Google Play Store - Featured Articles

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...
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...
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...

Google Play Store - Photos

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Google is kicking off a fun little promotion in the Google Play store today, and for the next week you'll be able to get exclusive content inside more than 20 games. The items and the games themselves are a pretty eclectic mix, some are Android themed like a t-shirt in Stardom or an Android monster in Monster Park, others are more mundane, like patio furniture in The Sims Freeplay.

This promo is available for everyone and not limited to the US only (Hooray!). If you're a fan of games with premium content, and want to grab some exclusives, hit the source links for more information.

Collectibles Week: US, outside the US; via: +Google Play

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A day after making its debut in Deutschland, Google Play Books are now available in Spain. That means books on your tablets, books on your phones, and books in your browser. Go get your read on, folks! 

Via @Google

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You might not be too familiar with the Kobo Vox, and you would be forgiven for it. With it, Kobo tried to go down the Nook Color / Kindle Fire road -- producing essentially an e-reader that had a full color capacitive display with Android on board. Where Barnes and Noble and Amazon may have succeeded, for Kobo, the Vox has been less impressive. One of the biggest issues with the Vox, is the difficulty in getting apps onto the device with no Google Play Store. In the UK for example, the Amazon Appstore isn't available either leaving Vox owners with a tedious time ahead should they want to do more than just read on it, especially since the on board third party store is pretty slim pickings. And, lets face it, Google Play is the best place to get apps, right?

However, the Vox is about to set itself apart from the respective B&N and Amazon offerings. Kobo has announced today that the Vox will be receiving Google Certification. That means, in particular, that owners will be able to access the official Google Play Store and download all the fabulous -- fart apps aside -- applications within. With Google applications on board, does this now mean the Vox becomes a viable budget tablet? 

Maybe, maybe not. It isn't particularly slim, and it doesn't have a particularly great screen. It isn't that powerful either, with an 800MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, and only 512MB of RAM, but it does have a microSD card slot to expand the onboard 8GB storage. It's cheap too, in the UK retailing at £150 from high-street chain WHSmiths, and $179.99 in the US at Best Buy online. And, should you be so inclined, the Vox also comes in a rather fetching shade of pink.

New Vox's will be sold ready to go, but existing owners will be able to update their devices OTA.   

via Pocket-Lint; More: Kobo

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If you're using the official Facebook application for Android, you'll want to head to Google Play and grab the latest version, as it's just been updated with "improved performance and various bug fixes." No word on exactly what these entail, but anything that brings a better, faster Facebooking experience on our phones has to be a good thing.

If you've noticed any changes in the latest version, be sure to drop by the comments and let us know. And if you've yet to install the official Facebook app, you can find it on Google Play over at this here Internet hyperlink.

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Today on Android A to Z we're going to talk about Google Play. If you're new to Android, you see us throw it around a lot when talking about downloading apps, but there's a good bit more to it, and we think there's even more planned. It's much more than a name for Android's official application store, and it's worth having a good long look at it.

Looking at the Google Play store on your phone or on the web, you'll see categories of the different types of media Google has to offer. There are Music, Apps, Books, and Movies -- and one more treat we'll get to in a minute. At each section of the Play store you'll find media for your Android device, sometimes free, sometimes not free. For the things you'll need to pay for there's Google Wallet (the service, not the Android app) and if you're downloading from your Android phone some carriers support direct billing. Shopping is pretty straightforward, you browse the sections by category, and when you find something you want, you simply tap a button and it gets downloaded to your device. As long as the content is available in your region (that's a sore spot Google needs to work out), and you have the correct application (Books and Movies use an Android app you can get free from the Applications section of the Google Play store), things are pretty instant and pretty simple.

One really cool thing we never seem to remember to talk about is downloading apps from the web on your computer directly to your Android device. Using a regular hyperlink to the Google Play store, like this one for Dropbox, you'll find a handy install button you can click to install it to your phone or tablet. If you have more than one Android device, you'll get to choose which on to install it to. Books, Movies and Music work the same way -- once installed from the web they are instantly available on your Android device(s). This type of integration between the web interface and the phone version is pretty awesome, and makes for easy shopping.

