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.
Update [2/12]: It looks like the glitch is over with. Several people are reporting that downloads are working again and everything has returned to normal.
If you've been having trouble with 403 errors while attempting to download new or updated versions of apps from the Play Store, welcome to the club. Reports have been popping up all over the Internet from people experiencing the same issue. Unlike the infamous Package File Invalid Error, the glitch appears to be persistent, preventing any and all downloads from starting.
In a move that few would have predicted, YouTube for Google TV seems to have been removed from the Play Store. People who have downloaded it previously can still see its entry, but beyond that, it's as good as dead. Further, there appears to be no alternative app to replace it. That doesn't mean there won't be, though. It's possible that the primary YouTube app could be updated with Google TV support in the future, but without a confirmation from Google, all we can do is speculate at this point.
Root users get all the fun. Case in point: there's a debug menu built into the Play Store APK, and only those with access to root can sneak a look at it. This isn't exactly a secret - the debug menu has been there for quite a while - but one of our readers brought an easy method for displaying it to our attention. You'll need root, the flexible Xposed Installer, and the "All Apps In Play Store" Xposed module.
The Play Store device section sure is hopping today. Google dropped the new Moto G Google Play Edition earlier, then a new red N7 sleeve popped up, and now folks in more countries have some accessories to splurge on.
The updated wireless charger is now live in the Play Store for Australia, India, Japan and Korea. Pricing will vary, but it should be about in line with the $49.99 US price.
There are undoubtedly many people out there who received a new Nexus 7 for Christmas last month, and now they need a means of keeping it safe. There have already been three sleeves to choose from on the Play Store, but today that option jumps to four. Now owners can get the sleeve in bright "Ketchup" red. This unofficial name nicely complements the equally unofficially named Mustard Yellow, Pepper Black, and Salt Gray pre-existing options.
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.