16
Aug
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If you've been following the Play Store-related news cycle recently, you are probably well aware that Google is on the verge of releasing gift cards for use on Play Store's digital goods. The Redeem functionality, along with a new Wishlist, came with the new Play Store APK v3.8.15 that started rolling out yesterday but, unfortunately, the UI does not expose it yet.

There is no web interface for redemption either, but after digging through the APK, I discovered that it was set to intercept calls to http://play.google.com/redeem. So, while you can't pop up the Redeem Activity in the app directly without hacking, removing the stock app, and installing the re-signed hacked version, there is a much easier way. I just successfully redeemed a gift card, and so can you.

Here it is:

Step 1. Install the Google Play 3.8.15 APK by downloading it to your device and installing as a regular app.

Step 2. Get the http://play.google.com/redeem link to open up in the Play Store instead of your browser. One easy way to do that is to email yourself the link and select Play Store while opening it, like so:

wm_Screenshot_2012-08-16-20-24-22 wm_Screenshot_2012-08-16-20-24-34

Step 3. You're done - say hello to the Redeem page.

wm_Screenshot_2012-08-16-19-11-06

Step 4. Enter the code and press Redeem.

wm_Screenshot_2012-08-16-19-12-00 wm_Screenshot_2012-08-16-19-12-27 wm_Screenshot_2012-08-16-19-12-53

Step 5. Now spend the Play Store balance on digital goodies and make some developers happy.

wm_Screenshot_2012-08-16-19-17-20

And there you have it - a way to trigger gift card code redemption in the Play Store ahead of Google's official rollout.

P.S. Sorry, UK and likely rest of the world outside the U.S., Play Store gift cards are likely not going to be in your market at launch. Here's the message UK customers get on the Redeem page right now (thanks, Jack Fifield!):

redeemuk

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • root4life

    mad! thanks android police

  • JordanMcRae

    When I click on the link in my email I do not get the "complete action using" menu. It jumps straight into the browser. I went to app settings and there are no defaults set for browser.

    • catire

      You need to update the market app, same thing happened to me. Sadly not available in my country.....:(

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Are you sure you have Play Store 3.8.15? Fire it up -> Settings, then see on the bottom.

  • David Stallard

    Just confirming that in Australia the "Not valid in your country" message is also displayed.

  • Harry

    Can't wait to buy my giftcard:)

  • Max

    No Canada confirmed.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Thanks for checking.

  • WinDroidGuy

    You can also just create a bookmark on your homescreen with https://play.google.com/redeem and automatically launch it :)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Good call.

  • loranz Yousif

    Can confirm no NZ either. Seems like its US only again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/edgar.gonzalez.752861 Edgar Gonzalez

    mine goes to the redeem but moments later says connection timmed out

  • Quint Stoffers

    A VPN should work just fine when redeeming these cards outside the US, same thing goes for receiving the $25 Nexys 7 credit in other countries. It's a hassle but it does work...

  • Dipish

    This is ridiculous, why can't gift cards be sold/redeemed worldwide?! They are virtual things...

    • Sorian

      Because, technically, Google hasn't turned on the feature yet!

      • Dipish

        Really hope that's the case!

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      It could have to do with currency conversion. While the currency is theoretically virtual, it's still based on real currency in each country. These gift cards are in USD, therefore, they would have to go through a currency conversion if they were to be applied to an account that uses another form of currency. Until they build in a method of conversion (which they may never do), these cards that are in USD will probably never be redeemable for foreign currency accounts. I suspect there will be cards in other currencies long before you see a currency conversion method.

      • Dipish

        I don't think that's the case. They do currency conversion in the Play Store for apps, and you can purchase apps in any country. Actually I'm sure you've purchased some apps from non-US developers and didn't notice this because Google always shows you the price converted to your currency.

        As long as those gift cards aren't necessarily real plastic things (they can be but they don't have to, obviously), I see no reason why they would restrict their purchase to US-only. Hope that's only because the thing isn't yet officially launched.

        • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

          It's not hard to tell, if the last couple of digits in the price are unusual, it's almost always from a foreign developer. Trust me, I notice :) Very few foreign developers bother to manage pricing for nations outside of their own (Chainfire is one of the few who seems to). I'd guess about 1/3 of the paid apps I have are from foreign developers. Of course, I tend to know a little more about these companies, I like to know who I'm buying from.

          Back on topic...Google calculates the sale price from the native currency to the foreign currency and displays that amount to the customer. The entire transaction still takes place in the foreign currency because the transaction is between the customer and Google. Google then turns around to pay the developer 70% of the sale price in their own currency. I'm pretty sure Google also saves money by not paying the exchange fee, since they operate as their own exchange service by already owning currency in the countries they operate in.

          What you're talking about isn't exactly the same thing. The gift cards are representative of a native currency and the currency conversion would have to happen at the time of redemption (taking the current exchange rate into account). If a Thai customer redeems a card that's in USD and get it back in Baht, the transaction with Google is in two different currencies. It's a relatively small distinction, but it's important when you're talking about the way that the software is written (as part of a large infrastructure) and how money is handled. I'm not saying that they won't allow conversions, just that it has to go through a different set of steps which they probably haven't implemented (and again, they may not ever implement).

          This is all just an educated guess, I'm not insisting it IS this way, just that it makes sense with how corporations tend to operate internationally. It's just one of many possible reasons. Common sense says, there must be a reason. Google doesn't just restrict things to a limited set of people for the purpose of pissing off everybody else.

          • Dipish

            Thanks for expanding your point, makes more sense to me now

    • josue

      I nead help mine tells me to do diferent things

    • josue

      I nead help mine tells me to do diferent things

  • EstRivera

    Where can we buy the gift card codes from?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Nowhere yet. Well, you can try to see if you can find one at a local Target, as our tipster who got us the code did.

