Google has been on an update roll lately, with Voice, YouTube, Google+, Calendar, and Music all getting updates in the last week. I've been dutifully doing teardowns on all of them, but there's been no hidden goodies, and thus, no articles. There was a Play Store update this weekend, however, and that does have some interesting, new stuff in it, so we're back!

Google+ App Reviews

Android is quickly becoming the Google+ OS.

App reviews in the Play Store will soon require a Google+ account, and future reviews will be posted showing your full Google+ name and picture. The string file always seems to be the most enlightening, so we'll start with that first.

<string name="reviews_google_plus_required">"From now on, reviews you write will be posted publicly using your Google+ name and picture. Your name on previous reviews will appear as "A Google User.""</string>
<string name="reviews_google_plus_required_backup">"Google Play is now connected with Google+ to help you find reviews you trust. New reviews will be posted publicly using your Google+ name and picture. Your name on previous reviews will appear as "A Google User.""</string>
<string name="reviews_join_google_plus">Join now</string>
<string name="reviews_join_google_plus_backup">Join Google+</string>

Did you get that? Reviewing apps will require a G+ account - it even says so in the string name, "reviews_google_plus_required." Your name and picture will be next to your reviews. If you don't have G+, you'll be prompted to join.


The Play Store also has a crapload of new Google+ stuff. Maybe one or two of these are for the new "Add People You May Know" feature that's currently live, but the majority of them are unused. So what are they for? I actually recognize most of these pieces, they're parts of the Google+ share dialog.

wm_Screenshot_2012-11-17-15-28-20wm_2012-11-17 15.26.10

So why does the Play Store need to recreate the Google+ sharing dialog? Right now it uses the share button in the action bar for sharing the current app over various services (including G+) so this must be for something else. My wild guess is that you'll soon be able to share your app reviews to your G+ circles, and maybe the share dialog needs to be recreated because you only get 1 share button per screen.

This being a "Do you want to share your review with your friends?" box would line up nicely with Google+ powered review identities, and the recent addition of the buy button to app shares on Google+. The G+ share dialog also has a location section, so its recreation inside the Play Store also explains the new ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION and ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION permissions that came with this update, too.


<string name="preordered_list_state">Pre-ordered</string>
<string name="preorder">Pre-order %1$s</string>
<string name="accept_preorder">Accept &amp; pre-order</string>
<string name="owned_preorder_note">Pre-ordered and available %1$s</string>
<string name="cancel_preorder">Cancel</string>
<string name="confirm_preorder_cancel">Cancel your pre-order of %1$s?</string>
<string name="cancel_preorder_okay">Pre-order canceled.</string>
<string name="cancel_preorder_error">Error while canceling. Try again later.</string>

Preorders are going to be a thing in the Play Store now. I'm not sure if this is already active and nothing has pre-orders enabled, or if it will be enabled in the future. It might also be part of the upcoming devices section. Either way, if you want to give someone money for something that isn't out yet, you'll be able to do that soon.

The Lead Image From The Web Play Store


The top of the Android Play Store will probably look a lot closer to its web-based counterpart. I found this template on the left buried in the newest APK. It's the same thing used in the web Play Store, which you can see in action on the right.

This template is pretty terrible, but any change over the current Android Play Store design can only be good.

Update: This is actually in use right now. You see it when you first open Music, Books, Movies, or Magazines. Thanks ZZ!

2012-11-19 14.43.302012-11-19 14.43.252012-11-19 14.43.202012-11-19 14.43.05

Flag App As Harmful

wm_2012-11-17 13.49.00wm_2012-11-17 13.49.06

Currently, through the Android Play Store, you can flag an app for Sexual, Graphic, or Hateful content, an improper rating, or "Other." Soon you'll be able to flag an app as "Harmful:"

<string name="flag_harmful_to_device">Harmful to device or data</string>
<string name="flag_harmful_prompt">Describe the harm caused to your device or data:</string>

Right now, the "harmful" option is only available on the web Play Store, there's no way to do it on the Android Play Store. After you flag an app as harmful, Google will ask you to describe just what happened to your data. They've been on quite a thorough malware crusade lately.

That's about it for the new Play Store. I've also torn apart all the new 4.2 APKs, and well, there isn't much in there beyond what I coved in the 4.2 Alpha teardowns. See you next update!

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alexander-Drizzy-Rojas/100000186636833 Alexander Drizzy Rojas

    I wanna be able to buy a device from the play store on my phone and also do that with play credit.

