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play store

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The new Play Store UI that Google leaked in one of its own videos is real, and it's going live for some

As many Android enthusiasts may know, Google is constantly experimenting with new features and UI changes for its apps. Just a few days ago, in a recently published Google video featuring the Pixel, we noticed a never-before-seen Play Store UI on the device. This user interface possessed a new color scheme, a larger "Install" button, and more. Now, we're starting to see elements from that video pop up on enthusiasts' devices.

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Play Store has a new Trending section for entertainment, and it's fantastic

It feels like Google changes the Play Store UI every few weeks. A larger button here, adjusting the font size there, and so on. But the new 'Trending' section on the Play Store is absolutely new, and is both incredibly useful and well-designed. The new addition can be found in the entertainment section, just below the new movie releases.

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Google announces new subscription promo ability and refund identification API for developers

Google has brought Playtime, its developer education event, back to San Francisco with some news for those that help to make Android awesome. If you missed the event or the video highlights, there is a handy blog post with a summary of the information announced. The most interesting points from it are that Google is now giving developers the ability to run subscription promotional prices and to see which users have requested refunds. Fun stuff, right? 

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Latest beta of Android Wear companion app allows filtering non-Wear Bluetooth devices and prepares to launch the Play Store from phones [APK Download + Teardown]

Development on the Android Wear platform has stumbled a bit as the official 2.0 release has been delayed until early 2017. That doesn't mean the companion app can't continue to get updates. A fresh beta build of v2.0 came out a couple of days ago with a couple small tweaks to remove one of the little annoying things about the Bluetooth pairing process. The teardown also reveals a couple of interesting additions related to standalone apps and the Wear-specific Play Store.

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There are more 'Education' apps than any other category on the Play Store, and other weird stats from 42matters

42matters is an analysis firm that monitors broad trends on mobile data, specifically on the Play Store and the App Store. The company is mostly B2B, that is, most of their products are only helpful if you're working on some other aspect of the mobile market. But they've made a sliver of the data they've collected through their API free to the public, and it's fascinating. While the 42matters data isn't official, it does give us an interesting look into the Play Store as a whole.

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Google rolling out improved fraud and spam detection in the Play Store

We've all seen it—an app with just a few too many suspicious five-star reviews or an unlikely high number of installs in a short period of time. Google cites these attempts to manipulate the Play Store as a hindrance to its recommendation system, and ultimately to the experience of end users. Today, it's implementing a new filtering system to spot these apps.

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Pixel support video shows a possible preview of Play Store UI changes

Consider this one just a shadow of a whisper of a rumor, folks, but a recent video posted by Google indicates that at least someone in Mountain View is considering some major changes for the Play Store app. Take a gander at this Pixel Tips support video. Most of it is fairly obvious stuff meant for first-time users (perhaps including some of those iPhone owners that Google is so keen to convert), but at around the 1:40 mark the demonstrator opens the Play Store, and it's immediately clear that it's not the same one we have right now.

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Four years later, Lara Croft: Guardian Of Light surfaces on the Play Store for everyone

We're not really sure what the story is here. Lara Croft: Guardian of Light has been out since 2010 on iOS, XBox 360, PS3, and PCs, and according to RedmondPie, it was even released on Android in July of 2012. But the Play Store listing that's mentioned in that article, which is this link, doesn't appear to be live anymore. RedmondPie noted back in 2012 that the game was a Sony Ericsson exclusive, but 4 years is a really long time for an exclusive on a game title. Maybe Square Enix forgot to release it for other devices, maybe Sony Ericsson really did have a long-term exclusive deal on it, or maybe the game was pulled from the Play Store a while ago and forgotten until today.

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PSA: You can finally zoom on screenshots in the Play Store

Need to get a closer look at something? The Play Store on Android will now oblige with pinch-zoom on screenshots, which let's be honest, it should have had ages ago. However, this was just snuck in recently, possibly as a server-side switch.

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Play Store v7.1 adds a round launcher icon and an app shortcut in preparation for the Pixel Launcher and Android 7.1, and more [APK Teardown]

Google is rolling out the red carpet for the upcoming Pixel phones, ensuring that its core lineup of apps are dressed the part. An update to the Play Store began rolling out yesterday with a new round launcher icon for the Pixel Launcher and an app shortcut (formerly known as launcher shortcuts) for Android 7.1. Also joining the list of upcoming features will be support for purchasing 4K movies and TV shows, a marker to indicate if a device is certified, and a new icon for promotions and gifts.

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