Google Play Store

Google Play Store to get smaller app updates, clearer info

Google Play Store to get smaller app updates, clearer info

By nature, mobile apps are meant to be small in size. In the past, that was primarily due to the extremely limited data storage space inside our mobile companions. These days, however, the concern has mostly switched over to the amount of Internet bandwidth each app consumes, both on initial download as well as on updates. Android apps are, however, somewhat notorious for having larger payloads than competing iOS versions. That will hopefully change with Google's introduction of new features that will keep those app sizes in check.

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BBC iPlayer Radio app arrives in US for iOS and Android

BBC iPlayer Radio app arrives in US for iOS and Android

So, you're a fan of BBC Radio and all of the content it puts out, but there's just one problem: you're American, and those broadcasts can sometimes prove difficult to tune in to over here in the New World. The good news is that the BBC is looking to make it quite a bit easier for folks living outside of the UK to listen to its radio broadcasts, today launching its new iPlayer Radio app on iOS and Android in the US.

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Swiftmoji brings predictive emoji keyboards to Android and iOS

Swiftmoji brings predictive emoji keyboards to Android and iOS

The use of emoji is something that only seems to get more popular by the day, but as the popularity of emoji rises, so too do the sheer number of them. After all, there are just so many emoji to use these days that it can be difficult to find the perfect one for what you're trying to say, even though you know it's out there. SwiftKey recognizes this struggle, and today rolled out a new emoji prediction app for iOS and Android, aptly named Swiftmoji.

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Chrome OS dev 53 update brings the promised Google Play Store

Chrome OS dev 53 update brings the promised Google Play Store

It seems that the promised day for Chome OS users has finally arrived. At least for those users who happen to own an ASUS Chromebook Flip and are running the experimental dev version of the OS. Reports are coming in that the latest version 53 of the dev channel is greeting them with a surprise welcome message announcing the arrival of Google Play Store on their Chromebook. There are still some rough edges and unanswered questions, but for some lucky users, it's the start of a renewed friendship with their Chromebooks.

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Android Nearby feature recommends, launches apps based on location

Android Nearby feature recommends, launches apps based on location

Google has just announced a new location-focused feature for Android. Dubbed Nearby, it has the Play Store notifying users of apps they might be interested in, or are relevant to their current location. It simply requires that devices' GPS and Bluetooth be activated. One example includes users near a CVS Pharmacy being notified that they can print their photos through the store's app.

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Google reveals 2016 Play Award winners for design, innovation

Google reveals 2016 Play Award winners for design, innovation

There are literally thousands of apps and games available in the Google Play Store. Google's more open and less restrictive policies invites innovation, experimentation, and even risk. But it also sometimes lets in imitation, laxity, and even malice. So it is good that once in a while, Google pays tributes to those apps that blaze a trail in terms of innovation and design, giving users the best Android mobile experience, whether for free or for a bit of cash. Introducing this year's winners of the Google Play Awards.

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Chrome OS could soon have full Google Play Store support

Chrome OS could soon have full Google Play Store support

To many, it didn't make sense for Google to have different but related and practically competing operating systems. Some of those wished the two would merge, for the benefit of all but mostly for the Chrome OS users. Nearly two years ago, Google stirred things up when it officially supported running a handful of Android apps on Chrome OS, followed by silence. Things heated up again in the Alphabet reorganization but Google quickly shot down rumors of a Chrome-Android merger. Now, however, there might be evidence that Google is further bridging the gap, providing the full Play Store experience on Chrome OS.

Technically, the two OS are very different, except for a shared Linux base and some Google technologies like Chrome. Both, however, could benefit from the other's features. Android, for one, could learn a thing or two about window management and treating web apps as first class citizens. Chrome OS, on the other hand, needs the wealth of popular apps available on Android.

Google partly conceded to the latter in September when it launched ARC, the App Runtime for Chrome that allowed a few Android apps, selected by Google, to run on Chrome. That list started with Evernote, Vine, Sight Words, and Duo Lingo, eventually expanding to a few more, but never embracing the hundreds available on Android. Of course, there were a few attempts to give users that ability, but those were inconvenient at best, buggy at worst. In short, it was technically possible but needed Google's help in opening it up to the whole universe of Android apps. And it seems it finally will.

A user accidentally stumbled on a Chrome OS setting that would have enabled Android apps to run on the Chromebook. The setting quickly disappeared but not before a screenshot was taken. Naturally, dozens volunteered for the treasure hunt and indeed discovered placeholder text for the feature. If enabled, it would ask the user's permission to setup Google Play Store on the Chromebook to access millions of apps and games. Sadly, there is no "Hell Yeah!" button.

The feature is largely inactive for now but we could be given the full Monty this coming Google I/O. Even if it is prayer answered for some, it's still curious to see how Google will manage this strategy. Given how more Chromebooks, and even Chromeboxes and Chromebases, are coming out, Google will hardly kill off Chrome OS anytime soon. On the other hand, Android is set to receive more multi-window features in Android N, which could put it on par with Chrome OS. The two are ironically getting closer together, yet still not the same. Sounds familiar?

VIA: XDA

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Android trails behind iOS in revenue, has twice the downloads

Android trails behind iOS in revenue, has twice the downloads

The app platform wars has never really disappeared. Although we do see more developers targeting both iOS and Android now, parity in terms of the number and quality of apps is far from becoming reality. And App Annie's 2016 first quarter market index hints at why that will remain the status quo for some time. App downloads on Google Play Store have left the Apple App Store in the dust with almost double the number. However, the iOS store generates nearly double the revenue of its Android counterpart.

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Let’s Try the new Google Play app icons

Let’s Try the new Google Play app icons

This week the folks at Google have released a set of new icons for Google Play and the full collection of Google Play apps. Unfortunately you're going to have to wait to use them - unless you're crafty. As it were, we've gone ahead and separated these icons out ourselves, making them ready for you to use with whatever icon-changing system you happen to have on your Android device. Or on your desktop computer, if you like. Whatever you do so please. Here they are for you.

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Google removes Samsung-advertised ad blocker for policy violation

Google removes Samsung-advertised ad blocker for policy violation

It's not unusual for apps to be taken off a marketplace, even in Google's somewhat more embracing Play Store. But when that app happens to have come from the most prolific Android OEM, the Internet goes somewhat crazy. Google has, in its officially capacity as the final arbiter of Android's official app store, removed an ad blocking app approved and advertised by Samsung from Google Play Store. Its reason? An almost vague reference to a policy violation that disallows one app from disrupting the functions of another.

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Google Play finally gets promo codes

Google Play finally gets promo codes

One thing that has been missing since Google Play launched was a way for developers to let people try their game at no cost, assuming it’s a paid game. There have been no promo codes to be handed out and the only thing to do would be send out Google Play cards to folks that devs want to give a free game to.

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Google tipped to launch Play Store in China next year

Google tipped to launch Play Store in China next year

The search giant might finally be ready to once again try its luck in the dragon's territory. Insider sources claim that Google will be launching a version of the Google Play Store customized specifically for China and its censorship requirements. If true, this would be the first time Google would be making available one of its products in the Chinese market since 5 years ago, not only sending a message about how important that market is, but also showing what it's willing to do to get there.

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