The Play Store has often been compared to the wild west; which may be good or bad, depending on your perspective. Unlike Apple's App Store and the Amazon AppStore, developers have long been free to publish their apps without going through a lengthy curation stage, and only those that contained malware or used restricted APIs were blocked. However, it appears Google may have quietly instigated a more involved review process that impacts every app and update.
Back in April, an Android Developers blog post mentioned that Google would be taking more time to examine apps from devs that hadn't established a track record with the Play Store. Read More
Google has quietly added more countries to its supported locations for developer and merchant registration. First up, developers in Palau and the U.S. Virgin Islands, two countries that were previously completely off the list, can now register on Google Play as well as create merchant accounts. Their payments will be made in USD, which is the official currency of both nations. Read More
A big new set of services began rolling out to Firebase users today. Google's mainstream service for push messaging and other app services just announced an assortment of new capabilities. The big addition in this update is a new in-app messaging feature that enables quick announcements and offers to users, and can be tied to certain user behaviors. There are also big revisions to the management console and statistics tracking views, upgrades to the Crashlytics services, a new history view for Remote Config, and more. Read More
Most of you probably aren't aware of this, but only developers in select countries can sell apps and in-app purchases on the Play Store. Support is slowly spreading, with Tunisia and Zimbabwe having been the most recent additions in April, but the list has just grown by another six countries. Read More
It might surprise you to know that developers in many countries can't sell paid apps on the Play Store. Last month, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania added support for merchant registration (a prerequisite to sell paid apps and IAPs on the Play Store), and now Tunisia and Zimbabwe have joined in on the fun. Read More
Not all countries are equal when it comes to making and selling apps on the Play Store. Some don't even support developer registration, others let developers register but only let them distribute free apps. That was the case of devs in Ecuador until now: the ability to register as a merchant is available to them so they can finally sell paid apps and IAPs on the Play Store.
The change showed up in the Play Console's support documents so we don't know if it's already live or if it's going out to be soon. Read More
If you're not familiar with Android Things OS, it's a lightweight version of Android designed to run on Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The first Developer Preview was released last year, and there have been a few updates since then. Now Google has released the first preview of Android Things Console, which makes managing a fleet of Android Things devices significantly easier. Read More
Last weekend, a huge turmoil swept the root-enthusiast Android community as it was discovered then confirmed that the Netflix app was being blocked from showing up in search results on the Play Store for rooted devices. At the time, Netflix said it was using Widevine to block unsupported devices, but that made no sense to us: the app was still functional if it was sideloaded, it was only not showing up as compatible in the Play Store. So what sorcery was Netflix really using?! Turns out it's a new function of the Google Play Console.
As part of the updates announced for the Play Console at I/O 2017, Google mentions a new Device Catalog section under Release management that lets developers choose with intricate granularity which devices their app supports on the Play Store. Read More