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Google Play Store

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Google addresses developer concerns with promises to improve Play Store appeal processes

There are many problems with the Google Play Store, but two primary issues have become more apparent than ever over the past few months announcing breaking changes to popular apps with little-to-no warning, and not communicating with developers after their apps or accounts are disabled. Today, Google revealed a series of changes that will (hopefully) address both of those problems.

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Play Store tests simultaneous downloads, internal app sharing, more

The Play Store is a breeding ground for Google's A/B tests. Every couple of days, the app shows different interfaces and options for some users, and it's tough to stay on top of them all. Recently, the Play Store started showing a dedicated Events tab for gaming, rolling out Pixel updates on Android Q, and we know it's working on a Material Design revamp. But there's much more in the works. In the past couple of days, app updates started behaving a little weirdly for some users, with the most important sign being the appearance of simultaneous downloads.

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Baldur's Gate II and Icewind Dale should return to Play Store following user data policy update

Video game developer and publisher Beamdog has had two of its apps pulled from the Google Play Store. The Android versions of Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition have been missing from the store for two weeks, but the company hopes to get them back online soon. At the center of the issue is a new user data policy rule for publishers.

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30 temporarily free and 36 on-sale apps and games to finish the week

March is just about over, so here's the last app sales roundup for the month. Today's list has some goodies, which I've marked in bold, but there's plenty else here, too. Feel free to check out what's on offer today, enjoy your weekend, and I'll see you all in April.

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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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