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 Jerry Hildenbrand on 21 Oct 2013 6:37 pm
Posted by Alex Dobie on 19 Oct 2013 10:38 am
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...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 17 Oct 2013 12:38 pm
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...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 11 Oct 2013 1:26 pm
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...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 8 Oct 2013 9:21 pm
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.
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 8 Oct 2013 3:27 pm
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 7 Oct 2013 2:18 pm
Even more HBO movies, TV series and documentaries coming in the future
Google Play has added several HBO programs to its library, filling one of the larger gaps in its offerings up to this point. Starting today, you can purchase individual episodes or entire seasons of the most popular HBO shows such as Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom, Veep, Girls and The Wire....
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 2 Oct 2013 6:28 pm
It's not just you. Users everywhere, including us here at AC, are running into issues downloading and installing apps from Google Play. The problems vary from the crazy 927 error, to the Play Store not responding, to no visual cue but nothing will download.
We expect that Google will have things back up and going shortly. Hang tight guys and gals!
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 30 Sep 2013 10:31 pm
19 countries now have access to Google's new subscription music service
Google has just expanded its All Access music streaming service to several new countries, primarily across Europe. Building on the first European expansion that brought the service to nine countries in total, seven more countries now have All Access:
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 30 Sep 2013 2:48 pm
Posted by Sean Brunett on 26 Sep 2013 5:00 pm
Get to watching the next episode with fewer taps
Google has updated its Play Movies & TV app to allow you to browse your TV collection more easily. Before, when you were in the My TV Shows tab, you would have to scroll down a huge list to find the TV show that you wanted. The update brings a grid of icons for the shows so you're not bothered by individual episodes in the main My TV Shows...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 24 Sep 2013 10:19 am
Title arrives today on Google Play and Amazon Appstore
Following Madden 25 last week, EA's leading soccer/football title FIFA 14 is now available on Android through Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. Like the console version, FIFA features a wealth of real-world clubs, tournaments and players, as well as commentary in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. EA's Football Club Match Day...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 16 Sep 2013 9:12 pm
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 9 Sep 2013 5:58 pm
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 2 Sep 2013 10:52 pm
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 29 Aug 2013 7:04 pm
But still no indication of pricing structure or availability
Although AT&T and Verizon have both announced and launched their variants of the Moto X, T-Mobile customers are still waiting for the carrier to expand on its vague statements from the Moto X's initial launch day. Back when it was announced, T-Mobile's official statement was that the carrier wouldn't be selling the handset...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 27 Aug 2013 8:30 pm
Posted by Alex Dobie on 22 Aug 2013 7:42 am
Gravity-defying racer available today on Google Play
As promised, Gameloft's latest racing title Asphalt 8: Airborne is now available to download on Google Play, priced at $0.99. The game was one of a few titles shown off at Google's Android 4.3 event, where it was used to showcase the new graphical effects made possible by the new OS's OpenGL ES 3.0 support.
More importantly, it looks like a...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 21 Aug 2013 5:12 am
SwiftKey Cloud goes official, now available on Google Play
A month after the first public beta launched, popular keyboard replacement SwiftKey has pushed its new cloud-based features out through Google Play with the public launch of version 4.2 of its app.
SwiftKey 4.2 introduces cloud synchronization for personalized predictions, allowing users to easily keep their dictionaries and typing...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 20 Aug 2013 10:10 pm