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

      You'll need to surgically insert a hardware F5 button to make it useful though.

      • Abhijeet Mishra

        or, on big screen devices, longer fingers to reach that overflow button on top of the Play Store and keep hitting the Refresh option, to reduce risk of injury due to strain xD

      • blunden

        It's called a bluetooth keyboard, duh!


    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Same here. I bought my N4 on my phone through the Play Store WEBSITE. It all felt so dumb.

    • casinrm

      Maybe the pre-order indications have something to do with that.

  • Kyle Way

    I love it. Adds a sense of accountability to the Google Play reviews and should keep more of the spam reviews out too.

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

      I'm a fan of that as well. Just like G+ comments are generally more intelligent because you have your real name attached to them, it should help reduce moronic comments in the Play Store.

      High five on that, Goog.

      • John

        Same goes for YouTube. I'm surprised they haven't made it a mandatory requirement for tying profiles to your G+ account. I think it's still optional?

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

          Yeah, YouTube definitely comes to mind as well, though most people there have not opted in for using the real name.

        • Knowles2

          Give it time, Google groups will allow you to have a different name than your Google plus profile, something similar will probably arrive on Youtube.

      • stevethepirate

        How will I troll?!?!

        • perfectlyreasonabletoo

          Fortunately, Android and Google Play support multiple accounts.

          • John O’Connor

            And fortunately there are blocking methods for spammers and trolls.

      • Gabor Csekey

        lately comments after large G+ posts (Google, BBC, that sort) became childish, unintelligent, just like on Facebook. It's sad, really.

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

          Still better than anonymous.

          • Gabor Csekey

            No doubt, but it has been a very recent development, I was away for a few weeks and the place has changed during that time. But that's a bit off topic anyway.

            I'm all for named reviews.

    • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

      I didn't think of the accountability (and possibilities for contact) at first, but that's definitely a big pro.

      However, personally I hope they don't show your full name and picture (well, no biggie for me as I don't have a G+ picture). It seems a little wrong if everyone in the world can see what apps you have installed.

      • ScottColbert

        Then don't leave a review if you don't want people to know.

    • perfectlyreasonabletoo


    • Larizard

      But, what about +Stupid Market Comments??? Tis the end of it!! :(

  • Abhijeet Mishra

    So, um, Google+ isn't doing well or something? Or they making us join just for the lulz?

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

      Why does it have to mean it's not doing well? Integrating a core service into more services is somehow an indication of its poor performance?

      • Abhijeet Mishra

        Not really, but it shouldn't be a requirement to join, should it? I have a Gmail account, that should be enough. But if this keeps spam away, then yeah, good move I guess.

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

          But again, why is it an indication of it doing badly? Your reply doesn't address your initial conjecture.

          • Abhijeet Mishra

            I didn't exactly say it is an indication of not doing well, it was just a joke and a ponderous question. I would actually be glad it wasn't doing that well, lest we start seeing Facebook users shifting over and bogging it down with crap :P

        • RampageDeluxe

          I'm with you on this. I don't use Facebook or Google + and don't fuel that I should to use my android device to its fullest.

          • John

            You don't have to use those services though. You can just sign up once & never touch it again.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Google+ is being used as an identity service to hold users accountable for their reviews. Your only other choice would be Facebook.

      It doesn't have anything to do with how well it's doing. They needed an identity service, and they happen to own one, so they used it.

  • John

    I know a lot of people will dislike this change, but it will, in my opinion, greatly reduce some of the useless comments people post on apps/games

    ..to you Google

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Yeah, hopefully this will cut down on the retarded comments, which is currently approaching YouTube levels.

      • silaslenz

        Youtube at least has awesome top comments every now and then. Play store comments are just totally meh...

  • http://profiles.google.com/hephastus Kurleigh Martin

    Any redesign of the play store is welcome

  • GraveUypo

    hate it. google is slowly forcing you to share your info when you don't need to. first removing the ability to have a private channel on youtube, now this. i seriously do not like this. i'm starting to think they're dropping their "don't be evil" motto and trying to conquer the world more directly.
    not to mention that's a cheap way to force google+ on people.

    • perfectlyreasonabletoo

      If there's anywhere that can use less retards, it's Youtube comments and Google Play reviews.

