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Google Play Store

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Play Store v6.7 Prepares To Preload Data For Faster Performance And May Hint At New Android Wear Features [APK Teardown]

As most of our readers know, an update to the Play Store rolled out a couple of days ago with a feature many of us have been requesting for nearly three years: the ability to join and leave beta test groups from within the Play Store. For reasons we can only speculate about, the join/leave capability was disabled about 24 hours later. While the headlining feature was covered in our original post, there are still a couple of interesting tidbits waiting for the teardown treatment.

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The Play Store Starts Showing 'Contains Ads' Designation For Apps And Games

When it comes to ad placements inside applications and games, the more you know the better it is before you make a plunge and decide to check something out. Maybe you're willing to pay $5 or $10 for a good app or game, but you're appalled by the idea of also having to endure ads on top of that, or maybe you're just the kind of person who prefers free and ad-free software. Knowing beforehand if the app or game you're about to download contains ads can go a long way in setting the right expectations, that's the point David argued many years ago, and Google in all its wisdom decided to follow his advice (or you know, common sense).

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The Play Store Is Coming To Chrome OS, Complete With All The Android Apps You Could Ever Want

In 2014, Google brought a few Android apps to Chrome OS - at first it was a trickle, and then more and more came, until an astounding 29 apps were available. Google then released ARC Welder, a tool that allowed developers to port their apps without Google's involvement. But Android apps on Chrome OS have always felt like they didn't really belong on Chrome. Now, Google might be about to change that.

According to reddit user /u/TheWiseYoda, there is a setting in Chrome OS v51 (which is currently available through the developer channel) which says "Enable Android Apps to run on your Chromebook." In and of itself, that's not really saying anything - Android apps have been on Chrome OS for a while.

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[Deal Alert] The Footloose 2011 Soundtrack Is Free On Google Play, Plus Juno, Dazed & Confused, The Crow, And The Fault In Our Stars For 99¢ Each

I'm still wondering who was really asking for a remake of the original Footloose, but if you enjoyed the 2011 version, the soundtrack probably had a lot to do with it. The movie's licensed music, most of which isn't available in single tracks, is now free on the Google Play Store. As with most of these free albums, your mileage may vary - it's a free download in the United States, but may not be available elsewhere. The 2014 album Kuntry Livin' from rap/country fusion group Big Smo (cringe) is also free today.

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Play Store v6.2 Adds App Recommendations From Our Itineraries In Gmail [APK Download]

There's a new version of the Play Store floating around in the wild, taking us up to v6.2. If you haven't read the title already–which might be possible–you probably want to know what this update includes. There's really only one immediately visible feature, and it's not big, but it's there: the Play Store can now use your Gmail messages to give app recommendations. There are also a couple of minor changes to the navigation drawer and even something we already knew about that will get a teardown mention. Let's be honest, you're here for the apk, so just jump to the link at the bottom and start downloading.

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Google Play Store Comments Section On Android Switches To A Single Thumbs Up And Spam Feedback

Lately, Google has been experimenting with some changes to its Play Store reviews section to make as much information available at a glance as possible. That's why it added review highlights where you could see the most frequent terms found inside the comments with small samples from different reviews. And recently it began slightly tweaking the way users interact with these reviews, probably in an effort to streamline feedback submission for others' comments.

Previously, the Play Store would show a small thumbs up / thumbs down icon next to each review where you could quickly give feedback on whether or not it's useful.

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Hands-On With The New Developer-Generated Play Store Promo Codes

Promo codes aren't new in the Play Store. Google has been using them for a while to redeem apps (like the free family apps it offered for a few weeks) and other types of media. However, the option for developers to generate their own codes and issue them to their users was only added a few days ago.

Google's documentation details how developers can create promotions, what they need to do to set them up in their apps, and how users can redeem them. Here is what the process looks like in the Developer Console and on the user's end.

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[Deal Alert] Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits Album Is Free On Google Play Music

Dedicated cheapskates have probably built up quite a music collection on Google Play without spending a cent. The latest album to get the free treatment is the Greatest Hits compilation from psychedelic rock icon Janis Joplin, with a couple of songs from her associated band Big Brother and the Holding Company thrown in. The freebie album is available to US customers - as usual, your mileage may vary elsewhere.

Joplin became a sensation during the boom in experimental rock in the 1960s, and remained a pivotal musical figure after her untimely death in 1970 at age 27. Along with Big Brother and the Holding Company, the self-titled album and Cheap Thrills remain essential listening for fans and students of classic American rock music.

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[Deal Alert] Google Play Music Offers 12 Albums For Free Or 99 Cents

Quite a few of you are probably travelling back home this weekend, and if you'd like some free or low-cost tunes to get you there, check out the Google Play Store. Play Music has four albums available for free, and another eight for just a dollar each, all from popular musicians and most of which have been released just this year. As usual, your mileage may vary with this deal - these album prices are valid in the United States, but may not be available elsewhere.

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Hands-On With Google Play Music's Family Plan – Trusting Relatives With Shared Music And Shared Payment Methods

Google announced family plans for Play Music (and YouTube Red) back in September alongside this year's Nexus lineup. The very competitively priced group subscription was made official yesterday and can be activated through the Play Music app. As it turns out, this isn't just a regular standalone subscription, but it's actually part of Google's new Family Groups that will ultimately bring app and media sharing to the Play Store.

Yes, sharing your music subscription means you're also sharing a credit card.

A pair of APK Teardowns from both the store and Play services gave away most of the details about how this system will eventually work.
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