The reviews for apps on the Play Store are important, not just for potential users, but for developers and publishers as well: scores during the first few weeks of availability can make or break a new service or game. This being the case, it's disheartening to see a new trend among Play Store reviews: attention-seeking reviewers that give an app one star just so that their review will show up higher on the app's page.
If you've perused the Google Play Store on the web in the last few days, you may have noticed something missing: the Action Bar, wherein you usually find the drop-down links to app categories, top charts, the Play Store settings menu, and other important stuff. We've noticed it too, and we've got no explanation. In addition to making it impossible to browse apps by category or popularity on the web, it's blocking access to the links to My Orders, Settings, and the Android Device Manager, at least from the main Play Store page.
The default way to order content from the Play Store is to add a credit card to Google Wallet, but if you've grown accustomed to having purchases show up on your bill like the good ol' days when phones were phones, there's the option to enable carrier billing. The choice isn't universal, and while it's available to customers on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon here in the US, it still has to trickle out to other carriers around the world.
There are plenty of people who already have everything, or more likely, have everything that they want. What do you get them? Why, a gift card, of course! So Google is making life easier for Android fans across the world by releasing Google Play gift cards in more countries. The latest one to make the list is the land of the rising sun.
Just as Google Play gift cards are available in the US carrying $10, $25, and $50, Japanese versions are available in ¥1500, ¥5000, and ¥15000 increments.
For a limited time, Google is giving out $35 in Play Store credit to anyone in the US who buys both a Nexus 7 and a Chromecast. If there are enough things you want from the Play Store to spend $35 bucks on, then this deal is similar to buying a Nexus 7 with a bunch of content and getting a Chromecast tossed in for free.
This offer is valid with any Nexus 7, so don't let that deter you from filling up that shopping cart.
As part of an effort to expand adoption of CyanogenMod, the developers recently released the CyanogenMod Installer app in Google Play. All was well for a few weeks, but today Google contacted the CyanogenMod team to explain that the installer app was in violation of Google Play’s policies. So, the CM folks agreed to take the app down.
The app acts as a tool to help users get their devices connected to a computer over ADB – it doesn't actually do any of the heavy lifting of unlocking and flashing the device.
The popular - and absolutely absurd - Ridiculous Fishing made its Android debut as part of the current Humble Mobile Bundle just last week, and now it's available in the Play Store. If you've been looking forward to getting your hands on this addictive, tilt-controlled, vaguely-fishing game but have no interest in the other titles offered in the bundle, this is a cheaper way to do so.
Many of the games we see enter the Play Store are just plain weird, but few can hold a candle to the premise behind Ridiculous Fishing.
Christmas is fast approaching, and if you were already considering picking up a Nexus 7 for a special someone, Google's offering a little something extra to sweeten the deal. For a limited time, both 16GB and 32GB Nexus 7s purchased from the Play Store will come with $25 in Google Play credit. That's not as appealing as saving $30 off a device, especially once taxes are taken into account, but it's still a nice way to fill a new purchase with content.