      • G_A

        Retards and whack.jobs don't care (or know) about something called online privacy. The trolls us fake accounts anyway. Generally, newspapers switching to Facebook for commenting gets more trolls, whack jobs and retards, while many of those with an I >80 goes somewhere else. Many because they care about online privacy (or don't want their employers to know what they're up to on the internet - perhaps during work hours), while the rest of them tire of being stuck with trolls, retard and whack-jobs making up the most o the other posters...

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

    And another thing - if every review is going to be marked with your G+ account, that means the developer will be able to contact the user and start a discussion or request more info. This was not possible to this degree before, and it's going to be an even more powerful tool than the ability to reply to Play Store comments that select developers can do as of recently.

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      Now that, I agree, is a great advantage.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Developers will be able to hunt you down! =P

      • Vito Cassisi

        Oh how much I have waited for this day...

    • David Stallard

      That's the biggest + as far as I'm concerned. Getting in touch with reviewers to try and help them resolve the issue is time-consuming, but requiring a G+ profile will make it much easier. Easier still would be to allow responding to reviews, but who knows when they're going to roll that out to non-"Top Developers".

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

      Thank you, I thought the same exact thing the moment I read that part. I think that's going to be great for those couple bad reviews that can be easily solved with a few minutes of direct interaction. I'm a little worried to see some developers hounding people for more positive reviews. I expect issues to be limited to a small minority, but there are definitely a few poorly behaved developers.

  • http://twitter.com/Twitteninja ZZ

    I think the "lead image from play store" is actually just the base image used for the welcome screen for the movies, books and music sections (clear data for the Play store to see them again). If you look they use the exact same image for each of them and then swap out whats "displayed" in the screens using another image.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

      Oh. Good spot. I'll update.

  • companyemails

    I find it funny how people get all bent out of shape by this. Hasn't Google been saying from the very beginning that G+ was intended to act as the hub around which all things Google revolve and interconnect? How is this anything more than expanding on that functionality?

    • storm14k

      The tech media went storming around telling everybody G+ was being forced down their throats. This is the aftermath of that. The thing that cracks me up is how people say "no one uses it" and "my friends aren't there" when I bet half of them use networks like Instagram and the like with far less users.

  • Matthew Fry

    Google will make us use G+ if they have to drag us kicking and screaming. Honestly, I don't mind G+ it's just that facebook is so ubiquitous that there's nothing on my G+ feed... except stuff from Android Police.

    • http://www.impulsivestudios.com/ Justin Myers

      Then circle interesting people. Google+ is what you make it, just like Facebook, Twitter or any other social network.

      • smeddy

        But personally, I got not interest in this

      • DuncanPerkins

        that's what every pro google+ person says. What if I don't want that? What if I just want to interact with my friends on the internet? I feel no need to interact with people i've never met before. The response I've gotten for that before has been "well you're not the kind of person we want on Google+ then anyway, just don't use it" well it would appear google is taking that option away.

        • storm14k

          You still don't have to use Google+. Its the profile they are having you use. They are simply trying to get all of their users across all of their properties into one standard Google profile. How does this stop you from using whatever network it is that all of your friends are on?

          • Matthew Fry

            Ah... you mean like Google Accounts. Like the current Google Accounts system that already has a profile attached to it. The system which unifies all the Google products and works just fine.

          • storm14k

            As far as I know that doesn't cover YouTube nor Google+. So would it sound better if they said we're merging Google+ profiles into Google Accounts so that the later serves as your Google+ profile? It would still be the same thing and people still wouldn't have to use Google+ if they didn't want to. As I've said a number of times this is nothing more than people repeating the crap the tech media stirred up.

          • Matthew Fry

            My original point was that Google isn't giving up on G+. I think Google is hoping the integration gets so tight between Android and G+ that people will want to switch. I kind of gave up on it though. Features such as a dedicated, "share on G+" button have 0 appeal to me. Nobody I know even checks it regularly.

          • storm14k

            Not seeing why people need to switch from any other network. People use both Facebook and Twitter all the time. Google isn't giving up on G+. Despite the foolishness the media keeps trying to spread G+ successful. You have news organizations all o er the place using Hangouts to interact. And its closing in on Twitter for monthly active users. If Twitters not a failure then....

            Sent via Android.

          • Dang Ren Bo

            @ MAtthew Fry
            No, Google isn't going to give up on Google+, but I don't think that they much care whether you use it as your default social network, either. Your review and +1s on the Play Store will be just one more piece of information they can use to tailor search and ads.

