The response to Google Allo has been... cold, to put it gently. For every user who appreciates the clean break Google made with its past messaging apps and the mobile-first approach it took, there are dozens if not hundreds of users who are vocal about every single feature that Allo is missing and that needs to be implemented before the app is viable as a messenger for them.
That cold response is behind Allo's sudden extinction from the Play Store's top lists and the super slow rise of its download numbers. A couple of weeks ago, David pointed out that while the app reached 5M downloads in 5 days, it still sat between 5M and 10M two whole months later, signaling a really slow uptake on the app after the initial rush was over. Read More
Google likes to continually tweak the interface and features of its tools and apps, especially the most widely-used ones. Today an Android Police reader spotted new search suggestions in the Play Store, in a way that's familiar for general Google searches but hasn't actually been seen on Android's app listing yet. The new UI element shows suggested additions to your search term after the query has been entered - not to be confused with search suggestions that expand from the bar itself. Read More
The Play Store team is killing us. Over the past couple of months, we've seen so many server-side tests for interface changes that we've lost track of them all, and which ones are official and which ones are still not available to everyone. Just today we discussed a significant improvement that could have apps and games show up separately on the Store, and now we're back with another change.
The in-app purchase dialog, the one that pops-up whenever you tap on a paid item inside an app or game, might be getting an overhaul soon. Instead of the old pop-up window showing up in the middle of the screen, this new IAP menu covers the bottom of the display and uses the Play Store's new shade of green along with a big Buy button akin to the new wide buttons in app listings on the Store. Read More
Way back in the day, app updates in Google Play would be the whole new APK. That changed back in 2012, and Google has been working to reduce the size of updates ever since. In its most recent triumph, the Google Play team has devised a system to reduce app update sizes by an average of 65%, but it won't be used all the time. Read More
We started getting reports of 4K videos rolling out in Google Play several weeks ago, but not everyone could see the 4K option and Google didn't list a separate price for it. Google has now made it official—4K video is available for rental or purchase in the Play Store. However, there isn't very much of it right now, and you can't even get 4K everywhere. Read More
Google iterates a lot on the Play Store - the new shade of green, darker and richer than the previous one - is currently rolling out globally, along with the big uninstall button and tweaked list view for apps. We've now had wind of another test, using big cards for apps that can be horizontally swiped through in search results.
When searching for an app, tapping a result will take you to this new view, where you see the current content but instead of fullscreen, it is contained in a card. Scrolling down makes the card bigger - so the view is as it is now - and scrolling up puts it back in a card. Read More
Prices for gift cards rarely go down, but when they do, people tend to go berserk for even the smallest discounts. Case in point: for a $50 Play Store gift card, a slash of $5 to $41.99 at Costco may not sound like much, but it's clearly resonating well with some Slickdeals members. Read More
It might be time to name this month "Play Store Month." In just November alone, a new trending section, a revamped UI, Netbanking support for India, and various tweaks to installing applications have all made appearances for some users. The latest change is to the Play Store's search results, which have the ironic reputation of being terrible - despite Google having a world-famous search engine.
This change appears to be rolled out to many more users than the previous tweaks (judging by the amount of tips we received), but still hasn't gone live for everyone. Read More