Google introduced the Helpouts service, a special version of live video Hangouts specifically intended for instruction and guides, back in November of 2013. The Android app followed shortly thereafter, allowing users to access paid and screened experts for a variety of skilled or specialized tutorials. Apparently it hasn't been as popular as Google had hoped: the company has informed users that the service will be shutting down on April 20th. Read More
If you're a regular Android Police reader, you probably don't need any "sales assistance" when picking out a new phone, tablet, or laptop - pretty much everything you could want to know is just a web search away. But some people appreciate the personal touch, which is why those guys in the blue shirts at Best Buy still have jobs. To help out these sorts of shoppers, Google is offering live video chat assistance for hardware shoppers on the Play Store. Read More
Warning: the following story contains images that may be considered offensive by some readers.
Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newspaper that was attacked by gunman last week causing the deaths of twelve people, has published its latest newspaper edition on the Play Store. The "survivor's edition" has rapidly sold out in print despite an enormous initial run, so interested readers in France and around the world now have a more accessible alternative. Read More
The user experience on Android is never standing still, which is no more evident than in the Play Store itself. It seems Google may be trying out a new behavior for search queries that match the names of the Play Store's predefined categories. Instead of presenting a list of apps, searching for a term like 'action' or 'puzzle' can bring up structured lists like those that would appear in the category itself. Read More
If you've noticed a few changes around the Play Store on a desktop browser, you're not alone. Some Chrome users spotted a new layout for app pages on Google Play starting this yesterday evening. It isn't universal, and it seems to be a minority for the moment - only one Android Police staff member saw the updated layout, and even then, only in the latest beta for Chrome (40.0.2214.45).
The change modifies the full-width view that we've grown used to into a more narrow, three-column view. Read More
Amazon's main shopping app has between 50 and 100 million downloads, but it's not showing up in the Play Store anymore. The listing remains if you have the direct link, but you won't see it in search results. Oddly, there's a new Amazon app called Amazon Shopping. It's the same exact app but guess what it doesn't have—the Appstore. It looks like Google may have laid down the law. [See updates at the bottom]
Left: old with Appstore, Right: new with no Appstore Read More
Update: Aaaaaand it's gone, according to Australian site Ausdroid. It looks like Google isn't having it any easier keeping the Nexus 6 in stock in the southern hemisphere.
Psst. Hey, Aussies. Head over to your local Google Play Store's Devices section. You might see something you've been waiting on for a while.
That's right, the Nexus 6 is now being sold in the Play Store in Australia. And by "being sold," I mean that it's still several weeks away from shipping, but Google will be more than happy to take your money now. Read More
If the rollout of an updated Play Store yesterday with some tweaked interface elements and an order history page was exciting, just wait until you see what else was hidden inside the latest version. I don't think there's any point in teasing, this might be the one we've all been waiting for. The Play Store is finally going to enable a method to offer discounted purchases. There are still a lot of unknowns, but it's real, and it's probably coming very soon. Read More
Look, if you're a dedicated Android user, eventually you're going to spend at least twenty-five bucks on apps, games, movies, music, books, magazines, or in-app purchases in the Play Store. At least I hope so, for the sake of the developers. That being the case, why not save a little bit by taking advantage of Best Buy's generosity? Right now the retailer is offering 10% off on purchases of Google Play gift cards. Read More
Update, 8 AM Pacific: Predictably, both the Nexus 6 and the discounted G Watch are out of stock. You can still grab $50 of Play Store credit with the purchases of any other Android Wear device or the Nexus 9.
Update: It looks like the Nexus 6 (which is actually in stock right now, at approximately 12:45 AM Pacific) and the Nexus 9 are also eligible for the $50 Play Store credit. Read More