What you need to know
- Google has been experimenting with auto-playing videos in the Play Store since August.
- The company recently added a toggle turn the feature off by default.
- The change was supposed to officially roll out in September, but the company still hasn't made it widely available.
Google's making a change to the Play Store that most of us will probably not like. It's been testing autoplay videos for its app store since August, though it's thankfully now added a toggle to turn the feature off in its latest builds. The news comes courtesy of a tip to Android Police, though as the publication notes, the change is not live for everyone, meaning it's still in the A/B testing phase.
It's definitely an interesting move for the company, which has previously made a big deal of its support for the Better Ads Standards on Chrome. The Google-made browser even started blocking auto-playing video ads with sounds. Hopefully, that means the auto-playing videos in the Play Store will be muted if you don't interact with them. Either way, even if your phone doesn't suddenly start blaring a loud, musical app promo while you're just trying to download Uber on your phone, the change will mean you'll be eating through your monthly data cap at a faster rate than usual, perhaps without your knowledge or permission.
That's precisely why Google's addition of a toggle to turn it off is so important. As I'm sure many of you will want to do as soon as Google makes the change official, you will be able to stop auto-playing videos by heading to the app's settings and opening the 'Auto-play videos' prompt. There, you'll be met with three options: disabling the feature entirely, auto-playing videos only over Wi-Fi, or doing so at all times — that is, over both mobile data and Wi-Fi connections. As the company points out in the prompt itself, the last option may result in data charges, and for that very reason, we really hope it'll not be the default option when Google ships the feature to all users.
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