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Google Play Store

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[Deal Alert] Jaime Lawson's Self-Titled Album Is Free To Pre-Order On Google Play, X From Ed Sheeran Is Just 99 Cents

Tonight the Google Play Store is giving US customers a lesson in delayed gratification. Would you rather have a free album of music in about two months, or a cheap album right now? That's the choice being presented between the self-titled Jaime Lawson and Ed Sheeran's X: the former is available for free if you pre-order it, and the latter is just a dollar, but all the songs are available right now.

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Google Celebrates The Chromecast's Second Birthday With Free Rentals For All Owners (Even Android TV), Plus A Small Discount

Do you have a Chromecast or an Android TV device? Then open up Chrome on your desktop, make sure that you've got the Chromecast extension installed, go to this website, click "redeem all offers," then click the Google Play offer in the upper-left corner. You'll get a free movie rental voucher on your account, which can be applied when you checkout any movie on the Play Store. HD movies are valid as well. Even though the freebie is specifically to promote the Chromecast's second birthday, connecting to an Android TV box will get you the credit too.

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This offer is valid in the United States and a few other countries (commenters mentioned Germany, Australia, and France) but doesn't appear to be a worldwide promotion.

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Google Play Summer Sale Discounts A Smattering Of Popular Games To A Dollar Or Less: Monument Valley, Botanicula, Republique, Marvel Pinball, And More

It's high summer in the United States, and it's the perfect time to go outside and do stuff. Unless you live in the south, or the midwest, or the southwest, or parts of California, or the northeast, or any major city where there's more concrete than grass. For those places it's the perfect time to sit inside, hide from 100+ degree temperatures, and curse your air conditioning bill. While you're doing all that non-exercising and non-self-actualizing, here are some games you can pick up on the cheap.

Google has put a handful of popular titles on sale so far, most of them now priced at a dollar or less.

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Developers In Azerbaijan, Iceland, Peru, And Yemen Can Now Sell Paid Apps On The Play Store

Google is doing its darnedest to make developers happy. To a certain extent, anyway - it still makes some major mistakes on a pretty regular basis, but at least it's trying to expand availability for paid apps to more users and, crucially, more developers. Today developers in Azerbaijan, Iceland, Peru, And Yemen can submit paid apps to the Google Play Store, as well as offer in-app purchases. Previously Android users in all four nations could buy apps, but not sell them.

Nothing stopped developers in these territories from publishing apps before, but Google had no way to pay them, so they were limited to free downloads.

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[Update: Android Too, And Content Descriptors] Google Play Store Listings Start Showing The New Content Ratings And Interactive Elements On The Web

Back in March, Google announced a few changes to its Play Store listings — a content rating system and a manual approval process for apps. The latter had been in effect for a while, but the former is now showing up on the web version of the Play Store. (I can't see it on my Android phone yet at the time the article is being written.) Edit: It should also show up on Android, on the Play Store version 5.6.6.

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[I/O 2015] Google Introduces Family Star, A New Set Of Kid-Friendly Filters And Parental Tools For The Play Store

The Play Store has a crap-ton of content, much of which you might not want your kids to access. Google is aware of this, and at I/O 2015 the company has announced a new set of tools specifically designed to help parents find age-appropriate content, plus a few extras to help kids engage with the content itself. It's all being introduced to the Play Store under the "Family Star" label and logo.

star rating

Family Star extends across apps, games, video, and book content, but it's primarily intended for games. Searches specifically for kid-friendly content filter out everything else, and content under the Family Star logo is separated by age range.

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The Google Store Now Sells Skrillex-Branded Cases With Matching Live Wallpapers For The Nexus 5 And 6, Galaxy S5 And S6, And Galaxy Note 4

Remember those hints of a "Google Workshop" with user-customizable phone cases with matching wallpapers that Android Police showed off back in April? Those were really cool, huh? Well, this is not that. Unless your name is Skrillex.

skrillex

Yes indeed, the well-known dubstep perpetrator Skrillex now has his own collection of phone cases on sale in the Google Store. At the moment the "Live Case" comes in three designs, available for the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy Note 4.

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Play Store Category Icons Are Showing Up In Searches For Some Users

Google often makes small improvements to the Play Store without any announcements or fanfare, and this appears to be happening with the latest update to the mobile Play Store search engine. Some (but certainly not all) users are seeing quick links to category pages when they make relevant searches on Android, complete with easy-to-spot icons right in the drop-down field. The icons are showing up both for straight searches and for popular related apps.

2015-04-15-1 2015-04-15

The Play Store search has had integration with categories for a while now, so expect the interface tweak to appear for you sometime in the next few weeks.

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Amazon Reverses Decision: The Original 'Postal' Is Now Available On The Appstore For $1.99, Still MIA From The Google Play Store

Earlier this week we reported on Google's decision to refuse an Android port of the PC shooter Postal in the Google Play Store. Two days later, a representative of developer Running With Scissors told us that Amazon had done the same for the Amazon Appstore, and provided us with the rejection letters from both companies. Google refusing to allow the controversial shooter onto the Play Store is merely inconsistent; as we noted at the time, games with similar levels of violence like Grand Theft Auto III are easily available. But Amazon blocking the sale of the Android app, when the company sells the same game as a PC download, was just downright hypocritical.

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[Update: Amazon Too] Google Refuses To Allow Postal Game In The Play Store For 'Gratuitous Violence' - Apparently They Forgot About GTA, The Walking Dead, And Others

If you're below a certain age or simply not all that familiar with the history of video games, perhaps you haven't heard about Postal. Originally released for the PC in 1997, Postal was an isometric top-down shooter - think Contra with some better graphics.

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