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 24 Jan 2013 2:26 am
Posted by Alex Dobie on 15 Jan 2013 7:46 am
Getting hold of an LG Nexus 4 through Google's official device store hasn't been an easy task. It's been two months since release day, and throughout most of that time the device has been either sold out or on back-order. It's safe to say that the Google Play buying experience has been less than ideal for many.
Before the holidays Google UK boss Dan Cobley blamed "scarce and erratic" Nexus 4...
Posted by Phil Nickinson on 11 Jan 2013 4:45 pm
Here's a small but really cool customization for app developers that Google just announced: You can now build the Google Play badges (you see them whenever we write about an app) in 47 languages, from Afrikaans to isiZulu. (That's from the top of the list to the bottom.) So instead of just "Android app on Google Play" or "Get it on Google Play," you'll see "Jetzt bei Google Play" (in German) or...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 4 Jan 2013 8:19 am
Today brings further indications that Google Play gift cards may be about to hit stores in the UK, as a recent Phones4U promotional offers a free £20 gift card code for customers purchasing a Galaxy S3, S3 Mini or Note 2. The offer is available via a Phones4U promotional page, where owners of these phones can claim their code by entering their name, contact details and IMEI. According to P4U's...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 27 Dec 2012 10:24 am
Google has put its "Best Apps of 2012" list up on Google Play today, with many familiar names. There are "best of" lists in each of the different categories on the Play Store, but the app listings always draw a lot of attention. It's always interesting to see what apps Google employees themselves are using and calling the "best" on the platform. The list is headlined by many apps that you...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 20 Dec 2012 10:49 pm
Google has released today on its Android Developers blog information about localizing graphics for Play Store listings. It's no secret that Google Play is quickly expanding its reach to many new countries. Part of making the expansion to new markets successful is targeting promotional materials to specific countries. Along with offering localized translations of apps and descriptions, developers...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 20 Dec 2012 3:11 pm
Archos has entered the Android app game, launching its own media player on Google Play, for a price. The Archos Video Player, which in the past has been bundled with the manufacturer's Android tablets, is available to download from today. The app costs $4.99 in the U.S. and £3.99 in the U.K., and boasts a fairly lengthy feature list.
As well as hardware-accelerated playback for a wide range of...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 17 Dec 2012 2:54 pm
Google is kicking off a new promotion on Google Play starting today called "Surprises." This holiday-themed offering -- at least today -- is giving users that download an app a specific deal to go along with that app. This is kind of a mash-up of Google Play and Google Offers, another sign that Google is trying to integrate all of its different properties. There are lots of eyes on Google Play...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 17 Dec 2012 6:49 am
After a couple of weeks of being on sale with lengthy waits for delivery, the LG Nexus 4 is officially sold out on the Google Play devices store in the UK and Germany. While the 8GB model sold out within hours of the second batch of stock going on sale, it had been possible to order the 16GB model, albeit with a 6-7 week shipping estimate. Today both flavors of Nexus 4 are marked as "sold out,"...
Posted by Richard Devine on 14 Dec 2012 12:47 pm
Following yesterday's discovery of a redeem page on the Google Play website for Gift Card codes in the UK, we took that to mean that the Gift Cards were on their way to British shores. Today we have further reason to believe that their arrival may well be imminent.
Tucked away in the menu in our UK Play Store apps is a "Redeem" option which brings up the page we see here. Google Play balance is...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 13 Dec 2012 9:30 am
So far Google Play gift cards have been limited to customers in the U.S., however we're starting to see the first indications that that may be about to change. This morning the Google Play gift card redemption page is live on the British Google Wallet site for those with UK accounts.
The page isn't of any use without a gift card or code to use with it, and we've tried crediting a UK account with...
Posted by Alex Dobie on 12 Dec 2012 5:23 pm
The BBC has posted an extensive update on its future plans for the BBC iPlayer Android app. In the coming months, the corporation says it's main aims are to reach feature parity with the iOS app, and introduce new, high-quality streams and better support for large-screen devices.
In a blog post, BBC iPlayer boss Dave Price says the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 are now in the top five devices used to...
Posted by Richard Devine on 12 Dec 2012 5:54 pm
We first saw magazines begin to appear in the UK Play Store just yesterday, leaving us sure that the additional content wasn't far away. Turns out that hunch was right, and this evening Google's selection of magazine content is available for purchase both on the web and Android applications. If you're not seeing the new section show up yet, you can always try the old trick of heading into...
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 11 Dec 2012 1:27 pm
Google is continuing its expansive rollout of content to different countries today by offering Google Play Books and Movies to the Russian market. On the Books front, Google Play will be offering over 1,000 Russian-language publications, as well as best-selling books from numerous authors. For Movies, Russian users will have access to not only international new releases but also local films....
Posted by Andrew Martonik on 10 Dec 2012 2:40 pm
Posted by Richard Devine on 7 Dec 2012 8:14 pm
Posted by Alex Dobie on 5 Dec 2012 5:49 am
Less than a day after the second wave of Nexus 4 stock landed on Google Play in the UK and Germany, the 8GB model is once again officially sold out in both countries. Yesterday evening the delivery window for the 8GB model slowly increased, from 4-5 weeks to 5-6 weeks, before being marked as "sold out" (or "ausverkauft," if you prefer) this morning.
The 16GB model is still available to order,...
Posted by Jerry Hildenbrand on 4 Dec 2012 4:26 pm
If you're a Google Apps for business, education, or government customer; there's a new update to Google Play that you'll probably want to check out. You can now host private internal apps right in Google Play.
Once it's enabled in the developer console, applications can be uploaded to the Play Store, and users who sign in with the same domain name will have a new section to browse, download...
Posted by Android Central on 1 Dec 2012 3:58 pm