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Google Play Store

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Newsstand section disappears from Play Store, now exists only in Google News app

In a rare move of consolidation, Google merged Google Play Newsstand features into the Google News app in May, and shut down its News & Weather app. After the shake up, it was only a matter of time before the Newsstand section on the Play Store disappeared altogether. Now the inevitable has transpired — Newsstand is no longer available in on the top or side menu of the Google Play Store. Additionally, the URL for Newsstand now redirects to the Google News app.

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Google Play Store v12.2 may add an option to pause subscriptions [APK Teardown]

When you're about to take a two-week vacation to the Caribbean, you're probably not going to cancel your newspaper subscription and then start a new one as soon as you get back. No, you're just going to call up and have them suspend deliveries for a couple of weeks. Why should your digital subscriptions be any different? A recent update to the Play Store suggests Google is asking the same question.

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[Update: Fixed] Pre-registration on the web version of the Play Store is broken for many

Usually, pre-registering to be notified of an app's release is a simple click of a button over on the Play Store, but for some reason, that usually straightforward process seems to have hit a snag. For many, selecting pre-register on a Play Store app listing doesn't actually appear to do anything. On refresh, the relevant button flips right back to say "pre-register" again.

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Update Notes for Photos, Play Store, Keep Notes, and more (October 8th, 2018)

Every week, I examine somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred app updates while looking for changes. The most interesting things turn into APK Teardowns or Download posts. Many of the remaining updates are unremarkable, amounting to a few bug fixes, routine updates to libraries, or even just pixel-level adjustments to layouts and images. However, there are usually a few updates that land somewhere in between. I don't want to spam readers with dozens of short posts, but I hate to ignore things that people might want to know about, so I'm going to wrap up the leftovers for a little weekend reading and call it Update Notes.

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Bouncer limits third-party app permissions using Android Accessibility Services

App permissions are one thing most people give away much too liberally — but what's the other option, using less apps? Trying to remember to manually toggle off permissions for certain apps after using them? Sounds like a lot of work. Turns out, there's an app for that (or at least one currently in beta), called Bouncer. The platform lets you grant permissions to other third-party apps temporarily by using Accessibility Services.

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Google launches FameBit marketing app for influencers on the go

If you aren't a Youtube content creator, then you probably aren't familiar with FameBit — unless you remember the (now debunked) Pixel 3 release date rumor from last month. For the uninitiated, it's a service for YouTubers and other content creators to connect with marketers, helping "influencers" make a bit of cash with sponsored content. And now, conveniently enough for both parties, Google has released an app for it.

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Play Store v11.6 reveals rewards program called Play Points, hints at new voting system [APK Teardown]

Things have been quiet for the Play Store for the last few months, but a pair of updates to v11.5 and v11.6 began rolling out with some interesting clues hidden under the hood. Two new features appear to be in the works. The first is a loyalty program called Play Points, which works a bit like rewards points on a credit card that can be used for in-app purchases and Google Play credit. The second feature is a new voting system where users can play a role in picking favorites.

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Update Notes for Google Voice, Play Store, Translate, YouTube, YouTube Kids, Contacts, and more (August 11, 2018)

Every week, I examine somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred app updates while looking for changes. The most interesting things turn into APK Teardowns or Download posts. Many of the remaining updates are unremarkable, amounting to a few bug fixes, routine updates to libraries, or even just pixel-level adjustments to layouts and images. However, there are usually a few updates that land somewhere in between. I don't want to spam readers with dozens of short posts, but I hate to ignore things that people might want to know about, so I'm going to wrap up the leftovers for a little weekend reading and call it Update Notes.

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Play Store beats App Store in downloads for Q2 2018 by 160% but loses in spending by almost half according to App Annie

For a while now, App Annie has been offering its metrics to interested parties so developers can better understand their place in the app economy. Careful examination and integration of data like this, paired with the knowledge of a target audience, can influence where a developer's time can be best spent. And according to App Annie's latest report, Play Store downloads are up significantly, with a 20% rise year-over-year, and 160% higher than Apple's Play Store. On the other hand, consumer spending is still 80% higher on iOS. 

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[Update: Fix now available] Google Play Store app licensing bug is putting developers in a horrible spot

Creating (and maintaining) a great app can require a ton of work, so we're happy to compensate developers for all that effort by shelling over a few bucks for their content in the Play Store. But while many app-makers rely on this income stream, a new bug that's popped up in a recent Play Store update threatens to toss a wrench in the works, interfering with how apps can verify paid licenses.

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