It's been barely 48 hours since Google's brand new Play Games management system went online, and already dozens of high-profile games have been updated to include its features. But how do you tell which titles use Play Games and which don't when browsing the Play Store (without, you know, actually reading the descriptions)? The big G has you covered. Badges for the various features of Google Play Games are now automatically appearing in the relevant Play Store pages.
The first and most important day of Google I/O 2013 is drawing to a close. If you've just gotten home from a long day at work and don't have time to sift through a mountain of Android Police live coverage, fear not: there's a roundup for that. Here's a concise list of everything that's new and updated in the Googleverse.
If you'd like to spend almost four hours watching Google show off all its new goodies, our Live Blog has the keynote embedded, plus Artem and David's reactions.
Google made a big deal out of its improvements to the Play Store in the massive keynote that kicked off I/O, and at least some of them are live right now. Probably the most important for tablet owners is the ability to highlight apps specifically designed for tablets, or at least, the ones that have given some thought to layout and interface on larger screens. The updated tablet view is being rolled out right now, and on at least some devices (read:mine) it includes the option to filter out the smartphone chaff from the tablet wheat.
We heard some last-minute rumors that Samsung's shiny new flagship, not even released in every market, is getting a special Google Edition. Well it's true, boys and girls: the Galaxy S4 Google Edition is real, and it's going to feature the same stock Android experience as Nexus devices. The GS4 Google Edition will be sold through the Google Play Store with the same AT&T and T-Mobile bands as the Nexus 4, plus LTE support.
We've managed to secure a copy and we're going to extract every possible ounce of info out of it.
Sadly, we aren't allowed to distribute it - we have to honor the request of the person who scored us a copy. Sorry! We will tell you everything we can about it, though.
The main screen is, well, broken. That makes navigating the app a little difficult.
Google gets a lot of abuse for not making various parts of its Play Store available in most countries. It's not necessarily their fault, especially when it comes to books, movies, and music - international content contracts are like trying to trade horses on a quantum level. But a major part of the globe gets more access tonight, as Play Store Books become available to India's population of 1.2 billion. Get your literature on, folks.
Update: It looks like Telstra has had carrier billing for a couple of months, and Google is just now getting around to updating the support page. Thanks to Adam Ricket (@onlineadr) for the heads-up.
Good news, Aussies: your mega-carrier Telstra is now in Google's good graces when it comes to billing for apps and other purchases on the Play Store. Just select carrier billing during the checkout process, and the purchase price will be added to your next phone bill instead of your credit or debit card.
Google's stock woes continue into the new year, with Nexus devices in short supply for the official Android hardware vendor. After a brief restock earlier this month, both the 16GB and 32GB versions of the Nexus 10 tablet are completely sold out in the United States Play Store. There's no way to know when more stock will be available, though we wouldn't blame you for hanging on to your hard-earned cash for a new Nexus device at Google I/O.
Well, folks, we don't want to say we told you so. But if you'll take a look at any app in the web version of the Google Play Store, you'll see that almost all of the reviews have had the name entry changed to "A Google User." Try to add a review, and you'll find that you're required to do so from your Google+ account.
The change seems to have affected the on-device view a little differently - according to checks on multiple devices here at Android Police, the names that were formerly there (usually linked to the old Google Profiles) are just plain gone.
BlueStacks made quite a splash when they released their alpha x86 Android app player for Windows late last year. When AMD invested millions of dollars into the company, it was clear that they were planning on leveraging the ever-expanding Android platform to put a shot into the arm of their PC chip business. Nearly a year after the initial investment, they're ready to make good: head on over to www.amd.com/appzone to check out the shiny new AMD App Zone.