In what seems to be a fairly arbitrary move, Google has trimmed the fat from the Play Store's Nexus 7 cover selection. The lineup, which formerly included pink, light blue, and gray, has been cut down to just the light blue color in the US, with the pink cover variant appearing outside the US. The gray cover has been axed completely.
A mere seven months ago, we saw the launch of Google's Play Store gift cards, a much wished-for addition to the store front that made gifting the store's digital content almost as easy as it should be. Unfortunately for international users, though, the cards were only destined for the US at launch. When "redeem pages" popped up in the UK's online and device-based stores in mid-December, many thought the cards would hit retail stores in time for the holidays. Alas, the holidays came and went with nary a peep from Goog on the subject.
Now, however, we seem to have another promising development that should return hope to UK Play patrons – Google has updated its "Gift cards & Google Play balance" help files with UK-specific information.
There are a lot of security apps for Android that go a little ways into overkill territory. Whether you're talking about superfluous task managers or "virus scanners" that may provide some minimal protection while generating more fear than is warranted, Android has a persistent problem with companies applying a Windows-era mentality on a completely different OS. Secunia PSI, however, takes the cake for being one of the least effective apps on the Play Store.
Here's how it works: Secunia scans your apps for possible vulnerabilities. Not actual infections, mind you. It just checks to see if the currently installed versions of your application match any known security holes.
Around a year and a half ago, Google removed access to paid apps from the Taiwanese Play Store after a complaint was issued claiming that the company violated a local law demanding a seven day return window. A surprisingly short court battle ensued and 8 months later Mountain View walked away with a $34k fine (you read that right), and a losing appeal. The company opted, at that point, to simply remain out of the Taiwanese market. Until now.
We reached out to Google to confirm that it was, indeed, offering paid apps again. The company had this to say:
Samsung just unveiled the Galaxy Note 8.0, but they won't be satisfied until there's no stone unturned for Mobile World Congress. In a disappointingly dry press release the company debuted the Samsung HomeSync, an Android-powered set top box that combines Google TV features and a home media server. Major bullet points include a full terabyte of storage, WiFi and Ethernet access, and an interface powered by Jelly Bean (presumably 4.1) with full access to the Google Play Store.
Based on the language in Sammy's press release, that's the full Play Store, not the comparatively measly selection of apps available to Google TV units.
If you make money on the Play Store, you should probably check your email. Google is sending out a notification to developers to let them know that in the future, payments will be sent out on a 15 day delay instead of the one or two days the company has been using for a while. What does this mean for you? Well, if selling apps is a primary source of income for you, then you'll want to do some planning. Before you panic, though, Google is implementing an intermediary schedule to make the transition a little easier.
Here's how it works.
If there's one thing we all know about the latest entries in the Nexus line, it's that they're hard to get a hold of. No one is quite sure why the launch turned out to be a total mess, but all eyes have been on the Play Store since October, waiting to catch the devices in an ephemeral moment of availability.
Following the renewed availability of the Nexus 4 (it's still there, by the way), the Nexus 10 – Samsung's ten-inch contribution to the line – is once again ready for purchase in the US. Both the 16 and 32GB versions are up for grabs.
When it comes to buying apps, I try to wait until a sale comes along. I usually end up buying things on a whim most of the time anyway, but I try to wait – especially for games and such that may be outside of who much I'm willing to spend on one app. If you're also the type who waits for a good sale to roll around, some pretty decent price drops just hit the Play Store sales floor.
- Shadowgun / Shadowgun THD by Madfinger Games – $4.99 –> $1.99
- Samurai II / Samurai II THD by Madfinger Games – $2.99 –> $0.99
- Reddit News – $1.99 –> $0.99
- CLZ Barry – $7.99 –> $3.99
- Runtastic Pro – $4.99 –> $0.99
A nice variety of apps there: a couple games, a reddit browser, a barcode scanner/organizer, and a fitness tracker.
Blockbuster, the former golden child of movie rentals, is feeling left out lately. No one is paying attention to its online offerings, no doubt partially because it's been broken into a thousand pieces. However, today the company launched a new, central service for renting movies online with just one app for all devices: Blockbuster On Demand.
When we say "rent", we do mean that. There is no subscription option that we see yet, and every movie costs a few bucks to check out for a 24-hour period. This firmly pits it against the Play Store and Amazon Instant Video.