There's one more section of the Google Play store. You won't see it from your phone, and it's the latest (and most exciting) section of Google Play. It's the Devices section. Right now you can buy a factory unlocked Galaxy Nexus, as well as a few accessories, direct from Google. The cupboards looks pretty bare now, but we have a feeling it may soon have more to offer, and we'll see phones, tablets, Google TV units and related accessories there for sale.

Google seems pretty dedicated to their new Google Play branding, and so far it's worked well. Android is turning into it's own ecosystem, and as dedicated Android enthusiasts we're excited to see how it all plays out!

Check out the complete Android Dictionary

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Google Play continues to expand upon the business models available to developers and app-buyers, with today's launch of in-app subscription on its Android app store. Following on from last year's in-app purchases launch, Google Play's in-app subscriptions service provides the ability for apps to charge a monthly or yearly fee for in-app content. As you'd expect, the payment amount and renewal period is set by the developer, and users are able to manage these recurring payments through the Google Play Store. And unwanted subscriptions can be canceled via the new "Subscriptions" tab under "My Apps."

In its announcement blog post, Google highlights in-app subscriptions as being particularly useful for "premium dynamic content," such as newspapers and magazines. And if you're also an iOS user, you'll be aware that this is a service that Apple's offered since this time last year, with the specific aim of attracting this kind of content to its app store.

The first Android app to ship with in-app subscriptions is Glu Mobile's Frontline Commando, and Google says more devs will announce subscription-funded versions of their apps in the days ahead. Other devs can pick up sample code over at the source link. If you're looking to manage your own subscriptions, you'll need version 3.5 or higher of the Google Play Store app, which Google says has already been rolled out to most Android devices around the world.

Source: Android Developers blog

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If you're looking for an excuse to pick up some top-notch Android games over the next week, you'll want to check out the "Because We May" sale, which has kicked off today. The sale, crated by a band of leading mobile game developers, brings heavy discounts to favorites of ours, including World of Goo, Osmos, EDGE and Fieldrunners HD. Many are on sale for under £2, while some are even 99 cents or less.

What's the big idea behind Because We May? The devs point to a celebration of the freedom offered by modern digital distribution channels like Google Play and the iOS App Store --

We believe that developers should have the freedom to price their games how they like, without interference from the online stores that sell the games. Why? Because it allows us to promote our games more freely, as we are doing here! We rely on the ability to promote our games for our livelihood and control over pricing is an important tool for this purpose.

The sale runs for the next week, so you've got until next Friday, June 1, to get your fill of some of the best Android games around. And if you're a multi-platform type, the "Because We May" sale also has discounts on iOS, Mac and Steam titles.

Hit the source link for the full list of discounted games on Google Play.

Source: Because We May

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acr456 asks in the Android Central forums

Hello, I am going to factory reset my phone. However, my question is, since this is a complete reset will it also rollback to the version of Android that the EVO was launched with? For example, I know have version 2.3.5. Will it roll it all the way back to 2.1? I just want my data erased, I want to keep all my system updates including whatever updates Sprint sent. Do I have anything to worry about?

 

Also, the EVO I'm resetting is deactivated. Once the reset is complete will I be able to fully use my phone without the need of a Sprint connection? I have Wifi so that will do.

We're glad you asked! We get this one a lot, and we can see why the term factory data reset would make one think it was being returned to the factory, out-of-box condition. Thankfully, it's not. A factory reset will erase all user settings (things like home screen customizations, Wifi networks, sound settings and the like) and delete all apps downloaded from the Google Play store. It won't touch anything that's part of the system files, so your worse case scenario (and actually the likely scenario) is that system apps that have been updated from the Google Play store (things like the Gmail app or Maps) will just need updated from the Play store again. You'll still be on the latest 2.3.5 version, but the rest will be clean like a new device.