        • John O’Connor

          But they aren't actually making or forcing you to use it. With all the time people waste complaining about being forced to registet they could've taken the 45 seconds it takes to navigate the three or four dialog boxes to join Google plus and be done with it. Boom- verified identity. You can still use Facebook or whatever network you prefer no need to ever have any more interaction than that. Now quit complaining. If you are using android then you more than likely have a Google account unless you prefer a device without applications.

        • David Stallard

          Fair call. I personally find strangers with common interests on G+ more interesting than 'friends' and family on Facebook, but whatever floats your boat.

      • Matthew Fry

        The people that interest me aren't on Google+. They gave it the academic try and when they realized nobody else was on there, they switched back to facebook one by one. It's the reason why Google Wave failed, imo.

    • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross

      All I'm seeing is Circle more people. My stream won't shut up, ever. I can't comment on everyone's posts. Hell, I don't even see everyone's posts. Google+ is the future. Embrace it.

    • storm14k

      No knock on you in particular but after using G+ I find it harder and harder to understand why people get on "social" networks to then clump up in relatively small groups of friends. And then you only see the same "cat posts" and "here's my lunch" pics over and over. If you follow interesting people on G+ and interact through comments etc. you'll meet a lot of new people all over the world.

      • Matthew Fry

        Sorry, but the only people whose statuses I care about are the ones I know and spend time with. If I wanted to know what dumb celebrities thought I'd use Twitter. If I wanted to know what "interesting people all over the world" thought, there are plenty of other mediums through which I could obtain that information. That's not social networking, that's a forum... by definition.

        • storm14k

          I was like that too at one point. Then I discovered there's more to see than the "statuses" of people I already know. Honestly I really didn't care what they were doing every minute of the day and thought it was stupid. I don't follow celebs on G+. I follow real people talking about things that interest me. G+ has become the second place I go for content behind my feed reader. No forum Ive taken part in has come close nor do they have the same ability to create networks of people.

          Sent via Android.

        • Dang Ren Bo

          You've basically hit the nail on the head. Google+ is much more like an unlimited Twitter than it is anything like Facebook. I don't know why people keep comparing it to FB.

  • ProductFRED

    Forcing users into having a G+ profile will not sit well with people; I have one but I don't use it much compared with Facebook (only because 99% of my friends are on Facebook). I do think that Google+ is the better social network in terms of capabilities (Hangouts, Photosphere Viewer, etc) and Privacy Settings, but the issue is that not many people I know use it.

    Anyways, back to requiring a G+ to review an app: When I post an app review, if it's from a major developer (say a game from Gameloft), it's usually to tell people and the developer about issues. I may post to Google+ manually afterwards to let friends know, but for the most part, it's for EVERYONE looking at the app in the Play Store. I'll post a good review for a small/independent developer if their app is worthwhile.


    TL;DR: Reviews are for the public. People will post to G+ manually if they want to. Google should not force G+ on people.

    • Andy_in_Indy

      The review is not automatically shared on Google+. However, you need to have a verified identity (no trolling) to be on Google+, and it gives developers a way to contact the reviewer for more information and to let them know when concerns are corrected. This is definitely a move positive for developers, and hopefully it will also "trickle down" with better quality apps.

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

        You hardly need a verified identity - it can be a made up name and Google will never know better. But if you're using your phone with one, chances are it's real.

        • ProductFRED

          That's what I'm saying; the chance that someone will buy an app on a "fake"/unused/disposable Gmail address is slim to none. Chances are the person is using a real account. A lot of people don't want a Google+ account because they don't want their name on the internet. G+ takes your full name, the one associated with your Google Account. Besides, they're only going for people who care enough post reviews, which are mostly techies like us. They should be aiming for a much broader market -- the Facebook crowd. Most people I know just download an app and play with it; they don't post reviews. Half of them don't even KNOW how to post reviews. If Google's aiming to get more users on Google+, this is not the way.

          • Sexy_Alice

            You are not "required" nor ever "verified" for G+. You can create as many real or fake accounts as you want.

            You are foolish if you put your full name in G+. (That also gets anyone your home address and home phone number, too.)

          • John O’Connor

            OK Alice, this is a little ludicrous. Having a Google+ account does not put your address and phone number out to the world for everyone to see. Clearly you do not have a G+ account and I am still wondering why you have such a vehement hatred toward a network you don't even use?

