Possible Play Store rule violations could have forced CyanogenMod exit
CyanogenMod has been kicked out of the Google Play Store, potentially for violating the store's rules. The app, which allows users to install the CyanogenMod version of Android, is now no longer listed in the Android app store after Google Play support contacted the development team and asked for its removal, otherwise they would remove it themselves.
Android KitKat heads to Google Play editions of Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One
Updates for Android KitKat are heading to the Google Play editions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. The two devices, running on stock Android instead of the Sense or TouchWiz versions provided by HTC and Samsung respectively, will start receiving over-the-air updates from today onwards, upgrading the devices to Android version 4.4.
Google adds Designed for Tablets section to Play Store
The Google Play Store has been updated to showcase apps "Designed for tablets," something Google announced it would do last month. Tablet users will see the tablet-aimed apps as the default view in Google Play, according to an Android Developers Google+ post, with apps that do not meet specific criteria to be "Designed for tablets" to be marked as "Designed for phones" instead.
Initial launch limited to Android devices
Google has launched a new Android app, Google Play Newsstand, that provides access to more than 1,900 free and paid publications. Users can pick from various magazines, newspapers, blogs and news websites, and the app will automatically format and optimize the content for viewing on a tablet or smartphone.
No planned support for Google Play on BlackBerry devices
The Google Play store will not be available to BlackBerry users in the future, the phone producer has confirmed. A spokesperson for BlackBerry has outright denied a rumor that the Android app store would be heading to the platform, a rumor started by relatively convincing photographs of Google Play shown running on a BlackBerry Z10.
Encrypted private messaging platform officially launches after successful beta
CoverMe - a secure private texting, document sharing and phone call app -- has officially launched. During its beta period, over 500,000 users signed up for its service, exchanging 500 million messages with military-grade encryption. CoverMe protects personal contacts, call logs, messages, documents, and more, and provides the ability to recall or remotely wipe sent messages from a device. Its private 'vault' allows users to store photos, videos, documents and communication histories so that a lost device does not lead to a privacy breach. Users are immediately notified when a recipient has read a sent message, and the app provides an option to embed messages with a 'self-destruct' option. Available on iTunes and Google Play, CoverMe is free to download (with in-app purchases available).
8MP camera, 2560x1600 display touted in upcoming Google tablet
New specifications for what is believed to be the Nexus 10 have allegedly leaked, with details apparently appearing on the Google Play store before being removed again, just as it did for the Nexus 5. The display of the Nexus 10 will apparently have a resolution of 2560x1600, giving it a pixel density of 300ppi, and protected by Gorilla Glass 3.
iOS bug, fake Google Play reviews mar BBM app launch
BlackBerry's second attempt at launching its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app for Android and iOS has run into issues again, after a promising start. Suspicious reviews on Google Play are suggesting some form of review shilling is taking place, and the phone manufacturer is also looking towards fixing an issue found in the iOS version of its messaging client.
AT&T's U-verse expands its live TV streaming service to include Android devices
AT&T's live TV streaming service, U-verse, has expanded its availability to include Android devices and web access on Uverse.com. Earlier this month, the company announced more than 100 live TV channels had been added to the U-verse app. AT&T has also launched the U-verse App on Android tablets, making live TV channels available on more than 30 devices. Offering users On Demand TV shows and movies, the U-verse app additionally features remote DVR management, and advanced content search functionality.
Event for press to 'better acquaint themselves with Google Play'
While a new Google event at the end of the week is public knowledge, what is being discussed is not. Electronista has learned that there will be no new hardware debuting at the get-together, with a Google representative telling us that the mixer is intended for consumer press to familiarize themselves with Google Play.
Sources claim no hardware, software announcements at Google Play event
Google has started to send invitations to an event on the 24th of October, one which could feature a number of software and hardware announcements. The event, asking attendees to "Join us for a night out with Google Play," could potentially be the launch of Android 4.4, KitKat, as well as the expected official reveal of the Nexus 5 smartphone.
Tablet apps automatically shown for larger devices
Google has announced its latest plans to improve visibility of tablet-optimized apps in the Play Store. Starting next month, the "Designed for tablets" view will appear by default when someone visits the store from a tablet and views the top listings, such as Top Free or Trending.
Game of Thrones, True Blood downloads appear on Google Play
HBO has started to offer some of its popular television shows as downloads, via Google Play. The cable channel has added its programming to Google's online store in a similar way to its offering on iTunes, something it has done so for a considerable amount of time, though it appears that only those in the United States will be able to purchase episodes.
Google Talk bug sends messages to multiple Hangouts users
Users of Google Hangouts are finding that messages are being routed to the wrong recipients. Messages sent from Google Talk clients to Hangouts users are reportedly being received by other Hangouts contacts than the intended message target, writes TechCrunch. Google has since released a statement, advising that it is "investigating reports of an issue with Google Talk" and asks users to check the App Status Dashboard for future updates.
Audiobook streaming service updated for iOS and Android
Audiobooks.com announced the release of its updated iOS and Android streaming apps today. Like Netflix and Pandora, Audiobooks.com's app can be used to stream content on demand, choosing from thousands of audio book titles. The latest version features a new user interface, home screen widget and audio player tray. The app can be downloaded from Google Play and iTunes, and requires a $15 per month subscription.
