Play Store

Facebook sends cease-and-desist letters to a pair of popular apps for Android

Facebook sends cease-and-desist letters to a pair of popular apps for Android

When it comes to using Facebook on Android devices, lots of people out there don't use the Facebook app. For many they prefer the interface offered by so-called wrapper apps such as Swipe and Simple Social. However, both of those apps recently disappeared from the Play Store.

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Google Play Store ditches hamburger menu, moves things around

Google Play Store ditches hamburger menu, moves things around

Out of all of Google's major Android apps, the Play Store is the one that perhaps sees the most number of redesigns, most of them coming without warning. Long before even the likes of Gmail and Calendar embraced it, the premier Android app marketplace began toting Material Design elements and principles, sometimes not to users' satisfaction. Google Play Store is undergoing yet another redesign, perhaps in the name of cleanliness and visual simplicity. Unfortunately, it could actually end up being more cumbersome to use with everything hidden behind groups and menus.

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Google Play opens the door to gambling apps in more countries

Google Play opens the door to gambling apps in more countries

If lawmakers and regulators were already up in arms about loot boxes, especially in mobile games, they might have a storm coming once real gambling and betting apps start arriving on Google Play Store. Such apps that involve the risk of losing large sums of money have always been a thorny subject, which is why they were limited to an extremely low number of markets. Starting March, however, that will no longer the case as Google Play adds 15 more countries to that list.

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Google Play mistakenly bans app over standard file format name

Google Play mistakenly bans app over standard file format name

Google Play Store boasts of thousands of apps that would take a large army of humans to review and scrutinize. Of course, that's exactly why there are thousands of apps on Google Play Store, as Google relies instead on AI-powered bots to crawl through these apps, sniffing for policy violations. While highly efficient, these bots are hardly infallible and one recent incident adds to the list of anecdotes showing that this system might not exactly be working in developers' favor.

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Google Play Music Store shuts down in YouTube Music transition

Google Play Music Store shuts down in YouTube Music transition

If there's one thing Google has been consistent with over the decades is that nothing is really permanent. It often changes names and brands but is also notorious for switching products or even discontinuing projects rather abruptly. Google's messaging services and apps have become the dominant example but the most heated discussions of late have come from Google Play Music users who are now being told that they can no longer buy tunes now that the Play Music Store has closed its doors forever.

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Google could enforce stricter rules for Play Store purchases

Google could enforce stricter rules for Play Store purchases

The fight between Apple and Epic Games over Fortnite and app stores is getting uglier by the day. The latter has recently formed a coalition of other developers slighted by Apple's App Store policy, calling for fairness in the app ecosystem. That coalition pretty much singles out Apple in its statements and curiously makes no mention of Google. That, however, could be changing soon if it is really moving to enforce a policy that will give it more cuts from sales made within its Google Play Store.

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Google Play Store sort of bans stalkerware Android apps

Google Play Store sort of bans stalkerware Android apps

Given its more open ecosystem, Android has become notorious for the rampant operation of all kinds of malware. Some of those even get past Google's own scrutiny in reviewing apps for the Google Play Store. Those covertly try to hide their less than innocent behavior but it seems that a certain class of software has been operating out in the open under Google's nose. Starting today, however, stalkerware apps are banned from the Google Play Store, except in cases when they're allowed.

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Epic Games sues Google over Fortnite removal over Play Store violations

Epic Games sues Google over Fortnite removal over Play Store violations

In just a few hours, the mobile app and gaming market exploded into a flurry of news, removals, and two lawsuits, all revolving around a single game: Fortnite. Epic Games, who has spoken out and moved against the status quo in the game and app store markets, made a daring move to implement its own direct payment system to bypass Google's and Apple's revenue split system. It isn't surprising that both Apple and Google have quickly removed Fortnite from their respective app stores but it's rather curious that Epic Games quickly sued both afterward.

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Apple App Store, Google Play Store face new rules in Europe

Apple App Store, Google Play Store face new rules in Europe

Apps, be it native or web-based, are the bread and butter of the smartphone experience, making app stores the gatekeepers to that mobile world. These stores have lately come under greater scrutiny, for their alleged anti-competitive practices, unfair revenue splits, or unreasonable decisions. The European Union has just published new rules that will make app stores give developers fairer treatment or at least a fighting chance at appealing their case.

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Microsoft and Google team up to improve web apps on Android

Microsoft and Google team up to improve web apps on Android

There are many operating systems available today, from Windows to macOS to Linux to Android to iOS, a bit far too many for developers, especially lone ones, to support equally. There is also no shortage of frameworks and tools, like Qt or Google's Flutter, designed to make that a little less painful but the one platform for that truly permeates all of these is the Web. That is basically the appeal of the new generation of web apps, called Progressive Web Apps, and two of the world's larger software vendors are working together to make PWAs more like first-class citizens of the Google Play Store.

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Chromebook Google Play Store installing web app versions of Android apps

Chromebook Google Play Store installing web app versions of Android apps

Chromebooks and Chrome OS have always been designed with a "web-first" experience in mind. Back then, however, that experience was less than ideal due to the lack of apps and immaturity of the web app ecosystem. Fast forward to today, Progressive Web Apps or PWAs have made significant headway into creating an experience almost on par with native Android apps. That, in turn, seems to have made Google confident enough to start making PWAs the default when you try to install an Android app from Google Play Store on Chrome OS.

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Android clicker malware infects kids’ games on Google Play Store

Android clicker malware infects kids’ games on Google Play Store

The COVID-19 pandemic isn't just an opportunity for some to finally embrace the work from home life, it is also an opportunity for hackers to exploit people's newfound dependence on the Internet and apps. Of course, it does seem that it's business as usual for Android users as news of yet another malware sneaking into Google Play Store surfaces. Given how it has targeted even children's games, it's a worrying precedent that needs to be nipped at the bud immediately.

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