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Amazon app kicked from Google Play

Amazon app kicked from Google Play

The app you may have used for the past several years to access Amazon (outside of your web browser) has been axed from Google Play's app store. As was found earlier this year, Amazon updated their app to include app and game purchases and downloads - effectively making their app an app store within an app store. Google did not like that, and since have brought up a bit of a rule tweak on what should have otherwise banned the sales of apps within apps listed on Google Play.

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Microsoft offers up more apps for iOS, Android users

Microsoft offers up more apps for iOS, Android users

With the changeover to Satya Nadella as CEO, Microsoft is shifting (pivoting, if you watch 'Silicon Valley') their structure. Instead of a stodgy PC OS maker, Microsoft is embracing mobile as best they can. After missing the boat with their failed OS attempts ahead of the new-look Windows Phones, losing more ground than they can likely make up to Apple and Android, Microsoft is instead supporting the platforms with services. To hit home even further they aren’t interested in hardware sales, Microsoft is making more Windows apps available for iOS and Android.

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Android TV gets ‘live’ TV app, but no content

Android TV gets ‘live’ TV app, but no content

Streaming video is a proven winner, and just about everyone is getting in on the cable-cutting. Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Android TV all vie for a place behind or next to your TV. All do about the same thing, too, in feeding you content via Netflix or a similar service. A new app on Google Play suggests Android TV may be trying to distance itself from the pack by offering up live content. Whether or not that will work is another matter entirely.

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Android Wear watch faces hit Google Play

Android Wear watch faces hit Google Play

For the first time in the history of wearables, Google Play has its own wearables category for Android Wear - only it's not just dedicated to apps, it's made for watch faces. The "watch faces" category on Google Play will be launched today with dozens of "official" designer, artist, and brand-made watch faces for Android Wear devices. Google is also releasing new developer tools for Android Wear, including an official Watch Face API, so that additional watch faces can be made by all developers with great speed.

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Nokia’s HERE Maps arrive on Google Play, coming to iOS in early 2015

Nokia’s HERE Maps arrive on Google Play, coming to iOS in early 2015

You know Nokia the handset maker, but are you familiar with Nokia the services provider? After dislodging their hardware division and shuffling it off toward Redmond and Microsoft, Nokia has become a services company first, hardware (distant) second. One of their more fascinating and profound services for consumers is HERE, a Maps app that is putting the rest of the world on notice. After a beta period meant for testing the app and finding bugs, HERE is now rolling out to Android users, and will challenge Google Maps in a significant way.

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Google pulls piracy apps from Play Store

Google pulls piracy apps from Play Store

Following its recent changes to Search, Google has pulled a handful of piracy apps from the Play Store, citing violations of the company's Content Policy. The pulled apps are said to have offered optimized web experiences for using The Pirate Bay, and include the apps "The Pirate Bay Premium", "The Pirate Bay Proxy", "The Pirate Bay Mirror", and the "PirateApp". This is the latest Google effort to combat piracy and steer users towards legally obtained content.

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Google Play app is getting a Material Design upgrade

Google Play app is getting a Material Design upgrade

The Google Play Store app is set to see an upgrade soon, and it’s going to be a good one. This time around, Android users will see a whole lot if Material Design. From shadows to animation, the experience is about to get a lot bolder and brighter across the board. There will also be a portal to manage your account much easier, and the ability to add or change payment options, buy/redeem Google Play credit, or use PayPal.

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New ‘Device Assist’ app helps you with all things Android

New ‘Device Assist’ app helps you with all things Android

Do you even know what’s going on with Android? If you’re a new user, probably not. There are a lot of subtle tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Android handset, and Google is finally acknowledging it’s not easy to know what those are. A new app, Device Assist, has landed on the Play Store today, and helps users discover all the neat little ways they can make their device last longer and provide the info they want. Well, so long as you have a Google-y android handset, that is.

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Sony’s own Backup & Restore app hacked, taken over

Sony’s own Backup & Restore app hacked, taken over

When you have a smartphone, you’d like to trust that the apps coming straight form the manufacturer of that phone are secure. More to the point, you’d probably safely assume any software designed to access your information stored in your phone would be something that couldn’t be compromised in any way. A new report suggests Sony’s own backup and restore app has been hacked, but that’s not even the most sensational news. Hackers have taken over the app entirely, even claiming ownership in Google Play.

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A “version of” Google Play may come to China

A “version of” Google Play may come to China

If you’re in China, Google is hard to come by. The search company pulled out of China in 2010 due to repeated hacking attempts and censorship. There’s also the sticky situation of China’s desire to have all information about Chinese users stored in their country. We’re not sure how, but a new report suggests Google will be bringing — of all things — the Play Store to China. Well, a “version of” the Play Store, at least. Light on details, the new report is intriguing nonetheless.

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Nokia Z Launcher now available via Google Play

Nokia Z Launcher now available via Google Play

If the Nokia N1 tablet weren’t enough to get you excited about Nokia again, they’ve also announced their launcher will be coming to Android fans via a public beta. The Z Launcher, which will come preloaded on the N1 tablet, has come out of a private beta session, and is now on the Play Store. The launcher aims to offer you a contextual experience based on the time of day, and an always-on app searching feature is also pretty amazing.

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Google Play Services update tweaks Maps, Drive, Fit functionality

Google Play Services update tweaks Maps, Drive, Fit functionality

To help get their services to a wider audience, Google has issued a Play Services update today. The aim is, naturally, getting Google stuff in more places, and making it a better experience for the end-user. Moving forward, Developers will have the ability to better control the API library they need, and use only the API they want. That will keep apps lightweight, and easy to update/support. Developers will need it, too; there are a lot of cool new things they can build into their apps!

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