There's a treat today for our Japanese friends courtesy of Google. TV Shows have been added to the Play Store in the Land of the Rising Sun, and there looks to be a good selection. This is only the third country to get TV through Google Play after the US and United Kingdom.
A lot of Android devices have dedicated buttons to bring up the multitasking list, but Switchr may offer an even faster way to jump between running apps. This utility debuted on XDA recently as a beta, but now it has come to Google Play in both free and paid forms.
Switchr, like some similar apps, creates an active swipe zone on the edge of the screen. Swipe in through that area, and you trigger the app switching interface.
Earlier this week, we posted the first look at the upcoming Android Play Store app v4.4. As it turns out, besides sporting a new look and a secret message to the teardown team, the updated Play Store is strongly hinting at another new arrival - one we've been waiting for since March. And now we have the updated name for it - Google Play Newsstand.
March 2013: Google Play News
But first, allow me to refresh your memory.
It has traditionally been hard to find properly optimized tablet apps on Android. At first it was simply because there weren't any, but increasingly the problem is visibility. Google is aiming to change that with some new tablet-specific tweaks to the on-device Play Store app. Not only will tablet users see more tablet apps, but they'll be able to tell which apps are designed for larger screens.
The first of two changes affects the top lists in the Play Store app.
Comic book fans have had various ways to read their favorite titles on Android for quite a while, most notably official stores like Comixology and Dark Horse. Now they can skip the middleman (well, at least one of the middlemen) for DC Comics. The nearly 80-year-old company has finally started publishing its comics, graphic novels, and trade paperbacks directly to the Books section of the Google Play Store.
At the moment the selection of DC titles is somewhat limited, at least when compared to the tens of thousands of issues published over the years.
It's about bloody time. Starting today, some of HBO's most popular currently-running original programming is available for purchase on the Google Play Store. For starters the fantasy drama Game of Thrones (seasons one and two), urban fantasy True Blood (seasons one through five), and political drama The Newsroom (season one) are available. Episodes are $2.99 for the dramas and $1.99 for The Newsroom, with small discounts for buying a full season.
As part of today's announcement of CyanogenMod as a company, CTO and founder Steve Kondik said one of the first goals the team had was to make the process of installing CyanogenMod easier. Kondik called the current process "hideous" and too difficult for "mere mortals." He also announced that the Android installer companion app will be released to Google Play in the coming weeks.
The Android app is only half of the equation, though – a Windows application will also be released.
A recent Play Store update to 4.3.10 cleaned up some rough edges and added a few minor features. Although, one of those features was contentious to say the least. The Recently Updated section of the My Apps page listed everything updated for the last week, which could be a long list for users with a lot of apps. It's not seven days anymore, though. Now it's more like three.
The Play Store now only considers apps updated in the last three days (give or take a little) to be recent.
A Google Play Music update v5.2 just popped up in the Play Store, though it's being slowly rolled out, as is the case with many big Google apps nowadays. The previous version is 5.1, and indeed I'm seeing quite a few changes inside that would warrant a point release.
Update 9/10/13 4:00pm PT: the official changelog has been posted:
If you have been waiting on the LTE variant of the new Nexus 7, now is the time to make your move. The 32GB slate has just gone live in Google Play, and it can be yours for $349 with free 3-5 day shipping. In addition, the device will be appearing in T-Mobile stores come October.
The only difference between this device and the version that launched a few weeks ago is this one has that SIM slot for access to HSPA and LTE networks.