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 21 Apr 2013 11:17 pm
Sometimes a big number is just... a big number
The new "love it or hate it" app out there, Facebook Home, has surpassed a pretty notable milestone in the Play Store today: 500,000 installs. That's half a million installs of an app that many said would appeal to a very small section of people -- those who are presumably "all in" with Facebook. But what does that 500,000 number even mean? Not...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 16 Apr 2013 6:08 pm
Tablet screenshots will now show in Play Store listings for users browsing on that device
The official Android Developers Blog has just put up a post explaining to app developers guidelines for uploading and displaying screenshots of their apps running on tablets. Developers can now specify the difference between screenshots being uploaded for phones, 7-inch and 10-inch tablets, so that when...
Posted by Casey Rendon on 10 Apr 2013 5:34 pm
Win a Nexus 4, 7, 10, or $10 in Play Store bucks
If you like free stuff, Google has some great news: it is giving away ten Nexus 10 tablets, seven Nexus 7 tablets, and (you guessed it) four Nexus 4 phones, as well as 100 gift cards worth $10 a pop in the Google Play Favorite Things Sweepstakes. Only U.S. residents 18 and older need apply, and a Twitter account is required to enter.
Posted by Alex Dobie on 9 Apr 2013 11:20 am
Google's content portal gets a lighter, brighter visual refresh
Following some recent leakage, it seems the new look Google Play Store app is finally official. Google has just announced that the new-look Play Store app will begin rolling out to Android devices today.
In today's announcement post on the official Android blog, Google says the new-look app is aimed to be "simple" and "clean,"...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 3 Apr 2013 4:32 pm
"What's this song?" working in Google Now as well
Google's Sound Search, which lets users identify music tracks and artists by letting their phone listen to them, is branching out from the U.S. to include users in the U.K. In addition to the stand-alone app and widget for Sound Search, the same functionality also seems to be working within Google Now for U.K. users. Saying "What's this song?"...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 3 Apr 2013 3:28 pm
Headphones with line mic, charger and microUSB cable now available separately
Google has launched three new accessories for the Nexus 4 through the Google Play devices store. Well -- of the three, only one is really new -- the wired headset with line mic -- but it doesn't hurt that the official charger and microUSB cable are now available alongside it. The charger and cable are exactly like...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 27 Mar 2013 9:46 pm
Developers who spend time to make apps that look great on a tablet get a shout-out from Google on a new page at the Google Play site.
Google has put up a page at Google Play that focuses on apps designed with a tablet in mind. Android doesn't require applications to be specifically written for tablets, instead opting to allow developers to use UI elements like fragments to better utilize...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 21 Mar 2013 8:56 pm
Google is in the process of activating their gift card program in Canada, and codes are now redeemable via the web for a number of users. We gave it a shot ourselves, and as you can see Rene was able to access the page to redeem a card with no trickery involved.
If you're in Canada, and want to give it a try yourself, click here and see what happens. If you're not seeing it yet, we imagine you...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 8 Mar 2013 4:53 pm
Google Play has turned one year old, and although it kicked off the celebration slowly on day 1 the flood gates are now open to hundreds of deals across the store. There are special deals now for TV rentals, discounts on popular books, free games and a whole lot more. Here are the landing pages that group them all up:
Posted by Alex Dobie on 6 Mar 2013 5:30 am
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 5 Mar 2013 8:19 pm
The rebranding of Android Market to Google Play happened just one year ago today, and to celebrate Google is offering discounts, gift cards and exclusive in-game content. The deals range from free books and music to discounted movies and TV rentals, as well as new Android-themed additions to some games. Deals seem to differ depending on the country and region, but this is what we're looking at...
Posted by Sean Brunett on 5 Mar 2013 11:16 am
Google Play gift cards appear to be finally available in the United Kingdom, as they've been spotted in Tesco. We first got wind back in December of the UK redemption page going live, but no other news about the cards. Then, just a couple of days ago, we were given the gift card denominations that would be available, but still no physical items. Finally, they have been spotted in one of the most...
Posted by Richard Devine on 3 Mar 2013 6:53 am
The Google Play gift card saga continues to roll for eager potential UK based customers, with this latest information appearing on the Google Play support pages. There's no telling at the moment just how long this information has been there, but what it confirms is the amounts we'll -- eventually -- be able to purchase. And it isn't in anyway a surprise.
It seems that the UK price structure...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 26 Feb 2013 7:42 pm
As part of its new Google+ sign-in initiative that went live today, Google pushed a silent update to the Google Play Services app to support the new feature, which also brought along a new app called Google Settings. Google Play Services updates in the background routinely, much like the Play Store itself, in order to have phones up to date and syncing properly. The updates don't usually install...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 21 Feb 2013 2:23 pm
Posted by Alex Dobie on 6 Feb 2013 7:18 am
Long available on iOS, UK TV network Channel 4 has finally gotten around to releasing its 4oD streaming app on Android. Similar to rival offerings from the BBC and ITV, the 4oD app allows UK-based users to stream from Channel 4's back-catalog of TV content, and view shows aranged by recommendation, TV schedule or category.
Like the 4oD web streaming service, you'll need to create a (free)...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 30 Jan 2013 11:49 am
Update: Whoops. Koush sends word that Carbon wasn't quite ready to go when we posted and that the folks in the forums spotted it early. It's now "live" live, so make sure you have the most recent version.
After a couple of weeks in beta, Koushik Dutta -- aka Koush -- has released his Carbon backup app on Google Play. The app uses Android's built-in backup feature to sync apps -- and crucially,...
Posted by Phil Nickinson on 29 Jan 2013 12:23 pm
Go. Buy. Now. Before it's too late.
16GB Nexus 4 at Google Play
8GB Nexus 4 at Google Play
Posted by Alex Dobie on 24 Jan 2013 7:16 am
Good news for those in Australia looking to save some money in the run up to Australia Day. The Australian Google Play Store is right now offering discounts on Australian-made apps, games and movies. Hop into the Play Store app from Australia and you'll see two new promotional blocks for the featured items.
Here's a quick breakdown of some of the apps on sale --