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Google Play Store

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Play Store v8.9 hints at modular APKs, peer-to-peer sharing of app updates, and viewable edit history for reviews [APK Teardown]

Version 8.9 of the Play Store began rolling out earlier today, but as usual, you're probably not going to spot a lot of changes. However, I've been watching the last few updates and there have been clues for a few projects that are slowly coming together. Some truly cool things may be coming to us later this year, including what appears to be apps that can be downloaded in separate pieces. It also looks like users in data-constrained regions will soon be able to share updates with each other. Finally, we may soon be able to see a history of the edits users have made to their app reviews.

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YouTube Music app crosses 50 million downloads on the Play Store

Of all the streaming music services, I find YouTube Music the most puzzling. This is undoubtedly because I am not a millennial, and by that I mean I am old and irrelevant. YouTube Music clearly doesn't need me to understand its appeal, because its Android app just passed the 50,000,000 installs threshold on the Play Store.

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Play Store to require new and updated apps to target recent API levels and distribute native apps with 64-bit support

The Play Store created some controversy last month after announcing plans to remove apps that used Accessibility Services for any purpose that didn't directly relate to disabled users. While Google is reconsidering the best implementation for the Accessibility Services policy, a separate announcement introduces additional policies intended to help make apps distributed through the Play Store more secure and possibly improve performance. Over the next two years, developers will be required to target a recent SDK version in their app updates and provide 64-bit versions of native apps if they aren't already. The Play Store will also begin adding some new metadata to APKs for verification purposes, but most developers shouldn't need to worry about this.

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Samsung Email hits 100 million downloads on the Play Store

Samsung has slimmed down the number of its apps in recent devices, but there are still a couple that come preinstalled. Its email app, appropriately named Samsung Email, is one of those. Samsung Email has just passed 100 million downloads, which is nothing short of a tremendous number.

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Weekend poll: At what point does an app cost too much?

I've noticed that there are two kinds of people, generally speaking, when it comes to app purchases. Those that consider a couple bucks towards a new app no big deal, and those that wait until the last minute, if ever, to drop a few dollars on a "Pro" version or IAP for a full app. Personally, I jump at the chance to disable ads, add additional features, and support independent developers. But, even I can acknowledge that it depends on how much an app costs.

Spending a quick buck on a new app is no big deal, but I've got a psychological barrier somewhere around $3 where an impulse purchase suddenly becomes worth deliberating.

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Play Store v8.4 prepares to begin selling audiobooks, show notifications about apps and games, and much more [APK Teardown]

A new version of the Play Store is rolling out, but you're probably not going to see too many changes outside of a couple different banners here and there. However, a teardown of the APK does provide quite a bit more to look at. There are clues suggesting the Play Store will soon begin selling audiobooks, show notifications about your apps and games, change some of the process for downloading certain apps, and more.

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"Try Now" button starts showing up in the Play Store for Instant Apps

The road to Instant Apps has been a long and tedious one. After being announced at I/O 2016 (yes, more than a year ago), they only began testing at the start of 2017, were opened to devs at I/O this year, and started properly rolling then to reach more than 500 Million devices in August. One component was still missing though from the Instant Apps experience: a way to try an Instant App on the Play Store without downloading it first. That's what we're here to talk about.

The "Try Now" button was announced as part of a large post about new Play Console features on the Google Developers Blog, but it's not yet showing up for everyone.

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Google adds "Open in Play Store" button to Play Store mobile site

When you tap on a link of a Play Store app listing on an Android device, you're supposed to be taken directly to the Play Store app. But occasionally Android doesn't properly redirect links to the respective app (or the browser you're using doesn't handle those actions), leaving you on the mobile site. Should this ever happen to you, you'll be happy to know that Google has added a button to the mobile site that will take you right to the app.

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CloudFlare, Google, and others teamed up to take down WireX botnet distributed in ~300 apps on the Play Store

On August 17th, a botnet that would later be named WireX struck the 'net, DDoSing a handful of CDNs and content providers. Cloudflare just revealed the details of the DDoS and the fight against it in a recent blog post. Researchers at the company as well as other affected organizations were able to combat the botnet by determining the source, which was primarily found to be Android devices running malicious applications, some of which were distributed by the Play Store. Google was then notified, and hundreds of offending applications were removed from the Play Store.

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Play Store v8.1 adds notification channels on Android O [APK Download]

A new version of the Google Play Store began rolling out earlier today with few, if any noticeable changes. However, if you're running the Android O previews on any devices, there will be one change to look forward to: Notification Channels. The latest version brings five distinct channels for customization, including: Security and Maintenance, Updated Apps, App Updates Available, Account Alerts, and High Priority. Now we can make a few more decisions about which notifications we want to see and if they matter more or less than the developers thought they should.

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