per user requests
  • Several other defect fixes including notifications, display and performance

If you're looking for another great weather app, especially if you have a Nexus 7, be sure to check out the Google Play Store link above. The app is free with ads, or $2.99 without.

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Some users with the 3.8.16 version of Google Play are seeing the "Redeem" entry show up in their menu, pushing us that much closer to live Google Play gift cards. This is happening with no hacking or tearing apart apk files, but not every phone is seeing it yet. Case in point -- my HTC One X has the right version, but the menu entry is missing, while my Galaxy Nexus has it.

We're pretty certain that it's something server side, and until the gift cards start hitting stores en masse, there's no reason to fret if you aren't seeing it just yet. We're excited though, as gift cards are something that's been on our wishlist for quite a while. 

To check if your phone is ready for them, just fire up the Google Play app and open the overflow menu. Feel free to shout out in the comments if you're seeing it, and of course any ideas to force it to happen will be welcome. There's a screenshot after the break of the page itself.

Thanks, Ben!

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