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play store

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Samsung's first app to hit one billion installs has magical powers (according to the reviews)

With all the talk about the Galaxy S8, you may have missed Samsung's latest milestone. For the first time, one of its Play Store apps reached one billion installs. Given its 4.1 star rating and over half a million reviews, it is surprising it took this long.

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[Deal Alert] 55 temporarily free and on-sale apps to round out your week

Another Friday is here and we're back with some more deals on apps. There are a bunch to get through, but let's go over some logistical stuff first. There are two sections in today's post: free and on-sale apps.

Next to each one you will find the original price, what it is now, and how long each sale has left before it expires (if available). It is all accurate at the time of this writing.

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[Deal Alert] Check out these cheap and temporarily free apps, games, and icon packs from the last few days

We're back once again with some more free and cheap apps for you all. There are a few in here that you may have seen before in previous roundups, but now you have a second chance to grab them if you missed out the first time they were free.

You might notice a trend in today's selection. Most of them have a focus on customization and personalization, so there are quite a few icon packs to choose from today.

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[Update: Google responds] Google still hasn't solved the Play Store's fake review epidemic

Fake reviews on the Play Store, or any other online marketplace, are not new at all. But over the years, Google has stayed ahead of the curve with improved fraud and spam detection. But in the past few weeks, the amount of obviously fake reviews has skyrocketed.

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Google Play carrier billing site lists Boost in the US, plus carriers in Pakistan, Luxembourg, Vietnam, Slovenia, and more

Google Play carrier billing is expanding to more carriers around the world, as per an update to the support page. Some of the newly listed carriers may have been offering the option for a while (but weren't mentioned in the page), others may be about to add it soon, but the official word is out now.

For those of you in the US, the one added operator is Boost Mobile. But there's great news for a few more countries as well. Here are the newcomers:

  • US: Boost
  • Indonesia: Vodafone
  • Kazakhstan: Beeline
  • Luxembourg: Orange
  • Pakistan: Telenor Pakistan
  • Slovenia: Telekom
  • Vietnam: Vietnamobile, Viettel

Beside Indonesia, which adds support for Vodafone on top of Indosat, Telekomsel, and XL/AXIS, the 5 other countries are seeing direct carrier billing available for the first time through these new operators.

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[Update: Added some more] Deal Alert: Here are some more temporarily free apps and games for your Sunday

 

Once again, we're back with some more apps and games temporarily on sale for a cool price of free. Some of them end rather soon, so don't dilly-dally. As always, installing these works as if you had bought them — that is, they'll remain in your account unless you uninstall them in the Play Store's refund window. But without further ado, let's dive in.

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Play Store v7.7 prepares to roll out new security features and split notification settings to a separate screen [APK Teardown]

Google is pushing out a new version of the Play Store for Android users around the world. Like most updates to this version, there really aren't any notable changes showing up already, but there are a few interesting things hidden beneath the hood. There are some new features focused on improving security for apps that are updated from unexpected sources and making its security scanner more visible to users. There's also a plan to move notification settings to their own dedicated screen.

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Nook 4.7 adds quote sharing, voice search, and several other improvements

I love reading — my house is filled with books that I obsessively collect. In the grand scheme of eBooks, I think that Amazon Kindle has won the battle, but Barnes & Noble still holds on. Frankly, I cheer for Nook mostly because most of my digital library is there from my Nook Color/Nook Tablet days. All of that aside, the Android app has received an update to v4.7 after close to eight months of silence.

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[Deal Alert] Costco is offering $50 Google Play gift cards as low as $39.49 ($7.50) and $100 cards for $82.99 ($10 off)

If you're looking to save a few bucks here and there, discounted gift cards are a pretty reliable method to spend a little less in the long run if you don't mind shelling out some cash up front. Some people adamantly refuse to spend money on apps and subscriptions, but many of us expect to buy things from the Play Store, so a good deal on store credit is hard to pass up. Costco is currently offering $100 gift codes for $82.99 (online) and $50 cards for $41.99, or even $39.49 in some cases (online and in-store).

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[Deal Alert] Here are some free and discounted apps from the last few days

We're back again with some more free and cheap apps for your enjoyment and perusal. I've taken great care to note how much longer the free ones are... free, so pay attention. Remember that adding the freebies to your Google account means they're permanent, unless you uninstall in the usual refund window.

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