The Play Store's automated app removal algorithms are supposed to make the distribution platform a safer place for everyone, but unfortunately, the process is prone to false positives. The latest victim to be struck by this is the Just (Video) Player for violating the profanity policy. The app included a note on the subtitle format .ass in its description, which Google's bots identified as a certain body part.
Earlier in the year, noted feature-finder Jane Wong and Alessandro Paluzzi both dug up a hot air balloon Easter egg mini-game in-development for the Google Play Store app. Like the ubiquitous Chrome dino minigame, this was set to appear when you have internet connection difficulties while using the Play Store. And based on recent reports, it's starting to roll out a little more widely.
Mobvoi makes a lot of Wear OS smartwatches, and like any good watchmaker, it also produces a variety of watch faces that users can install to personalize their timepieces. Last month, however, on the eve of Halloween, all of the company's watch faces — and the developer account used to publish them — seem to have been purged from the Play Store entirely. Now it looks like most of them have returned to their rightful place on the Play Store's virtual shelves.
Android devices have to include at least some of Google's own applications if they want access to the Play Store (which is an issue on its own), so it's not too surprising when one of the company's apps reaches a significant number of installs. The management app for Google One is the latest application to reach 100 million installs, placing it in the same range as Google Classroom and YouTube Studio.
When games get popular on the Play Store, companies often try to copy their formula for success. But perhaps none have done it quite so blatantly as what's happening in the case of WorldBox, a game that indie developer Maxim Karpenko had been working for more than eight years when he discovered it was in the process of being stolen right out from under his nose.
As one of the most important apps on a smartphone, Google is always making tweaks to the Play Store to improve its usability and design. Earlier this month, a controversial test was spotted that took hamburgers off the menu. Now the Play Store is experimenting with a new change that shows direct comparisons between similar apps to let users decide which best fits their needs.
The Play Store has been in the news more than usual recently, but this time it's for a positive reason. The latest version of the app reveals that Google is working on a few changes to the "My Apps" section of the Play Store, including the ability for users to send apps to friends offline through the use of peer-to-peer file sharing.