Nearly all the attention for reader-tablet hybrids goes to Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but today the Toronto-based Kobo is making a compelling case for their share of the market. The company announced three new tablets: the Arc 7, Arc 7HD, and Arc 10HD, set for release on October 16th. The three models are roughly analogous to the latest Kindle Fire, Fire HD, and Fire HD 8.9, but they've got two distinct advantages: they run Android 4.2.2, and they've got access to the Google Play Store.
A couple of weeks ago, Play Store users started receiving frustrating errors when downloading or updating apps. The bug flashed a dialog reading "Package file is invalid" after refusing to download an app. It seemed to affect people and apps randomly. Google marked the issue as "resolved" on the Play support page on August 13th, but it has been moved back into the Known Issues list.
A casual search on the social networks reveals that more than a few users are still experiencing the issue, though it doesn't seem to be as widespread as before.
Good evening, Australian readers. If you're reading this story right after it's posted, it's very nearly Wednesday by your clock, and you're one day closer to getting Google Play gift cards down under. The Google Play support page for gift cards was recently updated to include Australia, saying that prepaid cards will be available in denominations of $20, $30, and $50 AUD.
The cards themselves don't seem to be on store shelves just at the moment, but according to an anonymous tip sent to Ausdroid, they've already been sent to a "national supermarket chain" and are awaiting an official rollout on Monday, August 26th.
Remember when Google's app verification and malware scanning service debuted with Android 4.2? No? Well, that's probably because statistically speaking, you're likely to be one of the 95% of Android users rocking 4.1 or earlier. To help address this, it looks like Google has moved the Verify Apps system to Google Play Services, which at this point should be installed on all Google Play Store-equipped Android devices running Gingerbread or higher.
The Nexus 7 has been a solid little workhorse, but now that the next generation is in, it's time to put it out to pasture. The original Nexus tablet is no longer available for purchase in the U.S. This is just a bit surprising - I had expected Google to try and get the last bit of stock out with a closeout sale. The various pages for the 16GB and 32GB models plus the AT&T and T-Mobile 3G versions are still up, but there's no option to buy.
A lot of little things got the axe in Google's latest redesign of the Play Store website. Most don't seem to be coming back (oh how we miss you, 30-day download chart!) but one of the most useful ones for browsing has been resurrected. You can now narrow search for apps based on their free or paid status: just click the drop-down menu next to "Android Apps," which is set to "All prices" by default.
We've barely had the glossy white version of the Nexus 4 for a month, and now the 8GB model with its matching bumper seems to be gone. The US Play Store was just updated with the message, "Nexus 4 with Bumper (White, 8GB) is no longer available for sale." This isn't like the usual out of stock issue - the product listing looks like it's been retired. The more expensive 16GB white version (with bumper) remains available for purchase, along with both black versions.
Last month Google announced that they would remove Argentina from the list of regions supporting paid Android apps in the Google Play Store. The company cited "ongoing issues," likely having to do with rapidly increasing inflation and other economic problems in the country. Google had planned to remove all paid apps and IAP apps from Argentinian developers tomorrow, June 27th. Now the company has reversed its decision, and though they haven't said why, presumably it follows the outcry from the Argentinian developer community.
The day is here, AOSP fans: you can go pick up a gloriously stock Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One in the Google Play Store now. The "Google Play Edition" phones went live this morning, right on time, and are now for sale next to the Nexus phones and tablets. The GS4 Google Edition can be had for $649, while the HTC One goes for slightly less at $599. Both are running the latest version of Android 4.2 shod of all skins and add-ons, with promised updates via Google itself.
Just a quick note for those who have been pining after the more capacious of the white Nexuses: it's back. After a couple of days absence from the Google Play Store, customers in the United States can now order a white Nexus 4 for the low, low price of $349. It even includes the white bumper accessory, just so you won't forget that you've got the lily white version of the phone when you're looking at its all-black screen and bezel.