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Google Play Newsstand

Google Play Newsstand updated with new navigation tabs, combined 'My Library' section

Content sections now separated into individual tabs for easier reading Our third Google app update of the day is Google Play Newsstand, and again we're looking at light changes with a few new features that'll grab the interest of those who regularly use the app. Content discovery is a big deal...
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...

Google Play Store - Top Articles

XCOM for Android

X-COM: Enemy Unknown now available on Google Play

Strategy gamers will be happy to hear that the highly acclaimed XCOM: Enemy Unknown, is now available on Android for $9.99. This title has seen a ton of critical success on PC and iOS already, and based on early reviews, looks like it's well-optimized for Android. An Amazon version's on the way...
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,...
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...
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...
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 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...
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...
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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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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Nexus 5 now available in 12 countries direct from Google

Update: We now have an official price for the Nexus 5 in India, INR 28,999 (16GB) and INR 32,999 (32GB), and also have a better timeframe for the Nexus 5 launch in Saudi Arabia — LG is saying "early December" at this point, with pricing to be announced at launch.

Original story: Along with a whole boat load of accessories, Google is expanding the availability of the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 in Google Play. Starting today, you can pick up Google's latest tablet and phone in both Hong Kong and India directly, building on the current availability in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and Korea.

If you've been waiting to get your hands on the latest in Nexus devices and wanted to get them directly from Google in one of the new countries, now is the time to do so. Hit the Play Store link above for the Nexus 5, or click right here for the Nexus 7.

Source: +Nexus; More: AndroidOS.in; @LGMobileSaudi

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Google Play wants to see #whatmatters to you

Google Play has fired up a neat little contest, and it just might be your chance to win a new 2013 Nexus 7 or a $50 Google Play gift card. What they want to see is a picture of the things that matter most to you, surrounding your favorite Android Device (if you have one).

They make mention that you don't need to have an Android device to win, and that you shouldn't be focusing on brand names or labels for this one. You need to be 18 or older, live in the US, and submit a qualifying picture to win. See the full terms and conditions right here. It's also pretty likely that any winning pictures are going to be shared by Google, so keep that in mind.

If you're itching to get a free Nexus 7, or 50 clams worth of Google Play store credit, visit the official entry page right here.

Via: +Google Play

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'No planned support' for Google's app platform on BB10, company says

A recent round of rumors, sparked by images allegedly showing the Google Play Store running on a BlackBerry 10 handset, led to speculation that a deal may have been done to bring Google's app marketplace to BlackBerry devices. For those unfamiliar with the platform, BB10 phones can run regular Android apps through a bundled runtime, however this doesn't include any Google-approved apps, nor Google Play Services.

Today BlackBerry has issued a statement to CrackBerry.com denying any plans to bring the Google Play Store to BB10, and underscoring its commitment to its own BlackBerry World ecosystem — effectively shooting down the rumor in question.

"There is no planned support for Google Play on BlackBerry. BlackBerry World remains the primary source for trusted and curated BlackBerry applications and we continue to support open standards and open source tools so BlackBerry developers can continue to create great apps on any of the development platforms we support."

So that's that. There's lots more discussion on the CrackBerry forums for those wanting to dig deeper into the background of this story.

Source: CrackBerry

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Service can cost as little as $75 per language for a small app

Google is working to bring more of Google Play to countries with languages other than English, and launching its App Translation Service is a big step in the right direction. Announced back in May at Google I/O, the App Translation Service is an easy and relatively inexpensive way for app developers to have their apps and Play Store pages professionally translated to dozens of other languages.

Now any developer can take advantage of this service right from the Developer Console with a few clicks. After going through a "localization checklist" that makes sure your app is ready to support other languages, you simply choose from one of many professional translation services, select which languages you'd like to translate to and you're on your way. You can even communicate with the translator along the way to make sure the app works just right with the new localization.

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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 the Nexus 5, which is the default SMS app on that device. When you first load up the updated Hangouts you'll be presented with a fullscreen message asking if you want to enable SMS support — tap yes and your messages are imported into the app, and you'll receive future SMS notifications through Hangouts instead of your preloaded SMS app. Tap "Maybe later" and things will stay as they are.

For the most part, the texting experience through Hangouts 2.0 on any other device is the same as it is on the Nexus 5 — SMS conversations are shown in a list alongside your other, and you can choose whether you want to communicate over Hangouts or SMS when starting a new conversation. Want out? At any point you can go to Settings > SMS > Turn on SMS to enable or disable SMS in Hangouts.

The update also adds animated GIF support and a new location-sharing button, which you can tap to tell contacts where you are.

As usual the update is being rolled out gradually across the Android user base, so don't be surprised if you don't see it immediately. If you're updating today, be sure to hit the comments and let us know whether you're opting into SMS in Hangouts or not.

