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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...

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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Headphones with line mic, charger and microUSB cable now available separately

Google has launched three new accessories for the Nexus 4 through the Google Play devices store. Well -- of the three, only one is really new -- the wired headset with line mic -- but it doesn't hurt that the official charger and microUSB cable are now available alongside it.  The charger and cable are exactly like what you'll find boxed up with your Nexus 4, while the headset is a new addition, consisting of earphones and a flattened cable containing a mic for calls.

A quick breakdown of pricing in the U.S., U.K and eurozone --

The Nexus 4 bumper is also still available, priced $19.99, £15.99 or €19.99

via Android Central Forums

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Developers who spend time to make apps that look great on a tablet get a shout-out from Google on a new page at the Google Play site.

Google has put up a page at Google Play that focuses on apps designed with a tablet in mind. Android doesn't require applications to be specifically written for tablets, instead opting to allow developers to use UI elements like fragments to better utilize screen real estate on any device. But the truth of the matter is, most app developers aren't doing it. Hopefully, a chance to get featured by Google will jump start a bit more development in this area.

We're not saying it's easy to make one app work across all devices, because it's not. Google provides a good toolbox for it, and they have outreach programs for developers, but it still takes time and work to make you app look great on both a phone and a tablet. While Android is the market leader for smart phones, their tablet sales fall to a distant third behind Apple and Amazon. It makes sense for developers to focus on an app designed to look great on a smaller screen before he or she starts worrying about tablet-sized screens and the new challenges they bring.

Anyhoo, it's nice to see Google give props to a handful (there's 116 apps featured) of applications that are awesome on your tablet, and we hope this list grows and grows. To check them out for yourself, just follow the link below.

Source: Google Play. Thanks, Tomas!

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Evernote users will be happy to see that their favorite note taking app has received a large update today, bumping it up to version 5.0. Along with a minor face lift to the user interface, shortcuts are now available that let you quickly access notes, notebooks, and tags. For those that like taking pictures of their notes, the redesigned camera now automatically adjusts photo contrast and shadows for maximum legibility in Page Camera mode. Batch shooting has also been added to the new camera, letting users add multiple pictures to a single note. The new version also brings integration of the Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine. Premium users get Document Search, which adds all attached office docs, spreadsheets, and presentations to the universal search.

Grab the update using the Play Store link above. The official developer's change log, along with pictures and videos of Evernote 5's new features, can be found at the source link below.

Source: Evernote

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The Nexus 7 has just appeared for sale on the Google Play store in India, with a shipping date of April 5. There hasn't been any official announcement to our knowledge, but a couple of quick people on Twitter found it as soon as it went live in the store -- and it doesn't get much more official than that. If you're in India, you can add it to your cart for Rs. 15,999 (about $295) and have it shipped "by April 5, 2013".

Even though the Nexus 7 may seem like old news to those of us who have had easy access to them for several months, it's a huge deal to see Google finally selling Nexus devices directly to India. Google has been making huge efforts to expand Android's presence in the country, which has been growing its mobile and smartphone usage dramatically over the last year.

Thanks, @sandeepnargund and @atulalvenkar!

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Google is in the process of activating their gift card program in Canada, and codes are now redeemable via the web for a number of users. We gave it a shot ourselves, and as you can see Rene was able to access the page to redeem a card with no trickery involved.

If you're in Canada, and want to give it a try yourself, click here and see what happens. If you're not seeing it yet, we imagine you will soon. We've no word on just when the cards themselves will be on Canadian shelves, but it can't be that far out.

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Many times we get asked where good free books can be found for Android. Not only is this one free, but it also comes with some extra content. Dan Brown's runaway hit The Da Vinci Code can now be downloaded from Google Play Books for free until March 24 for your phone or tablet. Packaged with this e-copy are the prologue and first chapter from Brown's upcoming novel Inferno, available May 14.

As the fastest selling adult hardcover of all time, and second best in sales only to Harry Potter in 2004, this book has been hard to avoid - but if you've managed to do so, or just want to relive the mystery while getting a sneak peak at Inferno, make sure to hit that download link by the 24th.

Download

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Perhaps one of the most sought after accessories on Google Play, the bumper case for Google's Nexus 4 is back in stock. Ever since the launch of the Nexus 4, Google has had problems getting these bumpers out to customers. Even those who ordered on launch day were told to expect delays up to 3 weeks. Since then, the availability of the bumpers has gone from back in stock, to out of stock, and even to "no longer available for sale." This forced Nexus 4 owners to either buy 3rd party bumpers, or pay incredibly inflated prices on sites like eBay.

While a tad expensive, the official bumper definitely has a fit and finish that compliments the Nexus 4 nicely. For a better look, check out our full review.