          • mark

            He probably means that app developers have access to the Identity and Phone-book of the user (they can require the needed permissions). And could in fact easily link that info to the reviewer.

          • storm14k

            You've got to be stuck in the 90's or something. The era of the fake online persona has passed. If you're serious about networking then your real name is on your networks and you use it to your advantage.

        • Knowles2

          Google are slowly, very slowly verifying people identities in Google plus. Once Google plus and Google play are fully integrated, Google will probably ask you for permission to verify your identity by credit/debit card. An I would not be surprise if app creators will have the capability to only allow people who verify their identity to comment on their app.

  • grellanl

    It seems weird to me that they have to embed these assets separately into the market app... like this functionality should be implemented in a more general way in the Google+ app and they would call it through a sharing API. That seems the more Android-like way of doing it, like the intents system.

    Though I guess that would mean you have to have the Google+ app installed to be able to reviews Play Store apps!

  • VonLaserface

    I really want to be using G+ but getting anyone I know to use it (outside of a select few) becomes a painful, boring conversation. People will cling to Facebook until its a dead, Myspacian husk.

    • perfectlyreasonabletoo

      I think this combined with Photo Sphere might encourage a lot more people to try it out. As far as social networks go, it's pretty well-designed I think.

    • storm14k

      Different network... different goal. NONE of my friends are on G+. But I have nearly 1000 people who've circled me. I post and hold conversations by far more often on G+ than on FB. If you go in looking for your friends and then sit in a corner when you don't see them instead of interacting with everyone else then you'll get bored quick. But I just don't see how people go to social networks with this anti-social behavior and I am VERY anti-social in person.

  • Sexy_Alice

    You can always tell when something isn't very good: They have to *FORCE* you to get it.
    If Google+ was so great... wouldn't we WANT to have it... instead of forced down our throats?

    • Knowles2

      This was there plan all along. An when you are facing such a competitor such as Facebook with enormous market dominations, a bit of persuasion is always require to get consumers to broaden their horizons, whether that promotional deals or linking together products, lots and lots of advertising. Google is actually doing last two, but easily have the capability to do the promotional deals part later on.

    • John O’Connor

      What is it specifically that you find wrong with Google+?

    • perfectlyreasonabletoo

      I'm constantly hearing/seeing people say they'd use it if (more of) their friends were using it. It's 100% impossible to get people to consider trying another social network just by saying "ours is much better and has more features".

      Google's been steadily adding more and more great features to G+ and it's a much better system as far as social networks go IMHO. Hangouts and Photo Sphere are awesome and those two alone make G+ much better than Facebook IMHO.

    • storm14k

      Too many people have bought into this "force it down your throat" crap. All they are doing is integrating all of their services and they came up with one central service to act as an umbrella. Its no different than Facebook making the automatic shared friends pages and couples pages. The only difference is that they didn't have the tech media bitchin at every corner trying to tell everyone its being rammed down their throats.

  • KingRando

    I would prefer to remain anonymous when I give my reviews... Just like to keep my e-life separate from my real life. It's easier that way

  • Davy Jones

    I don't like this simply because I already think most apps have too few reviews that are specifically useful. So sure there might be plenty of reviews for an app, but few for the last update of the app and fewer for my specific device. Since I find this kind of review the most relevant, anything that filters out potential reviews is not great. Reviews can be really helpful in finding out if an update breaks an app, or introduces an undesirable change. I hope it does affect volume of reviews too much.

  • Not Excited

    Wait, you're fine with having your pictures and full name being required to avoid seeing a few unsavory comments? If they bother you so much, there is a simple solution: don't read them and scroll past. Though, the bigger issue for me is being to have a G+ account to leave a review in the first place.

    Trading privacy and the ability to leave a review without being "forced" (you know what I mean) to join G+ all for a little convenience.

    • Simon Belmont

      Totally agree. I think this will just be a deterrent for a lot of people to leave reviews AT ALL.

      If they don't force it, then great. If they do, okay, maybe I'll join G+, maybe I won't.

  • http://www.hell.com xaml

    "App reviews in the Play Store will soon require a Google+ account, and future reviews will be posted showing your full Google+ name and picture."

    No more reviewing then. Id..ts.

    • Knowles2

      I am sure Google would rather have 10 good quality reviews that give creators good, accurate feedback, than a hundred crap/spam reviews.

