There's a lot going on at Google Play, and we're here to help get you started
Google is slowly turning into your one-stop place to shop for all your online content. With great music, movies, books and magazines (not to mention 700,000 apps) there's a good chance something you want is there waiting for you. Because it's such a big place, things can get a little complicated.
Don't worry, though. Android Central is here to help. We've assembled a list of featured stories that should help answer all your questions and get you well on your way to discovering all the great content -- and how to best find it and get it on your Android device.
Before we get to the meat, let's talk a few minutes about Google Play and cover some basic settings. Google Play is the big Googly umbrella that covers the Android app store, Play Music, Play Books, Play Magazines and Play Movies and TV. You'll find each of these apps installed individually on your phone or tablet, along with the stand alone Google Play application where you can download and purchase apps and media. Not every service is available in every country, so you might be missing one or more of the items. That's something Google is constantly working on, and we hope all the services roll out across the globe soon.
We're going to cover each of the apps individually below, but there are a few general settings in the Google Play app you'll want to set before you get started.
Open the Google Play application on your phone or tablet, and either with the menu button if your phone has one, or the action overflow indicator (three dots in the upper right) look for the line item that says "Settings" and tap it. You'll be faced with a few things you can set, and most of them are geared towards Android applications. We'll talk about those all in turn, but for now we want to look at the portion labeled "User Controls".
These are global settings for all areas of the store, and you'll want to make sure you have them set the way you like. Under Content filtering you can select whether or not to show apps that may have adult material. Google doesn't allow porn or hate-speech in Google Play, but there are quite a few apps with subject matter you might not be comfortable seeing, or not suitable for the kids. Be sure to set this accordingly.
The next item is marked Password, and having it checked means that you'll need to enter your Google account password to make in-app purchases. This can be pretty important, especially if you let youngsters or a smart phone novice play games on your phone and they aren't aware that these can cost real money. If the box is unchecked, you can make those purchases without having to enter your credentials each time.
Once you have those settings to your liking, you're ready to tackle the Play store. Below you'll find some handy links to walk you through each portion, and some tips to get you headed in the right direction.
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 4 Mar 2014 6:36 pm
Still just four countries in total have access to TV shows through Google Play
Googe Play TV is expanding to just its fourth country worldwide today with the move down under to Australia. The country joins the exclusive company of the United States, United Kingdom and Japan, building on the prior availability of the "movies" side of Google Play previously. Australia now has access to pretty...
Posted by Richard Devine on 17 Feb 2014 6:57 am
Won't stop games being made but should reduce Flappy spam
After Flappy Bird's rampant success, the inevitable rush of clones and 'Flappy' everythings started to emerge. The Play Store – and iOS App Store – is full of them, but it looks now as if developers will at least have to be more creative in naming their apps. According to a report by TechCrunch, Google and Apple are both starting to...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 11 Feb 2014 6:11 pm
Don't worry, everything will be back up and operational soon
Folks from all around are reporting issues downloading apps and updates from the Play Store today, receiving an error "403" in the process. It's safe to say at this point that Google Play is both herping and derping, and it should be sorted out soon. Here's a quick explanation of what that 403 error means, technically:
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 10 Feb 2014 5:17 pm
Save $95 and bring your own Nexus 5 to the MVNO
Sprint MVNO Ting is now selling the Nexus 5 on its own website, but you'll be paying $445 (a $95 premium) to buy it from Ting instead of Google Play. And the carrier isn't making any illusions about the fact — it is telling customers to just buy the phone for cheaper from Google and put a Ting SIM card into it. As it explains on its official blog...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 30 Jan 2014 9:14 am
Rebooted PC classic now available worldwide on Google Play
EA has announced that Dungeon Keeper for Android (and iOS) is now available globally, following a limited rollout in some regions towards the end of 2013. The game is thematically similar to classic titles on which it's based, but the mobile version of 'Keeper is more about tower defense and strategy building than the PC originals....
