Google often makes small improvements to the Play Store without any announcements or fanfare, and this appears to be happening with the latest update to the mobile Play Store search engine. Some (but certainly not all) users are seeing quick links to category pages when they make relevant searches on Android, complete with easy-to-spot icons right in the drop-down field. The icons are showing up both for straight searches and for popular related apps. Read More
Earlier this week we reported on Google's decision to refuse an Android port of the PC shooter Postal in the Google Play Store. Two days later, a representative of developer Running With Scissors told us that Amazon had done the same for the Amazon Appstore, and provided us with the rejection letters from both companies. Google refusing to allow the controversial shooter onto the Play Store is merely inconsistent; as we noted at the time, games with similar levels of violence like Grand Theft Auto III are easily available. Read More
If you're below a certain age or simply not all that familiar with the history of video games, perhaps you haven't heard about Postal. Read More
From time to time Google offers free music and movies via the Play Store. Today is one of those times, because it's the third anniversary of the Play Store launch (and, incidentally, the death of the former Android Market). Customers in the US can get a free Coldplay album, and now they can also grab an HD copy of the Transformers movie for free!
No, not the real Transformers movie, the animated one from 1986. Read More
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