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play store

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Google Photos, Android System Webview, and HP Print Service plugin all reach 500 million installs

Some apps exist on thousands of phones. Others live on millions. Only a few occupy hundreds of millions. Google Photos, HP Print Service Plugin, and Android System Webview are the latest apps to surpass 500 million installs.

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Instagram reaches 1 billion installs on the Play Store, the 19th app to do so

The latest app to join the rather exclusive 1 billion club on Google Play is... drumroll please... Instagram. This is quite surprising when estimates only put the number of accounts at 500 million, but I guess the downloads counter doesn't differentiate between unique installs or not. Either way, it scares me that Facebook owns the two biggest social networks in the world.

After the Facebook app, then WhatsApp, then Messenger, Instagram is the fourth of Facebook's apps to get 1 billion installs. Again, scary. Getting 1 billion installs is no easy feat - especially since at the last count Android only had 1.4 billion users.

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Google Duo now #1 in Top Free chart, available globally

Just two days after it first began to roll out, Google's Duo has already become the number one free app in the Play Store. The video chatting app, which received an icon redesign just before it went live, has proven to be extremely popular with Android users. In addition, it is now possible to use Duo in any country (well, any country that Google provides its services to).

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Google testing Top Features and other changes in reviews section of Play Store app

 

Less than a week after we reported that Play Store reviews no longer require a Google+ account, it seems that Google has begun testing another change in the same arena - Top Features, a new element that aims to make determining what functionality an app has easier. In addition, the reviewing process has been tweaked. As of now, these changes do not appear to be rolling out to all devices; while I have the feature on my Nexus 6, it's nowhere to be seen on my HTC 10 that is running the same version of the Play Store.

Screenshot_20160814-114503 Screenshot_20160814-114440 (2)

Top Features' scrollable bar

Top Features is situated above Review Highlights and contains user feedback about certain abilities of the reviewed app.

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Google Play Developer Console app gains review notifications and filters, staged rollout controls, and more [APK Download]

The Google Play Developer Console app isn't a piece of software most of us will use. It's aimed at the folks who make the apps the rest of us download, not the other way around. But more than a few of you are developers, so you might want to check out the latest version of the app. The update brings new ways for you to find what the rest of us feel about the stuff you make.

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Play Store app's "People" area, +1s on app pages may be getting phased out

It seems that two features of the Google Play Store app, the "People" area and the "+1" option on app listings, are disappearing. At this time, I've personally checked five of my devices, and only one which hadn't been powered on in months still had them.

There is a chance this is a bug or some kind of unforeseen consequence of Google making another change to the Play Store, but it seems much more likely that the removal of these features is completely intentional. Google+ doesn't get much love these days, and Google has dramatically reduced the prominence of it in its various other products, rebranded the "Sign in with Google+" button as just Google, and started to pivot the platform as a whole into more of a meeting place for interest-driven communities rather than a "social network." In light of that, killing off the more social-network-y features of the platform in connected products is only logical.

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Pokémon GO passes 100 million Play Store downloads in just a month

Holy crap, you people really like playing Pokémon. A combination of nostalgia, interesting augmented reality gameplay, straight-up social novelty, and (not least) being a free game has made Niantic's Pokémon GO rocket to 100 million downloads in the Play Store in just a month. Life isn't a race, but if it was, Pokémon GO would be so far ahead of every other game that they'd see it disappearing beneath the horizon.

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New Play Store carrier billing options in Estonia, Bulgaria, Ireland, Lithuania, and Qatar

It's been a while since we've seen any progress on the carrier billing front. Admittedly it's something of a niche feature - if you're using a smartphone there's a good chance that you also have a credit or debit card handy. But if for some reason you'd like to send your Play Store purchases to your wireless provider and pay them along with your bill at the end of the month, it's a handy option. Now it's available on a smattering of new carriers in Bulgaria, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, and Qatar.

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Play Store v6.9 includes sign of built-in app streaming, a VR purchase screen, a new API Level, and more [APK Teardown]

There's a new version of the Google Play Store rolling out to users right now, but it doesn't appear to be brimming with any big, bold new features. However, there are some interesting bits and pieces floating around inside of the APK that point to some of the things we can look forward to in the future. A teardown of v6.9 points to a built-in app streaming interface and a custom purchasing experience for Cardboard. There are also quite a few odd little tweaks to various other things. We're still looking for more changes, so hit the download link below and take a look around for yourself.

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Add-ons for Docs and Sheets are now on Google Play

Two years ago Google introduced extensions for Google Docs and Sheets. These third-party add-ons expanded on what the browser-based word processor and spreadsheet could do, often integrating them with online services. Now that functionality has made its way to Android.

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