As for it working without Sprint service, everything but calls and SMS/MMS will work just fine. I've had my EVO 4G unactivated for over a year now and use it to keep little ones occupied when they come for a visit. Using Wifi, all your Google services, including the important one -- the Google Play store -- will still work just fine. Good luck, and have fun with your new EVO PDA!

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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For pretty much a year now, Sprint customers have been able to make use of carrier billing for app purchases on the Google Play Store but now, Sprint in cooperation with Google have gone ahead and taken it one step further. We knew it was coming but starting today, Sprint customers in the US can now use carrier billing for all their Google Play Store purchases including apps, music, books and movies. Anyone on Sprint going to be making use of this now that it is finally live? I've always been curious how many people make use of carrier billing.

Source: Google

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The latest Instagram for Android update is now available for download in the Google Play Store. This update will be higher priority for those of you out there making use of devices with a front-facing camera. As noted in the change log, it corrects some issues when using the advanced camera option as well as some problems with the reliability of photo filters for certain Galaxy Y and Ace devices. If you fit into either of those sections, or just want to ensure you have the latest installed, you can grab the link below.

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Twitter for Android is getting some bug-squashing love right now. If you fire up the Google Play Store, you should find a new update waiting for you. The latest version corrects some issues with sync settings on various devices, as well as addressing some concerns for folks who may still be running an Android 2.0 / 2.1 Eclair device:

  • Fixes missing avatars on devices running Eclair (Android 2.0/2.1)
  • Accurately displays sync settings based on system sync setting
  • Fixes Top Tweets appearing out of order in search and discover
  • Fixes various other bugs and crashers

If you've been experiencing issues with the current build, then go ahead and get yourself updated. Those "various other bugs and crashers" could just be the fixes you've been waiting for. Down below is where you'll find the store link and QR code, as always.

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Google has announced that they will begin offering direct carrier billing for movies, music, and books in addition to Android apps in the Google Play store. This means that you can buy just about anything from the Play Store, and have the cost tacked on to your monthly cell phone bill through your carrier. It's not available everywhere, but the list of carriers that support direct billing is pleasantly robust --

  • Germany: T-Mobile, Vodafone
  • Italy: Vodafone
  • Japan: KDDI, Docomo, Softbank
  • Korea: KT, SKT, LGU+
  • Spain: Vodafone
  • UK: T-Mobile, Vodafone
  • US: AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint

Currently, only KDDI, Docomo, and Softbank in Japan, and T-Mobile in the US allow billing of other media. Other carriers (Sprint was mentioned by name) will be coming on-board soon. This should help users who can't or won't enter credit or debit card information into Google Wallet, and get more media in more phones.

Source: +Google Play, via Androinica

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You may recall that last week we ordered an unlocked GSM Samsung Galaxy Nexus from the Google Play store to give away. There was this gigantic forum thread and everything. Well, we fired up ye olde random number generator last night and picked a winner, and now we're gonna announce it.

Scmurphy13, enjoy your Galaxy Nexus!

Keep an eye peeled for more contests and giveaways -- we like having them as much as you like winning them. Congrats, scmurphy13, from everyone here at AC!

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Good news for our friends down under, as Australia now has access to Google Play Movies, as you can see by this screen shot. There's still a pretty big empty spot there, though, and that'd be for Google Music. Will we see expansion outside the U.S. any time now? Let's hope.

Thanks, James!

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The rumors were true -- Google once again is selling unlocked smartphones on its own, with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus going for $399 in the Google Play Store.

The phone Google's offering is an unlocked pentaband GSM device, same as what many of us had imported previously. The "pentaband" part means that it'll work on AT&T and T-Mobile 3G/4G networks. And because it's unlocked, you can take it out of the country and pop in another carrier's SIM card without needing an unlock code.

Google's tried selling phones before, starting with the original Nexus One in early 2010. That ended poorly, with customer support issues dogging Google, HTC and T-Mobile (which at launch was the only carrier to officially support the N1). Google finally shut down the phone store in May 2010 and said the Nexus One would come to retail stores. That didn't happen. Later, the remaining Nexus One stock was offered as a developer device.

