Developers have certainly made great use of the Alpha and Beta distribution channels in the Play Store since they became available last summer. There was one glaring oversight: developers could only write a single block of text for the "What's New" section. This often led to changelogs that left beta testers in the dark about changes or confusing regular users with promises of new features and fixes that hadn't yet materialized in the stable channel.
Carrier billing for the Play Store is slowly, slowly making its way across Europe, which probably isn't much comfort for those who want it and still can't access it. If you happen to be in Germany and use the third-largest carrier in the country, you no longer have to wait. German carrier E-Plus was added to the list of carrier billing supporters yesterday.
For the uninitiated, carrier billing allows users to buy apps, songs, books, movies, and in-app purchases by charging the amount to their carrier bill instead of a credit or debit card.
When Google picks a random day to announce a bunch of stuff, it really announces a bunch of stuff. Availability of Play Store devices is expanding yet again to include the Nexus 7 in eight more European countries and the Nexus 5 in four more. [Update: Both devices are now listed for sale in all eight of the new European markets] Want to know which ones? Read on.
Big news down under – Australia has become only the fourth country to get access to TV shows through the Play Store. This will give you Australian folks one more thing to do instead of going outside. Really, why would you want to go out there? The country seems to be crawling with poisonous... umm... everything. I kid (mostly).
No, you're not the only one seeing something odd in the web Play Store – the reviews are all missing the Google+ profile data usually associated with them. Everything says "A Google User" instead. You can still leave reviews, but they won't show up with your name online.
This appears to be universal on the web interface, but hasn't affected the Android app. Note, that includes all content, not just apps and games.
The Xposed Framework provides incredible, fine-grained control over the features and functionality of Android. You can do almost anything, but sometimes you just need an extra button – it's good for that too. ViewInPlay is a new module that handily creates links to the Play Store.
When activated, this module adds a button to the app info screen that links out to the app's Play Store page. Cool, but there's another module that does this.
While recently re-examining the Google Play Store policies, we took another look at the rules against keyword spam and what the company suggests for app descriptions. Developers are advised to stay away from classic spam techniques like repetitive keywords, exceedingly long descriptions, and unrelated keywords or references. Publishers will often use these tactics in an attempt to sneak their apps into unrelated search results. One of the most interesting of these recommendations comes at the tail end of the page where Google advises against referencing other apps you've published.
When Flappy Bird left the Play Store and Apple's App Store, it left a vacuum. And since it was pulled, that vacuum has been pulling in all kinds of lint, in the form of knockoffs, clones, or games that simply want to use Flappy Bird's success as promotion for their own games.
It would seem, though, that Google (along with Apple) has begun taking steps to prevent the store from becoming overrun with such entries.
If you're idly cruising the Play Store on the web, checking out the most downloaded apps ever, you might stumble onto a little glitch when an install count crosses 1 billion. That's right, billion... We're talking 9 zeros, folks! Hitting this illustrious mark will result in an install range that reads 1,000,000,000 - 705,032,704. Not only does tradition tell us that the larger number should come second, but that is an exceptionally specific amount.