      • G_A

        Yeah, cause the retards and whackjobs care about leaving their real name, and noone heard of a fake Google+ or (Faceook) profile, so the trolls will still be there too. You'll only get rid of the non-retarded, privacy concious people. Then the rest of the non-retards will drown in the retards whackjobs and trolls.

  • exa

    Good move Google

  • ssj4Gogeta

    ... maybe the share dialog needs to be recreated because you only get 1 share button per screen.

    Why does that necessitate creating a dialog in the Play Store app? They'd just do it with an intent. Otherwise they'd have to replicate a lot of functionality from the Google+ app - fetching people in your circles, etc. etc.

  • FlexPlexico

    I shall never review a play store app again. I like my privacy. I hope someone finds a way of getting around this. Perhaps by building some kind of facade.

  • neji

    Most of my friends don't buy apps from the playstore because they are too lazy to enter their credit card details. Now with reviews, you could see a huge drop in people willing to leave reviews if they have to sign up for a google+ account. I feel google should offer a $25 dollar gift card to all who purchase a nexus device in exchange for a credit card and a google+ account. Makes the 5mins seems more worthwhile. Just my opinion

    • Justin Swanson

      I kind of agree with you on that... but once they get it configured on their device there probably won't be any more action taken, and assuming they all ready have a G+ it's just a log in.

  • Follower

    Anything about "Game Center" or something like that ?

    • Knowles2

      All we know is that something like that is coming, and has been for a while. It probably tide into Google + games.

      • Justin Swanson

        Interesting idea!

  • http://blog.ravrahn.net/ Owen Cassidy

    Google+ reviews is a good idea. If you need to use your real name you're likely to be less of an ass, and people might be nicer about it.

  • didibus

    This is not cool. I will also stop reviewing app from now on. The comments are already linked to your google account, it shows our google account name or username, google could easily just add a way for devs to send us an email to our google accounts email. Why have my profile pic show up, or my real name? Seriously G+ is really bad, I hope google doesn't hurt themselves with it.

  • didibus

    It's already dumb that G+ is used for cloud upload of Android taken pictures instead of Google Drive, why are they trying to push G+ soo much, it's crap, it's a social network that adds nothing new to all the other ones, no one uses it, who cares.

    • Knowles2

      Just want to ask a question, which other social network offers 10 way video chat with integrated office tools, role playing game, and several applications, an more being developed. Just interested in case I ever decide to move away from Google+.

      • didibus

        None, because it does not belong in a Social Network. Hangouts should be a google product all to itself, it should integrate with your google account, not your G+ account and should be accessible from everywhere and anywhere, gmail, gtalk, g+, google search, and even have a native Android App.

        • Knowles2

          So a tool which allows you to communicate, have conservation, play a game of chess, jointly watch videos with other people doesn't belong in a social network, even through it provides dozens of opportunities to socialise with people, which is what a social network suppose to provide.

          • didibus

            A social network, from my point of view, is supposed to make it easy for you to keep track of a network of people. Hangout is a communication tool that should not be restricted to a network of people. Therefore it is more akin to video-conference, sms, phone calls, email, etc. It can be used as part of a network, but definitely should not be restrained to it. Why is Google limiting the reach of Hangout? You can see this even as how Hangout is completely separate from G+, it opens in it's own window, requires a plugin to be installed, has it's own set of apps, games and APIs for it. The way I see it, google keeps hangout locked in G+ just to lure you in to G+ so you make a profile and give google more info on you to work with. Hangout on it's own would'nt bring them much, unless they start advertising on it, but I still believe Hangout is a communication tool, not a social network.

          • John O’Connor

            It is a relevant and logical extension of any fully featured "social" network, if not a new take on communication. Facebook is currently trying to integrate similar features as well.

            I don't know if you have been hiding under a rock for the last 18 months, but Google has been streamlining and integrating all of it's services under a unified login. It suits their business model as well as making it easier for the individual. It doesn't make any practical sense to have all of their services segregated and operating under different rules, structures, account management, servers, etc.

