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 Phil Nickinson on 11 Jul 2012 8:49 pm
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 7 Jul 2012 3:28 pm
We heard it was going to happen, and today the Galaxy Nexus has appeared with a price and an "add to cart" button again in Google Play, but things are still a bit off. Prior to the sales ban, we were able to click and get almost instant gratification knowing the phone was shipping out immediately, but now we're seeing a two to three week delay. We're not sure if this is a way to get time to make...
Posted by Phil Nickinson on 5 Jul 2012 10:03 am
If you fire up your Google Play app this morning and things look a little more awesome, don't be alarmed. It's just that you're now rocking the same version as the folks running Jelly Bean ROMs. And that means, along with a spruced-up layout, you also should have access to Magazines (if you didn't already).
You don't have to do anything to get the update -- it'll push out to your phone in due...
Posted by Richard Devine on 4 Jul 2012 7:15 pm
Posted by Alex Dobie on 4 Jul 2012 3:18 pm
It's something that shouldn't come as a surprise, and something we commented on yesterday, but now we have official word from Google that the UK won't be getting Play Music, Magazines or TV shows in time for its Nexus 7 launch. Old Blighty, which has Play Books, Apps and Movies, has long been without streaming Music support (without proxy-based black magic, at least), and wasn't included in...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 28 Jun 2012 4:19 pm
The Google Play device store has launched in the UK, with pre-order pages now up for both 8 and 16GB flavors of the new Nexus 7. And Google's being just as aggressive with its British pricing. The 8GB model's up for pre-order at just £159, with the 16GB version selling for £199. The £159 price point will make the Nexus 7 a stand-out device, as previously you'd be lucky to get a super low-end...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 28 Jun 2012 3:08 pm
At today's Google TV morning presentation at Google I/O, it's been announced that Google TV will be getting a re-vamped version of the Play Store later this year. Because of the unique hardware used with Google TV, it's traditionally lagged behind on older versions of the app. Coming "later this year," the update for GTV will see subscription billing support added, in addition to enabling movie...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 27 Jun 2012 4:02 pm
Fire up the Google Play Store and you'll see a plethora of updates to just about every Google app out there. The biggest change comes to Chrome for Android, which loses its beta tag and is unleashed as a fully stable product. Other updated apps include Google+, Play Books, Play Movies, Maps, YouTube and Street View, to name but a few. You'll want to check individual changelogs in the Play Store...
Posted by Sean Brunett on 27 Jun 2012 1:36 pm
Posted by Bla1ze on 27 Jun 2012 1:19 pm
We're tuned into the live Google I/O keynote and Google is taking the time to go ahead and give off some numbers for the Google Play Store. As it stands right now, the Google Play Store is huge. There is now 600,000 apps and games available for download with the download numbers now exceeding 20 Billion. Needless to say, that's huge numbers and it's only going to increase from here on out.
Posted by Richard Devine on 27 Jun 2012 1:23 pm
Google just dropped the news that the Google Play Store is about to start offering up a whole lot more content. First up are movie purchases. Until now, movies have only been available to rent and watch once. Now, you'll be able to purchase movies right within the Play Store, and watch them again, and again, and again.
Next up, TV Shows. Google has announced a host of partners to bring your...
Posted by James Richardson on 25 Jun 2012 11:02 am
Attention tennis fans. I'm sure you haven't failed to remember that today sees the start of the Wimbledon tennis championship in London. If you fancy keeping up with all the news and gossip from the tournament you will be pleased to know that the official Wimbledon app is now available to download for free.
The tournament runs from today through July 8, and the eyes of the world will be on...
Posted by Phil Nickinson on 21 Jun 2012 2:11 pm
Google Play review trolls beware! Developers no longer have to remain silent when faced with flaming on their app listings.
Google today announced (along with a major redesign to its developer site) the ability for devs to respond to customer reviews on their apps in Google Play. This has been a long-requested feature, for the obvious reason. App reviews and star ratings mean life and death for...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 20 Jun 2012 11:58 am
Eagle-eyed Google Play Store-goers will have noticed something mildly interesting in this screenshot from the Google IO 2012 Android app listing. It's the stock Android 4.x launcher, but what's that at the top? A redesigned Google Search bar? Sure looks like it. It's a transparent square in Google's screenshot, as opposed to the white-bordered dealie that we know from the Galaxy Nexus.
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 15 Jun 2012 4:57 pm
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.
Posted by Phil Nickinson on 15 Jun 2012 9:20 am
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!
Posted by Richard Devine on 14 Jun 2012 2:41 pm
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...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 31 May 2012 5:32 pm
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,...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 30 May 2012 10:00 pm
Posted by Alex Dobie on 24 May 2012 2:14 pm
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...