Google Play

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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Project Tango hits Google Play, but isn’t for sale (yet)

Project Tango hits Google Play, but isn’t for sale (yet)

Google’s Project Tango is an exciting look into the future of tablets, gaming, and just overall tech. The devices, via series of cameras and sensors, can map environments and objects in 3D. We knew Project tango would be made available “later” this year, but as time ticked away, we wondered if Google was just behind a bit. Turns out, they may not be. The Project Tango tablet has been discovered on the Play Store, but it’s not quite ready for you to purchase yet.

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ASUS ZenWatch hits Google Play, but you still can’t buy it

ASUS ZenWatch hits Google Play, but you still can’t buy it

The ASUS ZenWatch might be one of the better Android Wear devices around, and it’s finally available via the portal you might expect an Android Wear watch would be. The ZenWatch is now available on Google Play, and carries a price we’d been expecting. At $199, it contradicts a previous listing at another retailer, Best Buy, undercutting it by $30. We’d heard since ASUS announced the watch it would run in that sub-$200 price range, so it looks like Google got it right.

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