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play store

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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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Lost Journey becomes the first ever $0.01 Play Store sale (probably by accident) [Update: More]

Google is having a sale in the Play Store right now, and a lot of developers have their apps and games featured in it. One game in particular has the distinction of being really, really cheap. Lost Journey is literally as cheap as it can be without being free. It's $0.01 right now—yes, just a penny. This is probably a mistake.

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Google releases Android Wear 2.0 developer preview 4, restores some Wear 1.0 behavior and adds many new APIs

Google revealed disappointing news alongside the release of the third developer preview of Android Wear 2.0, informing developers and early users that a final release would be pushed back to early 2017. The fourth developer preview became available today and it comes with some big changes that suggest the Wear team is putting the extra time to good use. There are several new APIs for developers and a few things for users to check out.

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Google Allo just surpassed 10 Million downloads on the Play Store

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.

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Google is testing new search suggestions in the Play Store

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.

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New dialog interface for in-app purchases looks more in tune with the latest Play Store redesign

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.

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Google figures out how to reduce app update size by 65%

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.

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Google makes 4K video official in Google Play, but only for the US and Canada right now

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.

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Play Store has new layout and transitions for search results, may be rolling out via server-side update

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.

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