So what happened? Google's Mario Queiroz told us at Google IO in May 2010 that "The web store as a direct distribution model is really a very small part of the overall Android strategy. With the Nexus One we had the objective of bringing to market a very technologically sophisticated phone, which we did, which really set a new bar for quality. And I think you've seen a lot of the phones in the market today, that have come to market in the past few months, have been influencing, in many ways ... by what the Nexus One was able to do."

Sweetening the deal is that Google Wallet -- which for some time has been official only on the Sprint Nexus S, and now on the Sprint Galaxy Nexus -- is preloaded on this GSM device.

For our part, this is the way Google should sell Nexus devices. Unlocked GSM versions, able to work on networks worldwide. And, of course, it's what some are calling the one "true" Nexus because you're able to build for it directly from the Android Open Source Project, with no pesky CDMA licensing restrictions  keeping that from happening. (We don't quite subscribe to that "True Nexus" theory ourselves, though.)

Devices in Google Play right now is open only in the U.S. But Andy Rubin, in a blog post this morning, says it'll be coming to more countries. The obvious follow-up question is this, though: Google won't be stopping at selling phones at Google Play, will it?

Buy now: Galaxy Nexus at Google Play
More: Google Mobile Blog

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Update 2: And they're back. Crisis is averted!

Update: Google's now telling developers that it's aware of the issue. Help is on the way!

Everybody panic! Paid applications have disappeared from Google Play! Well, that's half true. They're still visible in the Android app, but trying to purchase just leads to an error. But the web portal (at least anything that's not on the front page) has been wiped of anything that costs anything.

It should go without saying (but we're about to say it anyway) that this certainly is a temporary thing. But we imagine there are a few developers of paid applications who are none too happy about this.

In the meantime, free apps are available for download, and books and music appear to be unaffected.

We've got an e-mail into Google to see what's going on.

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Notably missing from the Google Play and YouTube repertoire of content, has long been iconic studio MGM. But now, they're missing no more. MGM has become the fifth major studio to partner with Google, and over 600 titles will be making their way into the catalog. The only catch thus far -- in typical Google fashion it will only be available in the US and Canada for the time being. 

More titles will be added over the coming weeks. But, for now if you've been hankering for some Robocop or Terminator action on your Android device, hanker no longer. 

Source: YouTube

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Google has been working hard over the past few years to make the Google Play Store as global as possible and now, they've announced the availability of some new areas and currencies that are supported:

  • Czech Republic
  • Israel
  • Poland
  • Mexico

Android developers in those countries can now submit and sell apps in any currency they wish and subsequently receive payouts and financial data for their work in their local currency. The finer details are highlighted on the Android Developer Blog and within the developer console so be sure to check out the source link for more information.

Source: Android Developer Blog

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The Google Goggles app for Android has been updated to version 1.8, with a couple of improvements for continuous mode -- that's the mode where Goggles continues to scan on-the-fly without requiring you to take a snapshot. Firstly, the speed barcode recognition in continuous mode has been increased twofold. And selected, recognized objects in continuous mode are now saved to your search history, assuming you've got that enabled in the settings page.

Goggles, if you're unfamiliar with it, uses Google's databases to recognize logos, products, works of art and other images through your Android device's camera. If you've yet to give it a whirl, you can find the Google Play Store link after the break.

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The Amazon Appstore has been a great alternative to the Google Play Store for many users for various reasons. Whether you enjoy grabbing the free app of the day, or you are unable to get access to the Google Play Store, Amazon has been there for you this year. Until now Amazon did not offer an in-app purchase option for developers, so this meant that they got their money when the app was originally purchased, or never. Many developers utilize in-app purchases for things like buying extra coins, removing ads, upgrade and many other things, and now they will be able to do this through the Amazon Appstore. If you are a developer, Amazon has put together some sample code and other resources for your use, so be sure to check that out for even more details.

Source: Amazon

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