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Google Play Store

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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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[Update: Going live] Google One app arrives on the Play Store, but the service isn't live just yet [APK Download]

Google recently announced that it was replacing its current non G-Suite Google Drive storage plans with a new pricing structure called Google One. All your stuff will stay in Drive and other Google products as before, but you might get to pay slightly less depending on how much space you need. Google One now has an app in the Play Store, but it won't do anything until the service goes live sometime in the next couple of months.

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Update Notes for YouTube, YouTube Music, Play Store, Play Books, and Google Earth (May 19, 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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Your Google Play Store review edit history is now visible to the public

App reviews in the Play Store can sometimes be a quite useful resource. Like pretty much any platform for commentary online, you've got to have a discerning eye in order to sort the genuinely useful information from all manner of fanboi rants or misdirected attempts for customer service, but it's still an asset plenty of us turn to time and time again. If you contribute reviews of your own, though, you may want to start being a little more thoughtful about what you say, as now other users can see all your old edits, even after you update your review.

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Google Play narrows consumer spending gap versus iOS App Store in Q1 2018

Despite Android's considerably larger install base, on average, users spend more money on the iOS App Store than they do Google Play. According to a report from app market data analysis firm App Annie, though, the gap has narrowed. Consumer spending on apps from Google Play grew by 25 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2018, compared to a year-over-year growth of 20 percent on the iOS App Store during the same period.

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