          • didibus

            Maybe the way I see it is how WhatsApp is popular, because it is only a communication tool, it became famous for not requiring an account. The way Facebook Messenger has recently removed it's ties to Facebook, by becoming a true independent communication tool. Similarly, I would like hangout to become a pure communication tool without tie ins to G+. The tie in to G+ is equivalent to bloatware, want to video chat, bloat yourself with everything else G+ offers that I don't want to use right now to call grand-ma. It is a feature within a service, mainly the ability to video-conference and cooperate inside of a social network. Cooperatively editing documents, or playing games against other people are not in any way the defining elements for a social network. Similarly, video chatting is not the requirement to have something be defined as a social network. G+ can keep using Hangout, but I really would like it, and believe it would make Hangout way more popular, if it was standalone. Start hangout, share a link to have others join it, no account required. Make a hangout app, that you can login to, not having to login through G+, then list everyone that is connected to the hangout app like IM works. Also have the G+ integration they have now, and the gmail, etc. It would just make hangout so much more powerful. G+ is holding it from it's true potential.

  • C0080900V

    I just wish Google would hurry up and make it possible to purchase Google Play Gift Cards/Credit online. Sure you can grab one from a local retailer, but it'd be simpler to purchase Google Play Credit/Gift Cards online as well, all Google would have to is e-mail you the code to redeem.

  • FrillArtist

    Won't be reviewing anything if this happens. Might have to change all my Google+ details if this happens too.

  • GazaIan

    Even though there is good that can come out of this G+ integration, I have a hunch that they're just trying to force G+ on us.

  • perfectlyreasonabletoo

    Perhaps we will see fewer shill reviews from Gameloft employees.

  • Jaymoon

    So is there seriously an issue with My Little Ponies, or are you just showing your distaste towards this game?

    I'll admit I installed it ...for my nieces of course. :P

    • Sootie

      It was in their top 25 games list so its a legit game, I think ron was just using it as a bit of a joke

  • http://towo.eu towo

    The office icons from the Google+ image set belong to Google Apps. If you have a Google Apps domain, the whole domain has the little office icon next to it ('cause it isn't public, after all).

  • Nathan J

    I'm okay with forced Google+ integration. Google+ is so worthless right now, which is a shame because it offers a superior platform to Facebook. But it suffers from chicken vs. egg syndrome, nobody wants to use it because their friends don't, who in turn won't use it because, you guessed it, their friends don't. As much as they crow about the timeline, it didn't push (enough of) them to jump over to G+.

    My G+ page only has two friends who refuse to use Facebook, and pages. It has my real name on it, but no review I've ever posted is so inaccurate or inflammatory that I am ashamed of associating my real name to it. Maybe if we were forced to use our real names, app reviews would be more accurate and honest.

  • Simon Belmont

    I can't see Google FORCING reviews to be connected to Google+. They will lose a LOT of reviews that way.

    Not everyone wants to be that vested in Google's social network. Maybe it will be an option, but peoples' names will all be "A Google User."

  • afsafasdf

    what's wrong with "My Little Pony?" :)

  • paxmos

    I think there are better things to do in life than writing subjective reviews. (of course other than this one lol)

  • ericl5112

    I have an app on the market with about 850 downloads,700 active users, and 3 ratings (only 2 with reviews). All are 5 stars, so it's not like it's a useless app that wouldn't motivate ratings. I can't help but feel that this will hurt worse. I like google plus and all, but how many casual android users are on it? How many will not leave a review again for a long, long time?

    Not happy about this.

  • DeadSOL

    Finally!!! The option of marking sexual content! Phew!

  • http://twitter.com/Michael97F Michael Fordham

    My Little Pony, ha.

  • A Google User

    I will never again leave a comment. Also, I'm seriously considering to switch to a less-intrusive platform. I do not want a social network account, and this is only a beggining towards forcing you to have one in order to buy/install/update apps.

  • salah


  • G_A

    My given name already shows up in reviews instead of the nickname connected to my Google Account, with no warning what so ever. Not sure if this is a bug or intended - anyway it is totally unacceptable.

    As for the comments, they will probably get worse. Way worse. Forcing uses to post under their full name has a tendency to drastically reduce the quality of the comments. The percentage of people concerned with online privacy is notably lower in the group of people who usually posts whack-job reviews in unintelligible English. Smarter (or more IT-experienced) and more adult persons are generally more concerned about privacy.

    Newspapers going from other (semi)anonymous comment systems to force users to use Facebook, see a drastically declined comment quality. The whack jobs, downright dumb people and fake trolling accounts post the most comments. The users who debate under their full name and isn't in the other three groups, tend to become frustrated and give up. At least that's the state in my country.

    Of course, this is a bigger problem in debates - in PlayStore reviews you are generally not bothered if "everyone" else is a trolling idiot. Still, I have yet to see any good coming from forcing your real name to be used online for this kind of thing.