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Answer a question, pay for that in-app purchase in Candy Crush

The Google Opinion Rewards app has just launched in the Play Store, and it may be a good way to build up your Play Store credit balance. The idea isn't new — after you download the app, you'll occasionally be asked to answer a handful of questions, and you'll be rewarded with money to spend on apps, movies, books and music in the Play Store.

Google says the surveys will show up about once a week, and you'll be notified on your phone when a survey is ready to be answered. The questions will be simple and range from things like "Which logo is best?" to "When do you plan on traveling next?" The app is currently U.S.-only, and it isn't clear how much Play Store credit you'll get for answering each survey.

You can download the app (from the Play Store link above) right now and answer a few questions about yourself, and then wait for the first real surveys to come in.

Source: +Google Consumer Surveys

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New version adds Korean support

As part of Google's ongoing effort to spin off certain software features into Google Play for easier updating, the company has today launched the Google Text-to-Speech engine as a standalone app on the Play Store. The will push out automatically to those using an older version (not you, Nexus 5 owners, you're already up-to-date out of the box). If you install it on a device that doesn't have it already, it'll appear as an option alongside whichever manufacturer-loaded text-to-speech service is currently in use.

The only major change we're seeing compared to the older pre-loaded version is the addition of Korean as a supported language. However the ability to update text-to-speech without requiring an OS upgrade presents the possibility of Google introducing more advanced TTS features through future app updates.

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For folks who need to know, and for those who can never read enough about KitKat

In case you're looking for more information about Android 4.4, or to use it's more delicious name, KitKat, Google has you covered. The official Android 4.4 Quick Start Guide (53 pages) is available free from Google Play. You'll need to have Google Play Books installed to read it, so if you're using an older phone you'll need to grab that from the Play store first.

A quick glance shows sections about home screen setup, using Google Now, notifications, the new Tap and Pay system, and just about everything else someone new to Android or Kit Kat would want to know. This should be a good read to get started, and if you still need a little help — no worries, we all do sometimes — the forums is the place to get it.

Via: +Cassidy James

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Before we go any further today, we do need to mention just how smooth Thursday's launch of the Nexus 5 appeared to go from a retail standpoint. Google Play appeared to stand up to the nerd crush. Google Wallet — which in the past has been the bottleneck — handled the transactions as well as we could expect.

And phones are already shipping.

So kudos to the men and women behind the scenes — whose names and faces we never hear or see and who don't get anywhere near enough credit from an all-too-often ungrateful public — for keeping the wheels turning better than they have in previous launches. You made a lot of nerds happy this week.

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Stylish (and expensive) ways to protect your new Nexus 5

Along with the announcement of the Nexus 5 on Google Play, Google is rolling out an assortment of different cases for the phone. There's both a "bumper" case available for $34.99 (£24.99 in the U.K.) and "QuickCover" for $49.99 (£34.99). The bumper isn't much of a bumper at all, and actually covers the back of the phone as well. it is made of a "hard outer shell and soft rubber lining," and is offered in black, grey, red and yellow — while it seemed to actually be on sale for a moment, it is dropped to "coming soon" in all colors.

The QuickCover case is much the same, but has a flap that covers the screen as well. Both black and white varieties are "coming soon" at this point in the US, with the black version currently shipping in the U.K.

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Google is getting in the Halloween spirit, and they've got a page full of games with special Halloween promotions to celebrate. Titled "Spooky Savings", here's a list of what's available:

It may not be the candy bar you want right now, but these games should help pass the time. Give 'em a try!

Source: Google Play

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TV shows from Google expands to only the third global location with Japanese availability

The slow, slow rollout of Google Play TV Shows continues, with the addition of Japan as just the third country in which the content is available. Having been a U.S. exclusive for so long, British customers were able to buy TV Shows as of August this year, and now the goodness expands over to Japan. Shows can be watched on the web, or via the Play Movies and TV app on your Android device. 

Beyond the kind of content we'd expect to see in the west, the Japanese Play Store also seems to be offering a host of local content as well. If you're over in Japan, hit up the Play Store now and take a look. 

Source: Google Play regional availability; via Android Police

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Inline previews and new, easier ways to reply, retweet and favorite

The official Twitter app for Android has been updated with a feature that's long been popular in third-party clients, inline previews for photos and videos. The feature, enabled by default but toggleable in the settings menu, shows an expanded preview of photos and Vines (but not YouTube videos) directly in your feed. You can then tap the inline image to show a larger version.

In addition, todays update brings reply, retweet and favorite buttons directly underneath each tweet, meaning you no longer have to long press to access these. (You'll still need to long press to share individual tweets to other apps, however.)

