One of the truest shared experiences between people who create anything for public consumption is a ravenous desire to know how many people are using it and what they think. Just ask most bloggers and web developers, and you will hear how much they love the real-time statistics from Google Analytics. Unfortunately for app developers, there really isn't a great way to keep fresh information in front of our eyes without mashing the F5 key while staring at a web browser.
If you're running Android 4.2, odds are pretty good that you have also installed Roman Nurik's popular lock screen widget, DashClock Widget. Now, thanks to the new method of running beta tests in the Play Store, you can also try out the latest features and improvements before they officially launch. By joining this program, test versions pop up as if they were regular updates.
The setup process is quick and painless.
Between Hangouts, the gorgeous new Maps, Play Music All Access, and everything else discussed in I/O's opening keynote this morning, several revisions to the Play Store developer's console were announced.
Perhaps the most interesting addition to the console will be an organized method for alpha and beta testing, and staged rollouts. Basically, developers can select alpha and beta testers, receiving all feedback directly (instead of through reviews) and, when the time comes, roll out the app to certain percentages of the user base.
If you've spent as much time on the Google Play Store as I have, you begin to recognize a pattern: developers asking (and sometimes begging) users to email them directly with complaints or bugs, because they can't reply to that snarky review left in lieu of a bug report. After years and years of frustration for devs who just want to make their apps better, Google has finally rolled out a direct reply feature.
I know many of you have been longing for a way to filter the apps you've paid for into one convenient list. Neither the web nor the app Play Store currently allow this, despite years of outcry. Things are looking up, however, as I believe Google is finally paying attention.
You see, there is a little-known official channel with current top suggestions for Play Store-related features called Suggest a feature for Google Play.
There are people who don't care about weather forecasts (like me), people who do care (probably the majority of you), and then there are people who want to know everything about the weather to the point that these images a) make sense and b) replace porn for them. If you belong to the latter category and haven't bought the pricey $9.99 PYKL3 Radar yet, I have some good news that may just help pull the trigger.
The latest and greatest Nexus phone - the 16GB Nexus 4 - is available in limited quantities for $375 from eBay Daily Deals today. "But it's selling for $349.99 from the Play Store!" you might exclaim. "How is this a deal?" Let me break it down a bit.
It's no secret that I've long been against calling the Nook and Kindle Fire series "Android tablets," as neither is more than a glorified e-reader to me. Today, Barnes & Noble dropped a bomb on that way of thinking, as it announced that the full array of Google Play services will now be available on the Nook HD and Nook HD+, essentially turning them into full-fledged tablets.
Moving forward, all Nook HD and HD+ tablets will ship with Google services – including the Play Store, YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, and the like – but for those who already own HD/HD+ units, the new features will be showing up via an OTA update to v2.1.0, which should begin rolling out today.