      • Esteban

        Oh ok. I'll try my local Target here in Orlando and see if I get lucky.

  • mathieuhendey

    Can anyone confirm yea or nay on redeeming US codes in other countries?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I don't think anyone outside the U.S. can even get to the Redeem Activity.

      • http://twitter.com/thepowerofscott Scott Nienhuis

        I can get to the Redeem Activity in Canada without an error but without a code to try I'm not sure if it'll work past that.

  • http://twitter.com/thepowerofscott Scott Nienhuis

    Going to play.google.com/redeem doesn't show any "not valid" message. I'm in Ontario, Canada. Although another commenter says he couldn't.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Hrm, someone in the comments said "no Canada." Can you guys sort out who's right, eh?

    • http://twitter.com/thepowerofscott Scott Nienhuis

      Just tried it with a coworker on CM9, he wasn't given the option to Open With Google Play. I'm yakju firmware with 4.1.1, not sure if this makes any difference.

    • Scott Kennedy

      I'm in Toronto and I get the error.

    • http://twitter.com/thepowerofscott Scott Nienhuis

      I would have to say "Not in Canada" is more likely, but it still doesn't explain why I can see the page, if my phone thinks its in the States, I should be able to download Google Wallet but I cant. I'll keep my eyes open though.

  • Johnjunior

    I just tried this from Ireland and got the following "Google Play gift cards are not valid in your country."

  • Guest

    Just spotted some being displayed at my local Target!

  • http://twitter.com/andrewpenner78 Andrew P.

    OK, so this article is a about a month old. I'm wondering if there's been any news on this? Ideally I'd like to hear more about other Canadians having success with it and if physical cards will be available up here.

    I'm not holding my breath though. Stock install of Google wallet doesn't work (without back-door access anyway), and Google Voice still isn't available up here. So, I don't expect Google Play cards to be found next to iTunes cards anytime soon. At least... not up here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/syethiha Sai Ye Thiha

    Want to know buying apk from google pay with Itune gift cards.

  • http://www.facebook.com/george.arzola.7 George Arzola

    No support for Puerto Rico either, I bought 2 $10 cards, I enter the code and it says (on the desktop) there was an error, WITH a VPN running pointing to the US, on my galaxy, also with Hotspot Shield i cant even go to the redeem page. americans ALWAYS gets the good stuff!!!! im going back to Apple -pissed off-

  • Suzanne poli

    I think its selfish to make people believe your there to help them , yet you don't tell them that you can only use gift card money even when you know they can't use it even if its supposed to go on google play! I talked with someone on your staff several accations and got not one bit of help from none of them! I want my gift credits returned to me so I can put it where it was supposed to go in the begining!?

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      What drugs, pray tell, are you on?

  • jayvaun

    Fuck give me now redeem number

  • jayvaun

    Plaese give me redeem number

  • bo

    What is th code!

  • bo

    The CODE!?

    • Amok

      1434rg

  • muizz khalid

    So ypu can get free gift cards hope so ican

  • abdullah abdulaziz ali

    994y usp8 zk89 ebp0 42w3

    • jesus

      Can i get a $10.00 reddeem card code

    • JingWen JW

      hey mind if you give me a US $30 google play store card??

  • Paul Hennessy

    This is why all apple products are better. Its a joke cant get apps in Ireland on a samsung tablet

  • milyn

    This is so stupid now I can't download anything games movies magazine nothing

  • Brad Ingersoll

    does anyone know how I can look at my google acc. need my postal code wont let me redeem a card says I put in wrong postal code

  • josue

    On mine it tells me my name and my zip coders and i put dose things and press inter then it tells me to put those two things again pls help me:,(

  • josue

    On mine it tells me my name and my zip coders and i put dose things and press inter then it tells me to put those two things again pls help me:,(

  • Zack Burgess

    Why won't it give me a code

  • Anya

    With what code do we enter though?

  • darian

    How do I redeem my card it says its not valid in this country

  • Haseeb Naheem

    Can i have a uk code please

  • melanie

    I put 111234 is that right

  • hautee

    Please give me redeem number

  • ANOMAN

    gan nih ada app buat nyari Duit $ online modal HP aja , lumayan bisa ditukerin sama GEMS COC , Google Play gift card, steam gift card , paypal, facebook giftcard, Xbox,PlaystationStore, Amazon dan ItunesGiftCard

    1. Download aplikasi Whaff Rewards di playstore

    2. Setelah ke intsall buka appnya

    3. Seteah di buka klik tombol login, login ajaa pake akun facebook kalian

    4. Abis itu ada kotak invitation code

    5. Masukan kode AF49422

    6. Setelah masukan kode diatas kalian bakal Dapet $0.3, lumayan kaan, kalian tinggal ngumpulin deh sampe 10$

    7. Cara ngumpulinnya gampang, tinggal invite orang lain atau download aplikasi yang ada di app tersebut

    8. Setiap download aplikasi kalian akan mendapat hadiah sebagai reward, hadiahnya bisa $0.17, $0.22 sampe $0.66

    9. Setiap hari kalian pun akan mendapat reward bila setelah di download aplikasi tersebut tidak di uninstall lagi lumayan kaan setiap hari Uang kalian bertambah hehehe

    10. Setelah terkumpul $10 baru deh kalian bisa tukerin ke voucher google play,

    11. Nah kalian bisa deh beli 1200 gem COC secara gratis, bisa buat builder, barbarian king, apa aja deh pokoknya lumayan gratiss...

    12. Atau kalian juga bisa tukerin sama Google Play gift card, steam gift card , paypal, facebook giftcard, Xbox,PlaystationStore, Amazon dan ItunesGiftCard

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