Recently, we tore down an unreleased version of Google's Play Store 4.4 update and discovered that Newsstand, an upcoming Play service we first learned about back in March, had made some progress.

When we first saw Newsstand, it was in the midst of Javascript and CSS in the web Play Store. At the time, it looked like Newsstand would be an addition to the existing apps, books, tv/movies, music, and magazines categories, adopting its own yellow brand color (#FFD700 to be exact).

Of course today we got a new Play Store APK (which you can download here) that had a bit more to say about Google's impending news service. Perhaps the most notable bit of Newsstand news is the menagerie of iconography found in the APK:


Besides the cornucopia of references to newss or newsstand here, it's pretty clear that Newsstand's color has gone from yellow to the familiar purple which currently belongs to Play Magazines. In fact, only launcher icons and a couple of action bar icons and checkmarks remain named Magazines.

This leads us to believe that Newsstand will absorb Magazines like a digital content amoeba, rolling in existing services, and adding in news publications mentioned in the strings we uncovered last time.

That's it for this teardown - besides user-facing changes like hamburger navigation and new, round overflow icons for card items (oh, and the "AP Teardown Notice"), Newsstand is the juiciest thing to be found in the new Play Store. From the look of it, Google will be ready to launch Newsstand any time now.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Captain Canada

    I care because of all those Play Magazines I've bought...lol

  • Shamu

    Kitkat...you are looking so good!

  • Santeri

    I think you can also now choose multiple options at once in the my apps -> all- section of the Play Store. I'm not sure if you could do that before, but this came in really handy for me to say the least.

    • Sam Hollis

      That's been there. :)

      • Santeri

        Oh, thanks for info :)

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

          Yeah, that's been there for ages.

  • Danny Holyoake

    I just couldn't find a use for Play Magazines. The UK selection is pretty terrible and a lot of them are priced ridiculously. Just like Play Movies & TV.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      I've got a few magazines in there, but I never go into the app for exploration or discovery, only when there's something new on a subscription. Maybe rolling News into the fold will help its appeal.

      • DirkBelig

        The only mags I have in Play Magazines are the complementary digital copies that come with my dead tree edition subscriptions, though I switched to the digital version of Game Informer and they finally made a Play version to replace the positively gawdawful mess they originally put out which weighed 500MB per issue and sucked.

        I've mentioned it before, but I'm wondering if Google is about to launch a Next Issue killer via Newstand; an all-you-can-eat subscription model where you pay $10 per month and can read any of a large selection of magazines. NI offers 109 magazines for $10 and another dozen weeklies for $5 more. If All-Access Music competes with Spotify, why not do the same with magazines?

      • Andy Stetson

        Same here, only subs i have are complimentary from golf magazines and game informer.

    • alphaRawr

      Personally, I've found the UK selection to be sufficient for most. I've subscribed to like 10 or so magazines (film, science, history, f1, etc.) and only pay around £12 per month.

      Don't get me wrong, I see a lot of room for improvements, however, the majority of the big publishers are available at reasonable prices. Have a look around the categories, there's a lot of great content available.

  • whispy_snippet

    Bonus points for squeezing in the word "amoeba" into an article on tech news. Good word. A very good word.

    • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

      And cornucopia! Oh, I love skillful writing. It makes me happy like a child.

  • http://www.jugarjugar.net/ Jugar Jugar

    I really do not think there is anything particularly innovative in this new update. It's really too little change and I do not see the changes that are necessary and inevitable. It's so simple and basic.

  • miri

    Cool beans, though it's a shame that we'll be losing the Magazines icon. That was my favorite of the four.

  • me

    the only thing i dont like about google is i cannot get any or all content in my country.
    i live in Nepal but i have everything google made, but the only service is search, play(not the paid one just free ones), map(but no street view just plain map).
    no google books till now, no google play music and i know there will be no newstand here

    and ya u squeezed an amoeba in the article, cool

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/108482452903817442299/posts Andrew Bone

    Why haven't they thought to do audio books yet :-/

  • DHM47

    Has any one noticed that the three dots beside each app have become circles!

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Yep, the round overflow icon is for card items only so far, and hasn't shown up in any other play apps. With the app drawer button on the KK home screen going with round dots, I wouldn't be surprised to see them take over eventually.

  • Samuel Hart

    Likely this is what their announcement shortly will be about? Possibly with some partnering?

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      We've heard from reliable sources that the upcoming "night out" event won't have any news - basically just a new york press mixer.

  • Moosa Mahsoom

    I hope news stands does not require rollouts to individual countries....