Carrier billing for the Play Store is slowly, slowly making its way across Europe, which probably isn't much comfort for those who want it and still can't access it. If you happen to be in Germany and use the third-largest carrier in the country, you no longer have to wait. German carrier E-Plus was added to the list of carrier billing supporters yesterday.
For the uninitiated, carrier billing allows users to buy apps, songs, books, movies, and in-app purchases by charging the amount to their carrier bill instead of a credit or debit card. It's available for the Play Store on all the major American carriers, and Google has been rolling it out to other territories in fits and starts for the last few years. Read More
Good news, everyone! Well, everyone in four very specific European countries, anyway. After stretching the Movies section of the Play Store today, Google is also spreading Play Music to Greece, Norway, Slovakia, and Sweden. Users in these countries should now be able to purchase songs and albums starting today.
Even better, all four new territories can access the all-you-can-eat All Access music subscription service. That's generally been the way it works - currently all twenty-five countries supported by Google Play Music also have access to All Access. New users, please keep in mind: you almost certainly won't be able to access exactly the same selection of music that's available in the United States, or even in the country next door. Read More
Attention, parents: if you've used your Google account to buy apps, books, videos, or music on Google Play, your credit card information is stored. If you give your phone or tablet to your kids, they might be able to buy stuff that you don't necessarily want. That's a lesson that Ilana Imber-Gluck learned after her 5-year-old son spent $65.95 on Marvel Run Jump Smash. Unsurprisingly, she chafed at the experience, suing Google in a northern California court on behalf of herself and "all others similarly situated."
The central issue seems to be a 30-minute window after downloading an app, during which the user - whoever that might be - can rack up in-app purchases without supplying a password. Read More
Owners of the Nickelodeon Edition of the kid-friendly Nabi 2 tablet have probably been somewhat jealous of their non-Nick counterparts, which got an over-the-air update back in December which added compatibility with the Google Play Store. Or maybe it's just the parents of the owners who care. In either case, the Nickelodeon Edition Nabi 2 now has access to the Play Store courtesy of the latest OTA.
In addition to the Google Play Store (accessible in "Mommy or Daddy Mode"), version 2 of the software adds Wings Explorer, a huge collection of basic reading, writing, and arithmetic lessons aimed at kids. Read More
Switching from the old list of just six categories to an expanded 17 (which contain the original six plus more specific sub-genres) would be a boon to both Android users and developers. Currently searching for general apps on the Play Store is an exercise in frustration - for example, a Blackjack game under the new system would go in the Casino category rather than the far, far more general "Card & Casino" category currently in place, which is where everything from card battle games to memory matchers needs to be placed at the moment. Read More
The list of cell phone carriers supporting bill payments for Google Play Store purchases is slowly (sloooooowly) growing. Today Google Play's official support page added Bell in Canada and Orange in Spain to the full list, bringing the number of compatible carriers in both nations to two. Previously only Rogers/Fido was supported in Canada and Movistar was supported in Spain.
This news might not be a surprise to some Bell customers - Canadian gadget site MobileSyrup reports that the carrier confirmed Google Play billing exactly one month ago, but for some reason it hasn't been added to Google's support page until now. Read More
If you're a dedicated gamer who's wary of the ever-present freemium model (or an Android blogger who's tired of reaching for his phone for every app in the roundup), there's good news tonight. A recent adjustment of the Google Play Store website will let you know whether an app features in-app purchases or not. It appears just below the Install button, right next to the drop-down list of compatible devices.
This change mirrors the one made to the on-device Play Store back in December. It should help users decide whether or not they want to try out apps or games at a glance. Read More
Root users get all the fun. Case in point: there's a debug menu built into the Play Store APK, and only those with access to root can sneak a look at it. This isn't exactly a secret - the debug menu has been there for quite a while - but one of our readers brought an easy method for displaying it to our attention. You'll need root, the flexible Xposed Installer, and the "All Apps In Play Store" Xposed module.
First, install Xposed, grant it root permissions, tap the "Install/Update" button in the Framework section, then install the All Apps In Play Store module from rovo89 and make sure it's active. Read More
The reviews for apps on the Play Store are important, not just for potential users, but for developers and publishers as well: scores during the first few weeks of availability can make or break a new service or game. This being the case, it's disheartening to see a new trend among Play Store reviews: attention-seeking reviewers that give an app one star just so that their review will show up higher on the app's page.
The AppWared blog spotted this trend, which seems to be limited to Turkish users (at least for the moment). On the Turkish page for Where's My Water 2, AppWared found that the top 15 reviews scored the game one star... Read More
If you've perused the Google Play Store on the web in the last few days, you may have noticed something missing: the Action Bar, wherein you usually find the drop-down links to app categories, top charts, the Play Store settings menu, and other important stuff. We've noticed it too, and we've got no explanation. In addition to making it impossible to browse apps by category or popularity on the web, it's blocking access to the links to My Orders, Settings, and the Android Device Manager, at least from the main Play Store page.
The bug is cross-browser, though I've noticed that the "collapse" behavior seems to take a little longer in Internet Explorer than in Chrome. Read More