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Google Play Store

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Play Store tests show inverted Games and Apps tabs, no overflow button, and new pop-up menu

The Google Play Store seems to be in a perpetual state of server-side tests. No sooner do we discover one new interface element being changed or added than there is another one to look into. Two tests have made their way to our inbox today. One shows a small, but telling, change in the tabs order and names; the other sees the overflow button disappear from all app "cards" and be replaced by a new tap-and-hold gesture and pop-up menu.

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Power Shade and Material Notification Shade removed from the Play Store — Google says malicious, developer responds coyly

From time to time we come across a story of an app being removed from the Play Store unjustly and the developer getting frustrated with the lack of warning or communication, and more frustratingly, the absence of a valid reason. The case of popular apps Power Shade (500K installs) and Material Notification Shade (1M+ installs) has proven to be a little different though, and possibly more head-scratching than that.

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Google Play Store is rolling out new darker colors, question cards in reviews, and testing a few more changes

The Google Play Store has been undergoing a major redesign over the past months. We've seen it (slooooowly) don a whiter color in many of its pages and spotted a new UI for reviews, but several screens remained untouched. That's changing now, as new darker accent colors are rolling out for each section, question cards are popping up when you leave a review, and a few other modifications are being tested.

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ROME: Total War is now available on Android for $10

Long after its iOS debut in 2016, ROME: Total War is now available on Android for users in North America, Europe, Australia, and parts of Asia. The turn-based strategy game lets players try their hand at a conquest of Europe, North Africa, and the Near East as one of 19 factions including Egypt, Gaul, and Britannia. 

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Google Play Store's redesigned ratings and reviews section lets you easily filter by star rating

While Google's new nearly all-white Material Design update for the Google Play Store has been rolling out and rolling back for many users since May 2018 eliciting mixed responses. Some say it's sleek and elegant, others dislike the brightness and lack of differentiation between elements. But one new change rolling out to some users is gaining praise from all sides - a refresh of the ratings and reviews section that lets users filter reviews quickly and efficiently by star rating.

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Borderlands 2/The Pre-Sequel and XCOM: Enemy Within are 80% off on the Play Store

Looking for some great older games to add to your collection before heading out to spend time with family over the holidays? 2K is having a sale on several titles from its catalogue, with games like Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Borderlands 2, and XCOM: Enemy Within discounted at 80% off. It's a great deal, but there's one important thing to note: the Borderlands titles are Nvidia Shield-only titles, while XCOM: Enemy Within is compatible with all Android tablets and phones.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is a standalone prequel/sequel, as the title implies, to the raucous multiplayer shooter Borderlands. It introduces four new character classes for you to play as while taking the fight on Pandora to the tyrannical Handsome Jack before he can destroy the entire planet as well as its moon.

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Play Store now showing reminders in Updates tab to install previously-used apps

Google's Play Store seems to have at least a hundred different minor UI tests running at any given time — which makes it a bit hard for both us and consumers to keep track of things — but we've just spotted another. Google is now prompting users with a new card in the updates tab of My apps & Games which offers to reinstall applications previously used but not currently installed.

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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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