Google Play Store

Rootless Pixel Launcher is dead, long live Rootless Launcher

Rootless Pixel Launcher is dead, long live Rootless Launcher

Who would have thought making an Android app launcher would be this much trouble. Amir Zaidi probably didn’t think so when he tried to make users’ lives easier and safer by putting the popular Rootless Pixel Launcher up on Google Play Store. But trouble he did encounter and a bit of drama did ensue. The good news: Rootless Pixel Launcher is now back on Google Play Store. The bad news? You will need to do a bit more to make it work perfectly.

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Rootless Pixel Launcher pulled from Play Store for policy violation

Rootless Pixel Launcher pulled from Play Store for policy violation

Well, that was quick. Barely a week after the developer and fans of the Rootless Pixel Launcher celebrated its availability on Google Play Store, Google takes it down. But before you go thinking foul play, developer Amir Zaidi did issue a mea culpa over the incident. It all boils down to a policy on Google Play Store that disallows apps that download other apps that isn't also available on Google Play Store.

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In-App Purchase revenue cut war will hurt consumers the most – Here is why

In-App Purchase revenue cut war will hurt consumers the most – Here is why

In a battle of giants, it’s the little guys that get stomped on. There seems to be a revolution brewing in the mobile market, with key players no longer satisfied with the status quo that once made them rich. They’re seemingly flipping the finger at “The Man” and rallying in support of the common folk.

It isn’t a David vs. Goliath battle, though. More like Goliath 1 vs Goliath 2. And while many might not be so fond of the current in-app purchase trends and exploitation, users are likely to be on the losing end, no matter which side wins.

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Google Play Store now lets users decide how to download apps

Google Play Store now lets users decide how to download apps

Smartphones are built for the Internet. Almost every functionality and every app seem to be designed with the presumption of an Internet connection always available. Naturally, installing and updating apps also require that. Internet access, however, isn’t available everywhere all the time. And in some cases, it can even be expensive. Google Play used to be indiscriminate about Internet connections. Either you had one or you didn’t, end of story. Fortunately, now it will be more forgiving, allowing users to choose not to download or update apps unless they’re on Wi-Fi.

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Wear OS gets a mandatory quality review process on Google Play Store

Wear OS gets a mandatory quality review process on Google Play Store

Google is making a bit of noise about something that users may have presumed has actually been the case even when Wear OS by Google was known by a different name: Android Wear. The Android maker is now giving smartwatch app developers a heads up to tell them that starting next month, all new Wear OS apps are required to undergo a review process before being listed on the Google Play Store. This is to ensure the quality of apps that should really be a primary concern in the first place.

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Fortnite on Android a dangerous slippery slope

Fortnite on Android a dangerous slippery slope

It started innocently enough. Android users are no stranger to iOS getting first dibs on apps and games, as long as they eventually get their share. At first, it seemed that was what Epic Games was doing for Fortnite Mobile on Android. Instead, it turned into a rather complicated situation involving revenue sharing and security. But more than just potential security problems, Epic’s decision to shun Google could, if unchecked, undo many of the things the Android community have been working towards for the past few years.

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Fortnite on Android: Even Google announces it’s not on Play Store

Fortnite on Android: Even Google announces it’s not on Play Store

By now, anyone who has even the slightest interest in Fortnite knows that it's finally coming to Android. The latest news has been about how Epic Games is taking the unique stance of keeping it off the Google Play Store and instead requiring users to download the game's APK directly off their website. But what's really interesting is that now even Google is acknowledging that it doesn't have the game by making an announcement — inside the Play Store itself.

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Fortnite Mobile on Android launch might be inviting trouble

Fortnite Mobile on Android launch might be inviting trouble

iPhones and iPads get the goods app first (or even only). It’s a sad fact of mobile life that Android users have accepted. Heck, even YouTube’s own dark mode only started rolling out to Android today. That’s also true for fans of the battle royale game Fortnite who have been waiting for the mobile version to land on Android. That day might be drawing near but if this latest tidbit is true, the game might cause some confusion and could be a security risk waiting to happen.

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Google Play Store bans cryptocurrency mining apps

Google Play Store bans cryptocurrency mining apps

Google has expanded its list of banned Android apps, adding cryptocurrency miners to the roster of content not allowed on the Play Store. Any crypto-miners already present on the Google Play Store will be removed in coming days, hopefully protecting users' phones and tablets from damage caused by mining digital coins. The ban does come with one important exception, however.

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Spotify Lite available on Android: very basic functionality

Spotify Lite available on Android: very basic functionality

There is definitely an ongoing and rather encouraging trend of app developers, from Google to Facebook, creating “lite” versions of their apps for users in less privileged markets. The latest to jump on that train is Spotify with the unexpected arrival of Spotify Lite on Google Play Store. But while Google’s Go and Facebook’s Lite apps try to compromise very little from their services’ main features, Spotify Lite is almost all about compromises, making it a pretty barebones music streaming player.

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Google Play Store adds ‘security metadata’ DRM to all Android apps

Google Play Store adds ‘security metadata’ DRM to all Android apps

A small but significant change was made to the Play Store this week, and it affects all Android apps. Google is now adding a "small" string of security metadata to all Android APKs, which is designed to ensure the apps are authentic and have come from the Play Store or other approved source. In other words, it's DRM (digital rights management), but Google's intent is to improve the security of the Android platform by making it harder for fraudulent apps or those with malicious code to be installed.

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Google Play Subscription Center: know what you pay for

Google Play Subscription Center: know what you pay for

Long gone are the days when a mobile app can only either be free or not free. In addition to the much-maligned “freemium” apps, there is also the case of apps that require recurring payments, a.k.a. subscriptions. Keeping track of those manually can be a bit inconvenient, especially with our human tendency to forget or make mistakes. That’s why Google is rolling out a new Subscription Center for the Google Play Store to help both users and developers keep their relationship, and payments, alive.

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