Google's recently launched Android Wear platform had a bit of a rough weekend when it ran into an unexpected snag regarding paid apps – it couldn't install them. It turns out that the behavior could be traced to a Play Store security feature that was responsible for encrypting paid apps to make them more difficult to pirate; but in doing so, it had also made it impossible to extract and install any micro-apps contained within the apk.
Google's hot new item, Android Wear, is barely out of the box, but there's already a pretty big issue deserving of a place in our Bug Watch series. The initial rush of native Android Wear apps is starting to roll into the Play Store as developers get their hands dirty with the freshly released SDK. So far, most of these apps have been given away at no cost, but the few that have attempted to charge a fee have run into a wall.
It's raining wearable apps. After Google, Delta, Duolingo, and IFTTT updated their apps with Android Wear functions, it looks like the floodgates have opened. The Google Play Store now has a page dedicated to apps that include support for Wear, including Google's own apps and the ones we've already covered. The page is propagating through the Play Store right now, so you might not be able to see it quite yet.
Google is slowly expanding support for developers all over the world, and while devs in hundreds of countries can publish Android apps on the Google Play Store, only a small subset can charge money for them. After extending support to eight new countries last month, Google has added another nine today, bringing the total up to 54. Here are the new additions:
- Belarus (US Dollars)
- Chile (Chilean Pesos)
- Colombia (Colombian Pesos)
- Costa Rica (Colón)
- Egypt (Egyptian Pound)
- Kazakhstan (US Dollars)
- Kuwait (US Dollars)
- Nigeria (US Dollars)
- United Arab Emirates (Dirham)
To be clear, customers in these countries could already download and/or pay for Android apps on Google Play, and developers could already upload free apps, but after today they can charge for apps and in-app purchases and collect revenue from a Google Play Merchant account.
If you want in on the action, head to the Google Play Developer console and set up a Merchant account for $25 USD (or your local equivalent).
Google Play for Education is an Android thing, not a Chrome thing. But considering the fact that Chromebooks' low prices and web-connected nature make them perfect terminal PCs for schools, it makes a lot of sense to bridge that gap. Today Google has done so, making the Google Play for Education page and app delivery system work for Chrome apps, Play Store books, and other content. It should be a familiar and relatively easy way for teachers and administrators to get things done.
If you're still on the fence about picking up a Google Play Edition of the LG G Pad 8.3, Sony Z Ultra, or HTC One M7, you may have run out of time. All three devices are presently showing as out of stock on the Google Play Store. History tells us that once devices go out of stock on the Play Store, they often tend to remain in that state indefinitely.
If dramatic price drops and expanded software capabilities haven't convinced you to shell out for NVIDIA's Android-powered gaming machine, maybe a little free Play Store credit will do the trick. This referral link for NVIDIA's SHIELD store will net you a $25 Google Play Store credit for purchasing the SHIELD, which is still going for its reduced $199 price. C'mon, you know you want to.
You don't have to spend any of that $25 on games, but if you were so inclined, it could buy SHIELD versions of Valve's Portal and Half-Life 2, and maybe a movie and a cheap album to take advantage of the device's impressive audio.
More than a few Android fans are ready and willing to get their smartwatch on with the new Android Wear platform, so some German users must have been excited to see LG's G Watch pop up in the Play Store in Germany. AndroidPit spotted a small section of promo text for the device, and while it didn't include any photos or links and it was quickly removed, it certainly implies that the G Watch will be sold on the Play Store.
Fun fact: because of the enormous expense of shooting on location, a surprising number of American television series are shot and produced in Canada. Often when you see "Chicago" or "New York" on the small screen, it's really Toronto or Vancouver standing in as a body double for an entire city. Supernatural's Winchester Brothers are almost always running around British Colombia, and the rolling Wild West frontier of Hell On Wheels is really Alberta.
If you've been patiently waiting for carrier billing to come to your cell carrier, today might be your lucky day. Customers of Starhub in Singapore and A1 in Austria should now be able to charge app and content purchases from the the Play Store directly to their cellular accounts. A1 is the first carrier in Austria to support the feature, and Starhub is the second in Singapore.