If your phone has a large 5-inch screen, you own an Android tablet, or your HDTV has a Chromecast plugged into it, it would make sense to splurge on the HD version of the next movie you buy from Google Play. It's like getting two movies for the price of one, really, as you can still stream the video in SD if Internet speeds aren't quite up to snuff. But until now, users have only been able to download the larger version of any HD content they wanted to pin to a device.
Venturing out on Black Friday to score sweet deals is a dangerous endeavor, but the magic of the internet affords you an alternative. From the warmth and safety of your home, you can snap up the best deals – getting up at 3AM to beat everyone else is optional. We're going to keep loading this post up with relevant deals as we find them, so check back later in the day too.
The Chromecast is already a pretty fantastic deal at $35, but less is always more when it comes to price. Both Best Buy and Amazon are offering the streaming dongle for $29.99. You still get the $6 credit for Google Play movie rentals from either retailer, so you won't be wanting for something to watch when you plug it in.
Google has been pushing the Chromecast hard as of late, adding a special section for Chromecast to the on-device Google Play Store to highlight the apps that can take advantage of it.
The changes to the Play Store we mentioned last month seem to have taken effect. Now when you're checking out apps on an Android tablet, the home page and the tabs for "Top Paid," "Top Free" and the like will only highlight apps designed for use on tablets, at least by default. If you search for a non-optimized app manually, the full listing will use a "designed for phones" tag.
Check out these screenshots.
We've been hearing/seeing/talking about Newsstand for the past several weeks, and it's officially live as of now. As expected, the app takes the place of Play Magazines, but it also replaces Currents as a news reader. It's basically becoming the go-to place for news, magazines, and online feeds. Everything you want to read all in once place. That's cool.
You can hit up the latest publications in the Play Store, including the New York Times, WSJ, and a lot more, browse the magazines section, or just add your favorite site's feed quickly and easily.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is one of the best smartphones money can buy. However, it does take a lot of money to buy one. As an unexpected thank you for buying its giant tablet-phone, Samsung is offering $50 in Google Play credit, and all you have to do is enter some information online.
It's easy – just hit up the website below and input your phone number, IMEI, and a few other bits of information.
Yes, yes, we know: Google takes its sweet time in getting all the various parts of the Play Store rolled out to all corners of the globe. This evening (or morning, I suppose) they've expanded the Google Play Books service to South Africa, Switzerland, and Turkey. Android and Chrome users in these countries should be able to buy and read books right now.
Pics or it didn't happen: South Africa
Today's update brings Google Play Books to 39 countries, mostly in North America, Europe, and Asia - in fact, South Africa is the first country on the continent to get access to the service.
You might have missed it in the tidal wave of news when the Nexus 5 was released, but Google also posted two new colors of the Nexus 7 zip case in the storefront. They were both listed as 'coming soon,' but now they're live.
The official zip case can now be had in gray, yellow, or black. Note that the gray case is listed as gray/white because the interior is white.
Update: After some flip-flopping, it seems that all configurations of the Nexus 5 are no longer showing out of stock. The bad news – Google is really just indicating multiple week wait times for each version rather than saying it's out of stock. It's 3-4 weeks for the 16GB variants and the white 32GB. The black 32GB is backordered 2-3 weeks right now. Hopefully you got your order in!
If you were hoping the Nexus 5 would not suffer any of the stock shortages that plagued the Nexus 4 launch, I'm sorry to be the one to shatter your carefully constructed fantasy world.