In an interesting bit of news this evening, it looks like Google has opened up merchant support to China, allowing developers to distribute free or paid apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions in over 130 countries.
The news comes in a post to Google's official Android Developers blog, which goes on to explain that Chinese developers distributing paid apps through the Play Store will receive payment via wire transfer to a Chinese bank account in USD.
So you know that mixtape that Peter Quill, excuse me—Star-Lord, dances to throughout Guardians of the Galaxy? Well those tunes are currently available on Google Play for free (Update: to people who live in the US). So if you want to be an earthling who feels like a space-traveling superhero who uses these songs to remind him of Earth, now you can do so without spending any money.
If there ever was a reason to use the Amazon Appstore, this is it. Monument Valley, the game that has enchanted and awed (almost) everyone who played it is being offered for free today by Amazon, down from its original price of $3.99.
If there's one thing I've learned about Amazon's mobile approach over the last couple of years, it's that they love to give stuff away. Free apps, free coins for downloading said free apps so you can get more free apps...and the like. I'm not the biggest fan of the Amazon Appstore, but I am a pretty big fan of free stuff, and in this situation it just so happens that my like for free stuff outweighs my dislike for the Amazon Appstore.
If you snagged a new Nexus 9 this past week, hit up the Google Play Books app. It looks like Google is offering a free book from a selection of best-sellers, and all you have to do is accept. We don't yet know if other devices are eligible or if there are geographic restrictions, but you might as well check.
If you use a Nexus 5, or even if you can just get your hands on one long enough to add your Google account, you might want to investigate the Google Play Movies & TV app. According to posters at Slickdeals and our own devices, owners of the N5 are being treated to a free digital copy of the 2013 astronaut thriller Gravity. Just open the app and tap "add to library," and it's yours to keep and play back on any Android device or browser.
Good news if you make a lot of short calls overseas. Google had started offering the first minute of Hangouts calls to 25 countries at no charge. It only lasts through the end of 2014, but that's still not a bad deal.
Amazon finally acquiesced a few weeks ago and released an Instant Video streaming app for regular Android devices. Compatibility is a little limited, but at least it exists now. To encourage customers to use it, Amazon is offering 500 Amazon Coins to anyone who streams something using the app. Free money, yay!
The LG G3 seems to be selling briskly these days, but LG is sweetening the deal a little more for potential buyers in the US. If you pick up a G3 between September 8th (today) and September 22nd, LG will give you a free spare battery and a charging cradle. That's $70 worth of swag, and it only takes a few minutes to get on the list.