Hopefully Google has gotten their supply problems under control like they did with the phone itself. I wouldn't risk it though - if you've been waiting for one of these, order now.

Source: Google Play Store; thanks, Michael!

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The UK isn't the only country that's just seen a fresh influx of Nexus 4 stock at its Google Play Store. Today the official +Nexus Google+ page sends word that the coveted handset is now back in stock in Germany. The phone is available in 8GB and 16GB flavors for €299 and €349 respectively, and set to ship in 3 to 5 days.

(Incidentally, the phone's still in stock in the UK and shipping within the same timeframe)

Grab 'em at the links below --

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After a not-so-brief hiatus from the U.K. Play Store, the Nexus 4 is back up for sale. In both 8GB and 16GB versions for £239 and £279, respectively. We can't say how long this will last, but if you have yet to get your hands on one directly from the source, now is the time.

It's been well over a month since the last availability, and the device has kept in stock steadily for the U.S. as of late, so let's hope that the stock also sticks around for our friends across the pond.

Source: Nexus (Google+)

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Google has removed several ad-blocking apps from Google Play this afternoon, and sent letters to the developers explaining that they were breaking one of the rules. Section 4.4 of the Play store developer distribution agreement says:

You agree that you will not engage in any activity with the Market, including the development or distribution of Products, that interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses in an unauthorized manner the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third party including, but not limited to, Android users, Google or any mobile network operator. You may not use customer information obtained from the Market to sell or distribute Products outside of the Market.

While technically these apps do interfere with the normal way other apps operate, we all know that Google makes money from ads. At some level that has to come into play, and it's no surprise that Google would want ad-blocking software to disappear from their official marketplace. It sucks, but it is their store to run how they please, and whether it be Nazi themes or ad blockers, if they don't like it they are allowed to remove it.

But we don't have to stop using them. A big draw of Android is the ability to sideload apps without rooting or any fancy trickery. Hopefully, the affected developers will find somewhere safe and trustworthy to host their apps for download, and things can continue just like they are now. The full text of the letter sent to developers is after the break.

This leaves one question -- is the Chrome store next?

Source: @jrummy16

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Google Play has turned one year old, and although it kicked off the celebration slowly on day 1 the flood gates are now open to hundreds of deals across the store. There are special deals now for TV rentals, discounts on popular books, free games and a whole lot more. Here are the landing pages that group them all up:

There's a whole lot of free and severely discounted content available for the next few days, so get in there and see what you can find. See anything particularly worth while? Sound off in the comments and let us know.

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Google is expanding Play Store availability of its devices today by bringing the Nexus 7 to Korea directly. Sure the Nexus 7 has been out for some time now, but that doesn't mean its not still one of the best options when it comes to the 7-inch form factor. And any time that you can buy Google's products directly from them rather than a third party retailer is a bonus. Korea will have access to both 16 and 32GB versions, but there's no indication (although we're not great at reading Korean) that there's a mobile data version right at this moment.

Let's hope that Google continues this trend of bringing the Play Store -- and Nexus devices as a whole -- to more countries.

Source: @GoogleNexus (Twitter)

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There've been plenty of hints at Google Play gift cards landing in the UK since shortly after the U.S. launch. Today, on the service's first birthday, Google has announced that UK consumers will be able to buy the cards in £10, £25 and £50 denominations, with "all" Tesco and Morrisons stores stocking the cards "in the weeks ahead."

The cards work just the same as they do in the U.S. -- buy one, scratch to reveal its code, and redeem on the web or via the Android app. The amount is then added to your Google Play balance, and can be used to buy music, magazines, books. movies and apps -- but not hardware.

The news of the launch follows reports of Google Play gift card sightings at Tesco stores in recent days.

It'll take some time for Google's offering to catch up to Apple's widespread iTunes gift cards, but having two major supermarkets on-board at launch has to be a plus. More details in the presser after the break.

Update: Google's put together a retailer finder page allowing Brits to track down local stores stocking Google Play cards.

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The rebranding of Android Market to Google Play happened just one year ago today, and to celebrate Google is offering discounts, gift cards and exclusive in-game content. The deals range from free books and music to discounted movies and TV rentals, as well as new Android-themed additions to some games. Deals seem to differ depending on the country and region, but this is what we're looking at for the U.S. Three different games -- Gnome Village, Royal Revolt and Yumby Smash -- all have new free levels, discounts on in-app purchases or exclusive characters available for a limited time. Fancy, Hotels.com and Gyft are all offering discounts on purchases made from the app or giving away free gift cards to be redeemed in-app as well.

There are 11 deals in total for today, but the page also says that this is kicking off an entire week of deals on different content, so be sure to check back and see what they offer in the coming days.

