26
Nov
2013Nexus7-Thumb

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.

22
Nov
play store bag

The changes to the Play Store we mentioned last month seem to have taken effect. Now when you're checking out apps on an Android tablet, the home page and the tabs for "Top Paid," "Top Free" and the like will only highlight apps designed for use on tablets, at least by default. If you search for a non-optimized app manually, the full listing will use a "designed for phones" tag.

Check out these screenshots.

07
Nov
Meltdown-Thumb

Bulkypix's last game was a first-person shooter featuring zombies running amok on a spaceship. It wasn't the most original premise out there, but at least it was somewhat of a visual treat. Yet if that offering was just too mindless for your tastes, the team is at it again with Meltdown, a top-down shooter with a tad more creativity, much more charm, and even a semblance of depth.

Meltdown1

Meltdown2 Meltdown3 Meltdown4

In Meltdown, players assume the role of a red headband-wearing blondie clad in bulky blue armor.

06
Nov
TTS-Thumb

Text-to-speech engines read text aloud, saving users from having to read it themselves. Google's TTS offering comes pre-installed on numerous Android devices, and like much of the software previously shipped as part of Android, it's now ready to spread its wings in the Play Store. Here it's available to far more users, as it can now be installed on devices that don't come with the software pre-installed (pictured below -left). In contrast, on the Nexus 5, Google TTS is apparently already installed and unremovable (pictured below - right).

06
Nov
vodaphone logo

Normally we're pretty pleased when we can report that a new country or carrier has enabled the option for carrier billing in the Google Play Store, allowing customers to charge app and media purchases directly to their phone bill. But for some reason, European carrier Vodafone seems to have dropped the option entirely. Vodafone has disappeared from the list of carrier billing partners on Google's Play Store support page, and we've confirmed the loss of capability from individual users in the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

01
Nov
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Following yesterday's unveiling of Android 4.4 and the Nexus 5, we've been enjoying a nonstop barrage of APKs which got here before any of us even got a chance to receive our own Nexus 5s in the mail thanks to the Nexus 5 factory image.

One of the updated APKs inside the image, as it turns out, is a slightly updated Play Store with version 4.4.22. The latest Play Store before that - the one that brought us the slide-out navigation panel - was 4.4.21.

21
Oct
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Last week, we published the first look at Play Store 4.4, which most notably replaced the menu-accessible navigation buttons with a new slide-out UI. An APK teardown of this update also yielded the news of Google Play Newsstand and a special message to the AP teardown team that we humbly enjoyed quite a bit. Today, this update is live.

Unfortunately, the rumor of a more drastic card-heavy UI update hasn't panned out just yet, but we'll continue looking out for it in future Play Store updates.

17
Oct
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After many many leaks, we've got an official look at the Nexus 5 via the Play Store - the Nexus collection for the US is showing the icon for the Nexus 5 listing, along with the official description copy. Unfortunately though, the phone's actual listing is inaccessible.

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So far we can tell that the device will start at $349 for the 16GB model specified in the listing's URL. This means the 32GB version we saw in the leaked manual will likely cost at or above $400.

16
Oct
doakes

Well, folks, it finally happened - after numerous APK teardowns, Google has finally dropped a message to the Android Police teardown team inside one of the APKs - the Android Play Store v4.4 nonetheless.

The message reads: <string name="ap_teardown_notice">"These aren't the features you're looking for, officer"</string>.

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Many of you have joked about this in past comments, so I've been wondering whether a Googler will actually do it one day.

16
Oct
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There have been a lot of unfounded rumors and speculation about KitKat and the Nexus 5 (and even the good old Nexus 4) floating around the web in the last few days, so why don't we take a break from those and switch things up for a change? Here is the work-in-progress UI from the next major update to the Play Store app for Android, version 4.4 (just to be clear: the Play Store's version is 4.4 - I'm not talking about Android 4.4).

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