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Google Play Store


"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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[Update: And it's gone] OnePlus Launcher is now on the Play Store in a (currently full) limited beta

It looks like OnePlus might be looking for a faster and easier way to update its launcher instead of waiting on OTAs to deliver updates. As of today, the OnePlus Launcher is appearing on Google Play. Unfortunately for anyone clamoring to check it out, it's currently in limited beta, and all the test slots are full.

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Google Play Store v8 brings in-line changelogs to the update screen [APK Download]

It would appear that there is an update rolling out for the Google Play Store, bringing things up to v8. We aren't sure about all the new features in this version yet, but there is at least one significant change. Now you can view changelogs for app updates directly from the update overview screen. So instead of having to go into each individual app to see what might be new, now it's just a single tap on an arrow to expand the item and read the details. 

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Play Store's large search results card is showing up for more users, now with scrollable screenshots

The saga of the Play Store's layout changes continues. Have you been keeping track? I have been... trying to. I have to read and edit every single article that gets published on Android Police plus every tips email we get, so I should technically know all the little changes that have been showing up, but I am honestly lost. What change is in a server-side test? What's rolled out to everyone? What's still unreleased? How many changes can Google try out simultaneously? Will this ever end? Why am I spending my days looking at moving pixels and disappearing borders? Oh, we might have gone off-topic a lil'.

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Refresh button for Play Store updates is now in testing

One of the more annoying aspects of the Play Store is that you can't manually check for app updates. We already covered how Google is testing a new installed apps screen, but we didn't get a look at one of the best aspects of it - a refresh button.

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Play Store v7.4 reveals a new My Apps screen, remote authorization for family purchases, and more [APK Teardown]

Over the last several months, most of the changes to the Play Store have been on the smaller side, usually part of A/B tests to determine if individual tweaks to the interface would work better than others. An update began rolling out to users yesterday, bringing the current version up to 7.4. No significant changes seem to be turning up yet, but there are bits and pieces that hint at future plans. In this teardown, we'll be looking at a new version of the My Apps screen, statistics about reviews over recent history, remote authorization for family purchases, and even a strange requirement to install the Play Games app before taking some actions.

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New dialog interface for in-app purchases looks more in tune with the latest Play Store redesign

The Play Store team is killing us. Over the past couple of months, we've seen so many server-side tests for interface changes that we've lost track of them all, and which ones are official and which ones are still not available to everyone. Just today we discussed a significant improvement that could have apps and games show up separately on the Store, and now we're back with another change.

The in-app purchase dialog, the one that pops-up whenever you tap on a paid item inside an app or game, might be getting an overhaul soon. Instead of the old pop-up window showing up in the middle of the screen, this new IAP menu covers the bottom of the display and uses the Play Store's new shade of green along with a big Buy button akin to the new wide buttons in app listings on the Store.

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