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Google Play Store

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Play Store developers will need to target their apps for Android 9 Pie by this fall

Google is continuing to push Android developers to use the latest API features. Last November, all applications submitted to the store were required to target Android 8.0 Oreo or higher — meaning they would have to support runtime permissions and other breaking API changes. As expected, Google is now stepping up the requirements.

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Uber rolls out UI changes in latest beta app

Things may look different the next time you open the Uber app. The latest version (build number 4.249.10002) revamps a few bits of the UI to take advantage of taller screen ratios, and it makes scheduling easier. It's only accessible in the official beta channel, though.

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InBrief
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Google Cloud Print passes one billion installs on the Play Store, is the first app to do so in 2019

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[Update: New top reviews, wider rollout] 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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Power Shade and Material Notification Shade are back on the Play Store, suspicious library removed from apps

When popular apps Power Shade and Material Notification Shade were flagged as malicious and taken down from the Play Store last month, our main takeaway was to be cautious of the apps and the developer, Treydev Inc., going forward. Now both apps have returned to the Play Store, but with a less-than-satisfying explanation from the developer, there's little reason to lift that warning.

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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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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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