Source: Google Play

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Google Play gift cards appear to be finally available in the United Kingdom, as they've been spotted in Tesco. We first got wind back in December of the UK redemption page going live, but no other news about the cards. Then, just a couple of days ago, we were given the gift card denominations that would be available, but still no physical items. Finally, they have been spotted in one of the most common grocery stores in the UK and hopefully will be found elsewhere as well.

The cards, as you can see, can be bought in the £10 or £25, though we heard that £50 options will also be available.

Source: EuroDroid

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The Google Play gift card saga continues to roll for eager potential UK based customers, with this latest information appearing on the Google Play support pages. There's no telling at the moment just how long this information has been there, but what it confirms is the amounts we'll -- eventually -- be able to purchase. And it isn't in anyway a surprise. 

It seems that the UK price structure will follow an almost identical numerical scheme to the U.S. cards, with £10, £25 and £50 cards to be available. No £15 one, but that's not a disaster. 

Considering the first signs of a UK launch were seen back in December, the fact we're yet to see these on UK shelves is still somewhat frustrating. Missing the holiday shopping period could be seen as something of a fail on Google's part, but at this point we'll take them when we can get them. 

via Redmond Pie

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As part of its new Google+ sign-in initiative that went live today, Google pushed a silent update to the Google Play Services app to support the new feature, which also brought along a new app called Google Settings. Google Play Services updates in the background routinely, much like the Play Store itself, in order to have phones up to date and syncing properly. The updates don't usually install new apps, but there's nothing to worry about here, the Google Settings app is indeed supposed to be there.

That being said, it doesn't seem all that useful, as it just provides shortcuts to the settings menus of other apps on the phone -- like Google+, Maps and Location. These settings could all be accessed previously, but in order to have everything working out of the box and have a settings area set up for the new Google+ sign-in, Google had to push something out there. We may have preferred if there was some kind of notice of what was going on though.

Going forward it's likely that Google will use this app to house more than just a few settings shortcuts -- and the functionality could easily just be baked into the general OS settings as well. For now, just let it be -- at least the icon isn't too ugly.

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Motorola is hoping to entice a few more users over to its devices by offering a $50 Play Store credit with a device purchase. With a mail-in rebate, users will receive back a $50 Play Store credit code to redeem. If purchasing the device online, they will automatically be submitting the proper information to receive the credit. The promotion is going until March 3rd, and includes the following devices:

  • Droid RAZR M
  • Droid RAZR HD, Droid RAZR MAXX HD
  • Droid RAZR, Droid RAZR MAXX
  • Droid 4
  • Atrix HD, Atrix 2
  • Photon Q LTE, Photon 4G
  • Titanium
  • Admiral
  • Electrify M, Electrify 2, electrify
  • Defy XT

So if you purchase pretty much any Motorola phone between February 18 and March 3 you should be able to claim this credit. It should also be noted also that the promotion is only available to U.S. customers. If you'd like more details on the promo -- like where and how to send in the rebate form -- you can hit up the source link below.

Source: Motorola

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The Chromebook Pixel is real, and really expensive. It's been rumored for a few weeks, and just yesterday we heard from the WSJ and one of their people close to the matter about a touchscreen Chromebook, but Google took all doubt away a few minutes ago and put the Pixel up for sale at Google Play.

It starts at a whopping $1300 for the Wifi only model, and in April we will see an LTE enabled model for $1450. This is a far cry from the affordable computer we usually think of when we think about the Chromebooks of old. So, what do you get for your 1300 dollars?

  • 12.85-inch, 400 nit display at 2560 x 1700 resolution (239 PPI)
  • Gorilla Glass multi-touch screen
  • 32 GB storage
  • Backlit Chrome keyboard
  • HD Webcam
  • 2 x USB 2.0 ports
  • Mini display port
  • 2-in-1 card reader supporting: SD, MMC
  • Intel Core i5 Processor (Dual Core 1.8GHz)
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 59 Wh battery

Sounds like quite the piece of gear, but are people going to spend $1300 on it? We're not so sure about that. Tell us what you think in the comments. Hit the break for the official product video.

Source: Google Chrome blog

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Long available on iOS, UK TV network Channel 4 has finally gotten around to releasing its 4oD streaming app on Android. Similar to rival offerings from the BBC and ITV, the 4oD app allows UK-based users to stream from Channel 4's back-catalog of TV content, and view shows aranged by recommendation, TV schedule or category.

Like the 4oD web streaming service, you'll need to create a (free) account before you can get access to shows, and it seems streaming over mobile data is disabled for the time being. (You're also SOL if you're rooted, likely due to piracy fears.) However, the app itself looks pretty well-designed, tying elements of Android's "holo" design language in with C4's own styling. There's also parental controls, allowing you to block 16+ or 18+ content using a PIN lock.

The 4oD app for Android is available now on Google Play for UK Android devices running version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher.

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