Play Store 5.4 Makes The Notification Bar Transparent On App Pages [APK Download]
[Update: 5.5.12] Play Store 5.5 Brings A Spiffy Circular Animation To Page Transitions (TV Shows Only) And Popular Opinion Review Blurbs [APK Download]
Google Play Store Updated To 5.6.6 With Layout Changes And Possible Groundwork For Kids' Accounts [APK Download And Mini-Teardown]
[Update: APK Download] Google Play Store v5.8 Rolling Out With Hamburger-Arrow Morphing Animation
Play Store v5.9 Begins Preparation For Android 6.0, Adds Support For Fingerprint Readers, An Uninstall Manager, And More [APK Teardown + Download]
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A late afternoon update to the Play Store just hit the scene. While we've only witnessed a single new dialog box in the live app, there are plenty of things standing out from a teardown. Preparation for Android 6.0 is clearly a big part of this release as signs pop up for support of the new optional permission model and fingerprint readers. There is also an uninstall manager in the works for those times when you've run out of space. We can also look forward to a new interface for requesting refunds and an option to get very precise recommendations based on location. And if you just can't wait to get the latest version, hit the download link below.
If you're looking for something new in the latest Play Store, and if you're using Android M Developer Preview 3, check out any app that targets API 23. A popup appears the first time one of these apps is downloaded, letting users know that their experience will be a bit different with the new permission model. For now, the list of apps is limited mostly to Google's own line-up, LastPass (pictured above), and a rare few others who have been quick to get updates out since the release of the SDK a few weeks ago.
The new Play Store adds a handful of new permissions that may be of interest. Most of these additions are dedicated to reading SMS messages and the contact list. This is almost certainly related to the App Invite system announced back in May, which can use this information to show those recommendations right in the Play Store, along with who sent them. Another permission is used to get size details about apks installed on the device, but we'll get to more detail about that one shortly. Finally, there is one for accessing Fingerprint readers, and that's where this teardown really starts.
Android M has plenty of headlining features, but the two we've been talking about constantly are the new optional permissions and built-in integration with fingerprint readers. If nothing else, the leaked images of the LG Nexus 5X and Huawei Nexus 6 (or whatever they will be called) are a constant reminder that we can expect overly obvious reader panels on many of our phones for the foreseeable future. With this knowledge, we could have easily guessed that the Play Store would soon accept the tap a digit to skip those obnoxious password prompts when we buy a new app. Now we have our evidence:
<string name="fingerprint_auth_settings_description">For Google Play purchases on this device</string>
<string name="fingerprint_auth_settings_label">Fingerprint authentication</string>
<string name="fingerprint_failed_first_attempt">"Try again. Fingerprint not recognized. Be sure you're using the correct finger."</string>
<string name="fingerprint_failed_last_attempt">"Try one last time. If the next attempt fails, you'll need to enter your password."</string>
<string name="fingerprint_locked_password">A new fingerprint was added to this device, so a password is required</string>
<string name="fingerprint_locked_pin">A new fingerprint was added to this device, so a PIN is required</string>
<string name="fingerprint_not_recognized">Try again. Fingerprint not recognized.</string>
<string name="fingerprint_opt_in">Use fingerprint for future purchases</string>
<string name="fingerprint_scan_successful">Scan successful</string>
<string name="fingerprint_scanning">Touch the sensor to continue</string>
<string name="fingerprint_title">Touch sensor</string>
<CheckBoxPreference android:title="@string/fingerprint_auth_settings_label" android:key="fingerprint-auth" android:summary="@string/fingerprint_auth_settings_description" />
The important line simply reads, "use fingerprint for future purchases," which removes any doubt that the Play Store will offer the same purchase flow iOS users now have with the App Store. Most of the remaining text is instructional, with a few lines dedicated to basic error messages.
This function doesn't appear to be working with existing devices with fingerprint readers, but it's likely Google simply hasn't turned it on yet. We'll have to wait to find out if Android 6.0 APIs are a requirement or if OEM implementations like Samsung's will also work.
We live in a world with apps that keep getting bigger and built-in storage that's not exactly keeping up. Between phones with 20 MP cameras and games that regularly average between 400 MB and a couple of gigs, it's easy to run out of space. Google knows this and plans to assist in some basic management. There is an upcoming feature called "Uninstall Manager" that will make it easy to pick out the overweight apps that get in the way the next time you're trying to install something.
<activity android:name="com.google.android.finsky.uninstall.UninstallManagerActivity" android:theme="@style/FinskyLightDialogTheme"/>
<string name="external_space_bar">"Can't download ""<g id="appname">%1$s</g>", not enough external storage.</string>
<string name="external_space_message">"<g id="appname">%1$s</g>"" can't be downloaded. Remove apps or content you no longer need, and try again."</string>
<string name="external_space_missing_bar">"Can't download ""<g id="appname">%1$s</g>", requires external storage.</string>
<string name="external_space_missing_message">"<g id="appname">%1$s</g>"" can't be downloaded. Insert an <a href="<g id="helpUrl">%2$s</g>>SD card</a> or USB storage with sufficient storage, and try again.</string>
<string name="external_space_missing_title">App requires external storage</string>
<string name="external_space_title">Not enough external storage</string>
<string name="uninstall_manager_done">"You're ready to continue your install!"</string>
<string name="uninstall_manager_no_results">No installed apps found</string>
<string name="uninstall_manager_selected_space"><g id="space_selected">%1$s</g> selected for uninstall</string>
<string name="uninstall_manager_size_error">Error getting app size</string>
<string name="uninstall_manager_sort_by_name">Sort by name</string>
<string name="uninstall_manager_sort_by_size">Sort by size</string>
<string name="uninstall_manager_space_to_free">Free up <g id="space_needed">%1$s</g> more to continue installing</string>
<string name="uninstall_manager_subtitle">"It seems like you're low on space. You can manually remove apps below to free up storage."</string>
<string name="uninstall_manager_title">Insufficient storage</string>
The Uninstall Manager will most likely appear when an app fails to download or install due to shortage of available space. A look at the layouts reveals that it will be fairly simple in nature. There will be a list of apps and their physical size on the device, along with checkboxes next to each. Selecting each app marks it for uninstall. Once enough have been chosen to make space for the incoming app, a tap of a button will finish the task.
This interface focuses on apps, but doesn't acknowledge other potentially problematic consumers like photos, music, and video. Uninstall Manager doesn't seem to be live yet, or at least our tests weren't able to make it appear.
Many years ago (well, three), the Play Store began experimenting with recommendations based on your friends and location. Now it looks like there's a little more motion on that project, so to speak. A new setting is being prepared (not yet visible, but it's there) that can enable or disable the use of "precise location" to generate recommendations. The description specifically references the use of GPS. No other details are given, but we can probably expect to see more about this in the near future.
<CheckBoxPreference android:title="@string/location_setting_title" android:key="location" android:summary="@string/location_setting_description" />
<string name="location_setting_description">Improve recommendations using my precise location, including from GPS</string>
<string name="location_setting_title">Use precise location</string>
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.
File Name: com.android.vending-5.9.11-80391100-minAPI9.apk
Version: 5.9.11 (80391100)