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 Alex Dobie on 6 Dec 2013 2:56 am
Free for 30 days, €7.99 promotional deal if you sign up by Jan. 15
Almost four months after it first reached parts of Europe, Google Play Music All Access is now live in one of the continent's largest markets. From today Google's music subscription service is available in Germany where, as with previous launches, it's available to try for free for 30 days. And to tempt early adopters onboard,...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 3 Dec 2013 7:29 am
Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Girls and Veep available through Play Movies & TV
Google Play's library of TV content continues to expand, with the arrival of five HBO shows for British audiences. Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Girls and Veep are now available in the UK through Google Play Movies & TV on the web and on Android devices. Episodes are priced...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 2 Dec 2013 12:25 am
Bulk up your digital book library on the cheap
Google Play is kicking off a big sale of books, putting over 100 bestselling titles on sale up to 75 percent off. Usually you expect to see lesser-known or old titles on sale at this time of year trying to capitalize on folks who are in the buying mood, but putting some of the best books out the right now at deep discounts is great to see.
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 26 Nov 2013 2:01 pm
Google's making it easy to get a few apps or some media for your new Nexus 7
Google wants to make your holiday gift of a Nexus 7 a little bit better, as they are giving away $25 in Google Play credit with a new purchase from Google Play.
Holiday Special: $25 Google Play credit and free shipping.
For a limited time, you will receive a $25 Google Play credit when you purchase a Nexus 7 from...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 21 Nov 2013 6:13 pm
Another reason for developers to consider tablet designs for their apps
Just as was previously announced, the Play Store is undergoing a few changes for those with tablets today. Although it has been an option for some time, when browsing app categories on a tablet you'll now be shown apps that are marked as "designed for tablets" by default. In addition, any apps that haven't been updated to...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 20 Nov 2013 12:52 pm
Posted by Alex Dobie on 20 Nov 2013 5:22 am
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...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 19 Nov 2013 5:30 pm
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...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 16 Nov 2013 6:14 pm
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...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 12 Nov 2013 8:49 am
'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...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 11 Nov 2013 8:01 pm
Posted by Alex Dobie on 7 Nov 2013 3:38 pm
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...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 6 Nov 2013 2:44 pm
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...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 6 Nov 2013 2:49 pm
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...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 4 Nov 2013 6:39 pm
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...
Posted by Phil Nickinson on 1 Nov 2013 8:24 am
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...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 31 Oct 2013 2:22 pm
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...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 30 Oct 2013 7:37 pm
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:
Posted by Richard Devine on 30 Oct 2013 7:48 am
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...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 29 Oct 2013 3:28 pm
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...