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 13 Aug 2013 2:21 pm
Seeing Package File Invalid errors from Google Play? It's not just you
It seems that some users are seeing an error when trying to install or update applications from Google Play on their Androids. Instead of the expected behavior — tap a button and install or update an app — users are able to download the package but during install are fed a "Package File Invalid" error.
There are many user...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 3 Aug 2013 2:54 pm
If Google Play Music All Access isn't for you, cancelling it is easy
We spend a lot of time talking about how much we're enjoying the Google Play Music All Access subscription service, but it's also important to know how to cancel it if you've given it a try and decided it's not for you. We don't judge, there are several good reasons to not want or need access to Google's music catalog, and...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 1 Aug 2013 5:58 am
Prices start at £1.89 per episode, £2.49 for HD
Don't be fooled by the fact that the app itself is still called "Play Movies" — Google Play TV has landed on British shores this morning. Individual episode prices start at £1.89 for SD or HD for £2.49, and season bundle prices vary depending on the series. Like Play Movies, purchased TV content can be played on the web or through the app on...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 26 Jul 2013 3:24 pm
New Nexus 7 2013 models now available for order in Google Play for those who want to risk another Nexus launch
For those who want to order the new 2013 Nexus 7 direct from Google, things are live in Google Play to order one. Both the 16GB and 32GB Wifi-only models are available, and Google says they'll have them shipped out on or before July 30 -- with free ground shipping for a limited time....
Posted by Alex Dobie on 24 Jul 2013 3:30 pm
New streaming support for Google's content services
Following today's Chromecast and Android 4.3 announcements, Google has updated its Play Music and Play Movies & TV services to take advantage of the new streaming capabilities. If you're one of the few people to posses a Chromecast dongle, you'll now be able to stream your Google music, movie and TV content to your TV directly through the...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 24 Jul 2013 12:40 pm
Update: Now available on the Google Play Store
We're live from Google's event in San Francisco, where the search giant has just announced its new games center app for Android, Google Play Games.
Google Play Games allows users to view leaderboards and achievements for games, compare scores and discover games based on what friends are playing.
The new Google Play Games app launches today on...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 17 Jul 2013 6:25 pm
All Access makes its first expansion outside the United States
Folks down in Australia and New Zealand will be the first outside of the U.S. to get Google's latest subscription music service, Google Play Music All Access. An update to a Google Play support document today lists the two countries as having the new service available, with little else to go on. Presumably the appropriate deals...
Posted by Phil Nickinson on 17 Jul 2013 9:50 am
Attention, people of Earth! Somehow in the 1,000 or so words written yesterday on the Version 1.3 update to the official Android Central App, we managed to leave out another change — and this one actually affects the website as well as the app.
The blog for some time has used the "Get it on Google Play" badges to link to apps. We've now implemented it in the same way in the app, which is a more...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 16 Jul 2013 9:57 pm
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 15 Jul 2013 8:03 pm
The same great design available on Android devices has made its way to the Google Play website.
That fresh, new card interface design that we've grown to love in the Google Play app has now made its way to the website. All the content is still there, they've just made it a bit easier to navigate and made it look a lot more modern and in-step with Android's new design language.
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 11 Jul 2013 6:04 pm
Free eBook and eight great apps to get new 'shutter bugs' started with photography
As it regularly does, Google Play is highlighting a specific subject with a content promotion and this time the focus is on photography. This week's focus is kicking off with a free eBook from the Play Store -- "Android Photography" by Colby Brown is a 104 page book focusing (pun, I know) on the basics of...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 3 Jul 2013 4:08 pm
A set of apps that show off the highest quality of design and function on Android today
Every so often Google Play will put up "collections" of apps that fall into a certain genre or fit with a current season or holiday. This time the Android Design Team is taking time to highlight 11 apps that have taken design to the next level with the "Beautiful Design Summer 2013 Collection". In a blog...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 1 Jul 2013 9:09 am
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 29 Jun 2013 4:34 pm
Save two dollars a month by signing up before Monday
Attention music fans! Google Play Music All Access will move from $7.99 per month to $9.99 per month starting July 1. If you want to save $2 a month on the life of the service you'll need to act before Monday rolls around. Signing up is easy -- just point your browser here (or click on the link with your phone) and follow the instructions...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 27 Jun 2013 5:23 pm
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 27 Jun 2013 3:18 pm
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 26 Jun 2013 11:38 pm
Developers can still sell and receive payment through Google Play, but a permanent solution isn't yet available
Backtracking on its previous statement that it would stop allowing developers in Argentina sell paid apps in Google Play, Google is extending the deadline to an undetermined date in the future. Google initially gave developers based in the country one month's notice that after June...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 26 Jun 2013 6:26 pm
Two new categories arrive in the Play Store for Irish users
Google Play users in Ireland should now have access to both the Play Books store as well as a separate "Games" section on their devices starting today. As pointed out to us by one of our eagle-eyed readers, the Play Store in Ireland now offers four different sub-categories for users to choose from, adding to the previous availability...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 24 Jun 2013 5:46 pm
Third-party group of educators to review each educational app submitted
Google announced on its Android Developers Blog that it is now accepting submissions for its Google Play for Education platform, which will bring education- and age-appropriate apps to schools. The system, which was announced last month, is a subset of the main Play Store that allows bulk purchasing and content curation of...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 20 Jun 2013 7:24 pm