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Nintendo's first full Android game, Fire Emblem Heroes, is now rolling out to some countries in the Play Store

It's a big day for Nintendo fans: the company's first Android game is here. (So long as you don't count Miitomo... and since Nintendo seems kinda down on the Mii stuff lately, maybe you shouldn't.) Fire Emblem Heroes, a turn-based strategy game set in the long-running fantasy franchise, is now available on the Play Store in at least some countries. As of early this morning Pacific Time it hasn't dropped in the United States, but players in Japan, Australia, and Europe report that they're able to download it. If you can't wait for Nintendo's staggered rollout, the app is available on APK Mirror for a direct download.

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Another Play Store results layout shows up, this time with expanded cards

So you know how the Play Store has been changing things up a little recently, with new-look results, a different shade of green, a new Top Charts UI, and changes to how My Apps works? Here's another one, this time on the search results side of things, with one expanded card a line, instead of the more normal layouts, such as one big card then lots of little smaller ones.

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Top Features start showing up for more users on the Play Store

Google always seems to be tweaking reviews in the Play Store, changing how they're presented to users and trying to make it easier to see how an app/game fares and how users perceive it. We've been seeing Review Highlights, detailed Feature Ratings for games that divide the rating by controls, gameplay, and graphics, and more. One of the tweaks is Top Features, a list of the best features a given app has, approved by users who give it a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down.

Top Features started showing up back in August of 2016, but it seemed to be limited to certain users before (mostly in the US from our anecdotal evidence).

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Samsung puts its Email application to the Play Store [APK Download]

Samsung's Galaxy devices include several exclusive applications developed by the company, one of which is Samsung Email. Like many OEMs do with their applications, Samsung has moved the Samsung Email application to the Play Store, allowing the company to provide updates outside of Android system updates.

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Vodafone now supports Play Store carrier billing in Portugal

Google has allowed paying for Play Store purchases through your phone carrier's bill for a while now, but it's not available on all carriers. Vodafone in Portugal just started supporting Play Store carrier billing, becoming the first carrier in the country to do so. In fact, the Google Play support page for Portugal hasn't even been updated yet.

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Play Store v7.4 reveals a new My Apps screen, remote authorization for family purchases, and more [APK Teardown]

Over the last several months, most of the changes to the Play Store have been on the smaller side, usually part of A/B tests to determine if individual tweaks to the interface would work better than others. An update began rolling out to users yesterday, bringing the current version up to 7.4. No significant changes seem to be turning up yet, but there are bits and pieces that hint at future plans. In this teardown, we'll be looking at a new version of the My Apps screen, statistics about reviews over recent history, remote authorization for family purchases, and even a strange requirement to install the Play Games app before taking some actions.

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[Update: Available to all] Google May Be Rolling Out A "Show Installed Apps" Toggle In Play Store As Part Of New "Top Charts" Layout

For years, I have longed for the ability to remove apps I already have from results or lists in the Play Store (even back when it was the Android Market). It seems Google is finally, really testing such a feature according to screenshots we've received from a tipster. The current implementation of the "Show installed apps" toggle only appears in app lists, not search results, as far as we can tell.

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Gboard (formerly Google Keyboard) hits 500 million installs in the Play Store

There are many, many keyboard apps in the Play Store, but Google Keyboard has long been my go-to option. With the Gboard re-branding, Google added a few long-awaited features like multiple active languages and integrated search. That was enough to push it over the 500 million download threshold, joining apps like Photos, Dropbox, and Super-Bright LED Flashlight.

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Direct carrier billing starts going live for Airtel and Vodafone postpaid customers in India

Users in India have a couple of options when purchasing content from Google Play: credit or debit cards, gift cards, the newly added Netbanking payment method, and direct carrier billing on Idea. But more alternatives are on the way for customers of Airtel and Vodafone.

The news was actually announced in October at the Google Playtime event in India and was tweeted by attendees at the presentation. Over the past couple of weeks, users have started seeing the option pop up in their payment methods on the Play Store. We've received reports of both Airtel and Vodafone (postpaid) showing up, though the authorization SMS doesn't seem to be working just yet according to our tipsters.

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[Android 7.1 Tip] Get rid of the Play Store on your home screen and use the 'My Apps' shortcut instead

Odds are you have the Play Store on your home screen for easy accessibility, but have you ever considered not having it? I don't mean you should dig into the app drawer every time you need to open the store, but perhaps the regular Play Store link isn't the most efficient. If you're on Android 7.1, maybe you ought to replace it with the My Apps shortcut.

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