The Google Play Newsstand Android app is pretty and all, but without the ability to subscribe to magazines, it's little more than a dumbed down pseudo-RSS reader. So it's a pretty good thing Google is rolling out access to the digital magazines to more countries. By now, residents in France and Germany should have access to the Newsstand content available in Google Play.
Mother's Day will arrive next month, but it's never too early to appreciate that special woman who brought you into this world and/or devoted many years of her life to raising you. Many will be happy to receive nice flowers, a thoughtful card, or some article of clothing - but for that tech-savvy, Nexus-toting mom out there, the Play Store is here to help. Google has kicked off a Mother's Day promotion that will last until May 5th, offering up an entire year's subscription to certain magazines for just $5 and 50% off a good number of books (unfortunately, since there's no gifting functionality built into Google Play, you will have to buy these things under her account somehow).
Barnes & Noble may be toning down its Android tablet business, but they'd still really appreciate it if you bought some books from them. To that end, they've updated the Nook Android app to version 3.4, with a focus on better magazine browsing and book images. Now Android tablets with a resolution of 1280x720 or higher (which should be pretty much everything made in the last year, barring some off-brand hardware) have access to bigger, sharper HD scans of magazines.
Google is going a little nuts with the card UI updates today – first Drive, and now Play Magazines. Today's update brings Google's magazine-reader to version 2.0, and makes it overall easier to use and nicer to look at – both welcome additions to an already-good app. Besides the new Card UI that replaced the terrible rolodex style called StackView, Magazines followed suit and adopted the new slide-out navigation drawer that we first saw in Google Earth and Shopper.
When Google first launched Play Magazines, there was an immediate backlash from users who were already subscribed to paper magazines that offer a free digital copy, as there was no way to grab said digital subscription from Google. Instead, these users were treated as if they had no prior subscription at all and were effectively forced to pay again if they wanted to read on their mobile device. Needless to say, that didn't go over very well.
Hey guys, have you heard that 2012 is almost over? Yep! The new millennium is about to be a teenager. It's exciting. (No, the year 2000 is not included, you mathematically remedial cur.) The past twelve months have been fantastic and we'll be hearing more about that later, but one of the things we felt the need to talk a bit more in-depth about is the Play Store. You know the one.
Google Magazines has to be one of my favorite services from Big G. I've always been a big fan of magazines in general - they just provide a different experience to the traditional blog format (oh how the tables have turned, right?). Now, all our friends across the pond can begin enjoying this fantastic service, as well.
Officially announced last night by Google UK, the service is now available in the Play Store for UK residents.
We've already heard that Google was expanding their Play Movies and Play Music services today to new countries and with new content. Play Magazines isn't getting left out in the cold, though. Today, the storefront is opening up to our neighbors up north, in addition to signing extra content partners for a more robust distribution platform.
As part of the huge announcement Google put together, the company touted its magazine partnerships:
A bunch of new fun stuff is coming down the pipeline, Google-fans! Your favorite search giant has just pushed several updates to some of its headlining properties, including Play Music, Play Magazines, and Google Goggles. We've got the full rundown for you.
For starters, Google Music has added expandable notifications to its repertoire. It doesn't look like you'll see much more info if you expand it, but Play Music continues to be one of the best examples of how to make notifications robust and useful.
We're picking up on the sub-series of polls on your use of the Play store from a few weeks ago, but with a new twist: magazines. Prior to I/O 2012, pretty much nobody used the Play store for movies and music (though Google hopes that will change with slightly more full shelves and the Nexus 7), but what about the new magazines section of the store?