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 21 Jan 2014 4:25 pm
Grab some protection for your tablet or phone at a discount
Google Play is running a promotion to offer 25 percent off select Nexus 5 and 7 accessories for a limited time. While you won't see the full range of accessories like chargers and headphones, you can get your hands on the three latest Nexus 7 cases — Sleeve, Folio and Case — as well as the Nexus 5 Bumper Case and QuickCover case for a...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 21 Jan 2014 10:21 am
'Pure Google' versions of leading devices from Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony and Motorola, sold unlocked from the Play Store
From mid-2013 Google has started offering a range of phones and tablets running "stock" Android through the Google Play Store in the U.S. In contrast to the company's Nexus devices, Google Play editions take an existing phone or tablet from one of the major manufacturers and...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 14 Jan 2014 7:25 pm
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 14 Jan 2014 2:16 pm
Same great phone at a budget price, with a slightly different take on software
In yet another quiet release, Google has just put up the Moto G Google Play edition for sale at $179 for the 8GB model. That mirrors the price that Motorola has been selling it directly, but this version will follow in the footsteps of other GPe devices with a slightly different software experience. The differences...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 14 Jan 2014 2:55 pm
Same case, louder color option
Google Play is again expanding its Nexus accessory ranks with a new color of the Nexus 7 Sleeve. Now sitting alongside the black, grey and yellow options is a new bright red version adorned with the same subtle "Nexus" branding and black accent stitching. The sleeve offers a good bit of protection for either generation of the Nexus 7 as well.
We're starting to...
Posted by Jared DiPane on 9 Jan 2014 1:03 am
Digital coupon brings discounts to select retailers
Whether you are looking for a gift for someone else, or you just like a good deal yourself, you will want to check this out. Select retailers are offering a discount on Google Play gift cards to the user of a digital coupon. The current offer gets you $2.50 off of a $25 gift card and $5 off of a $50 gift card. While the discounts may not be...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 31 Dec 2013 3:57 pm
Deal available both online and in-store, with Play Store codes sent by email
If you didn't happen to pick up a Nexus 7 during your holiday shopping, Best Buy is running a pretty great sale you may want to take advantage of. You can pick up Google's latest 7-inch tablet for just $199, that's $30 off, and also pick up a $25 Google Play credit in the process. Even if you don't see too much value...
Posted by Phil Nickinson on 27 Dec 2013 11:16 am
As is prone to happen this time of year, Google's got a bunch of holiday deals in order on Google Play. The savings spans across just about every category, from Kanye West's "Yeezus" album free for a limited time. The Star Wars: Tiny Death Star game has an exclusive Google Play bundle available, Asphalt 8 has an exclusive Google Play Cup challenge, Despicable Me is free (in standard definition...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 20 Dec 2013 2:02 pm
A classic family-friendly holiday movie to enjoy for free
Google Play is bringing some holiday cheer to us all with a free SD version of what has turned into a classic Christmas movie in recent years, Elf. For what we can assume is a limited time only, Google Play Movies is offering up Elf for free so that even more people can watch or re-watch this family-friendly Christmas movie.
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 17 Dec 2013 11:52 pm
27 countries in total now have access to the expansive movie collection
Google Play is expanding its reach for Google Play Movies to 13 new countries today. That brings the total number of countries served by the movie service to 27, which is a solid number considering the deals that likely have to take place to make that happen.
Antigua and Barbuda
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 12 Dec 2013 7:42 pm
Google Cast Chrome extension still required
Building on its recent expansion of supported apps, Chromecast will now interact with Google Play on the web for Music, Movies and TV shows. Similar to what we've seen happen in the new Youtube player, you'll now find a "Cast" button in the web interface for these two Google Play properties, making it simple to send content from your computer to the...
Posted by Phil Nickinson on 12 Dec 2013 12:35 pm
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 10 Dec 2013 11:43 pm
Free shipping for both thrown in as a bonus
Just in case you were looking for yet another reason to pick up a Nexus 7 and Chromecast, Google Play is running another deal on the devices. If you buy both at the same time, you'll be offered $35 in Google Play credit to spend on apps, books, movies and whatever other digital content tickles your fancy. Further, you'll get free shipping on the...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 10 Dec 2013 2:52 pm
New colors of Nexus 7 Sleeve, Nexus 7 Case now shipping as well
Just when you thought two new devices and a white version of the Nexus 7 was enough Google Play news for one day, Google has just made available new Nexus 7 cases as well. The Folio case is designed for just the Nexus 7 (2013), and offers an open-back bumper style along with a dual-fold cover on top. Just like many other cases of...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 9 Dec 2013 6:41 am
¥1500 ($15) to ¥20,000 ($194) cards available
Japan has joined the exclusive list of countries offering Google Play gift cards for sale. According to Google's support site, the cards will be available in ¥1500 ($15) , ¥3,000 ($29), ¥5,000 ($49), ¥10,000 ($97), ¥15,000 ($146) and ¥20,000 ($195) denominations, making Japan's cards the most valuable.
The introduction of such a high denomination...