The new version of Twitter for Android (ver. 4.1.9) is rolling out now on Google Play, so check the Play Store app to grab the update.

More: Twitter blog

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No secret KitKat changes came with today's Google Play store update

You may have noticed a new look in your Google Play app this evening, as the 4.4 update is rolling out to users. There's not a lot to talk about with changes, because the only thing we're able to see different is the new hamburger menu is now implemented in the app, leading to a more consistent feel across Google's closed and proprietary applications.

This does affect users who still have a menu button on their device, as now instead of opening the overflow the menu button only opens a window with a "settings" and "help" entry, while the rest of the shortcuts are in the drawer. Other than that, it's the same Play store app you're used to, with the same wish list screen, my apps pages, and shopping menu as always.

If you haven't received the update, there are a couple things you can try. There are (as always) mirrors floating around out there, but if you're not keen on trusting a file that updates a system app when you don;t know where ti comes from, we found a few ways that ended up forcing the updates here.

  • Just reboot. That's how Andrew was able to get the update pushed to him.
  • Uninstall updates for Google play in settings > applications. This worked for Alex.
  • Clear cache and data for Google Services Framework in your settings, then reboot (advanced). This is what I had to do.

Or just wait it out, because you're not really missing anything except a cleaner app navigation system. We've got a handful of screenshots after the break.

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But the device itself is still U.S.-only

Good news for anyone outside the U.S. who's managed to import a Chromecast into their country. We're hearing reports that the accompanying Android app can now be downloaded through Google Play by international users, and we've confirmed that that's the case in the UK. (AC readers have chimed in saying they're seeing it in many other countries, so it appears all regional restrictions on the app may have been lifted.)

Previously the Chromecast app, like the dongle, was unavailable to all outside the U.S. Unfortunately the device itself is still cannot be purchased from the UK Google Play Store, though the app's new international availability may signal possible changes ahead.

Thanks, Gary! 

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New icons for pinned music also in latest version

There's a new version of Google Play Music rolling out today, bringing with it a couple of interesting new features. The first is plain to see at the top of the Listen Now and Radio sections, named "I'm feeling lucky radio," in an homage to Google's famous search button. The new radio channel picks stuff it think you'll like based on your past usage. Once you're in, "I'm feeling lucky" works just line any other radio list in Play Music — you can share it, save it, or save tracks to a playlist.

Secondly, there's been a UI tweak to make it easier to find music you've saved to your device — these items now show a little "pin" icon on the lower right of the card.

The update is rolling out through Google Play right now, though with any staged update everyone might not get the new version right away. If you've picked it up already, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on with the new "I'm feeling lucky" radio.

Update: Looks like the new radio mode is rolling out to Google Play Music on the web, too.

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Apps designed for tablets will be more visible from your tablet come November 21

Google has announced that some changes are coming to Google Play on November 21, and that the tablet app section will take front and center.

With all new tablet sales being 50 percent Android, Google wants to expand and showcase the "Designed for Tablets" section of Google Play, where applications that have been written to take better advantage of the extra real estate that a 7-inch or 10-inch tablet can offer are highlighted.

Come late November, users browsing the Google Play app on their tablet will now have the "Designed for Tablets" view as the default when looking through the top lists (Top Paid, Top Free, Top Grossing, Top New Paid, Top New Free, and Trending). We'll still be able to switch to see all apps if we like, but this should make sure we notice the apps that will look and run best on out tablets.

If you're an app developer, you'll want to get in on this action. The Android Developers Blog is a great place to start, and getting your app primed for the big tablet push is their goal. Hit the source link and get started. And don't forget to holler at us when you're done — we're always looking for the best apps to feature on the blog.

Source: Android Developers Blog

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30 day free trial with promotional pricing available until Nov. 11

Following up on a wide European expansion last week, Google is opening up Play Music and All Access streaming to Mexico starting today. The free component of Google Play Music has the same 20,000 user-uploaded song limit as in other countries, and the new All Access subscription model also offers all of the same perks.

Mexican music junkies can get in on a 30 day free trial offer before November 11th, and from that point on only pay MX$79 per month for the service. If you cancel at any time, or sign up after November 11th, you'll pay a full MX$99 per month for the service.

Source: +Google Play

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New statistics, service alerts and increased storage for games

The Google Play Games app has only been available for a few months now, but Google is expanding the developer tools related to the service starting today. First up are game services statistics in the developer console, which will give devs information about player activity such as how many players have signed into the game via Google, the number of players who unlocked achievements and how many are participating in leaderboards.

Next up are game services alerts in the developer console, which will give devs a heads-up about issues related to Google Play Games in their apps. Google is also doubling the amount of Cloud Save storage available to game developers, up to 1MB per user from 512KB, letting more game save data to be saved and synced between devices.

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