Larger 16GB Nexus 4 sells out two weeks after 8GB model in US
Google has run out of stock of the 16GB model of its Nexus 4 smartphone on Google Play in the United States, and is unlikely to make a return. The sell-out of discounted mobile devices, coming two weeks after the 8GB version did the same, is said to be a stock clearance before Google starts selling its expected Nexus 5 smartphone.
iOS app update rolls out textbooks
As per Google's announcement in July regarding its plan to release textbooks to Google Play Books, listings are now available via an update to the iOS app.The textbooks are currently available to purchase outright, though some titles will be offering a six month lower-cost "rental" option. Free samples of textbooks are provided. Presently only available to US customers, the Google Play Books app is available for Android, iOS, and on the web.
Google Play music service now rolling out across Europe
The Google Play Music service has reached Europe after first debuting in the US three months ago. The service is also already live in Australia, where it has been live for a month. The Play Music is now also live in Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and the UK, giving those users the opportunity to enjoy unlimited, ad-free music. For early adopters the price is €7.99 if they sign up before September 15 after which it will revert to €9.99.
Apple wields copyright against free software
Google has pulled the original version of an Android app called Control Center from Google Play, following a copyright claim by Apple. The app is a free download, and mimics the style of its namesake feature in iOS 7. A message from Google, forwarded by developer Hi Tools Studio, explains that "Apple owns the copyright in its iOS software and each of the features thereof. The aforementioned application infringes Apple Inc.’s ('Apple') copyright rights in the iOS 7 software."
Release date of quad-core tablet previously expected July 30
Unexpectedly, Google's newest Nexus 7 tablet has appeared on the Google Play store, starting at $229. Beginning today, orders for the 16 and 32GB versions are available, instead of the previously-announced July 30 release date. Google is likely matching efforts from Amazon, Best Buy, Gamestop, and Walmart's online stores, who all started pre-sales of the device either the night before it was released, or the day of.
Google responds to Game Center
Google has released a new Android app, Google Play Games, that serves as a central portal for social gaming features and content discovery. Originally announced at the company's I/O conference, the hub shows a list of installed games alongside earned achievements, multiplayer engagements, frequent opponents and public leaderboards.
Google Play Music All Access expands to Australia, New Zealand
Google has launched its streaming music subscription service in Australia and New Zealand. The two countries are the first outside of the United States to gain access to Google Play Music All Access, with initial users getting a free trial and a $10 monthly fee if they sign up before the end of August, when it rises to a higher $12 per month.
Web version of Google Play store receives UI refresh
Google has updated the web version of the Google Play store, which now seemingly embraces the card-style interface seen in the Android version and other Google properties. The redesigned site now offers a menu sidebar to switch between the various sections, while individual app pages offer larger app screenshots and images, and bigger app icons.
Google, Amazon app stores also under scrutiny
The French government's investigation of the iOS App Store is part of a broader probe into customers' inability to easily switch platforms, a spokesperson says. L’autorité de la concurrence -- France's competition regulation agency -- is targeting not just the App Store, but also other storefronts like Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.
Jelly Bean reaches 33-percent penetration, Ice Cream Sandwich still popular
Gingerbread is still the most-used version of Android, according to recent figures from the Android Developer Dashboard. The latest update, covering the last two weeks, shows a total of 36.5-percent of users access the Google Play store through Android versions 2.3 to 2.3.7, beating both Ice Cream Sandwich and the current Android iteration, Jelly Bean.
Exec mum on talk of 'holding pattern' at App Store
An official Google Play Music app with All Access support will be coming to iOS in the next few weeks, Google Android head Sundar Pichai has confirmed at the ongoing D11 conference. All Access is currently only accessible via Android and the web, as well as third-party iOS apps like gMusic. A Google iOS app has been rumored for about a week, but was supposedly in a "holding pattern" at the App Store while Google and Apple tried to come to an agreement about acceptable features. Pichai hasn't commented on that matter.
Apps claimed to be compromised, Sky advises apps safe
British broadcaster Sky is the latest victim of hacking by the Syrian Electronic Army. Just as in previous attacks, one of its Twitter accounts was taken over by the hackers, but in an unusual maneuver, SEA also managed to gain access to the corporation's Android app listings, replacing the app descriptions on Google Play with "Syrian Electronic Army was here."
Third-party app fills void
Google wants to submit an All Access app for iOS, but is still working to find something Apple will accept at the App Store, say 9to5Mac sources. What disputes the companies might have are unmentioned, but they could conceivably involve things like the revenue split from in-app purchases, and/or features that may violate App Store guidelines.
White version of Google smartphone identical in specification to original
A white version of the Google Nexus 4 smartphone could be released in the next month. A rumor suggests the white mobile device will become available through Google Play on the 10th of June, and will be accompanied by the release of the next iteration of the Android mobile operating system, version 4.3.
Agency preps developers for changes to important act
The US Federal Trade Commission has started sending out two letters to app developers, preparing them for changes to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act taking effect July 1st, according to an announcement. The letters warn developers that restrictions on the collection of personal data from kids under 13 have been expanded, and now cover things like audio or video bearing a child's likeness. Previously, rules only covered the gathering of names, addresses, and phone numbers.
Paid-for service provides track recommendations, instant playlists
Google has announced its music service at its Google I/O developer conference. As leaked yesterday in a report, Google Play Music All Access is the search giant's take on Spotify and other similar music streaming services, with users able to stream from the large catalog of tracks already available to download from the Google Play Music store.
Google Maps preview page shows maps customized by searches
Google has updated its Google Play app store, just before the first day of the company's developer event, Google I/O. A new sign-up page for Google Maps also briefly appeared online before an expected reveal at the conference, which gave more information about the search giant's plans for its navigational product.
Gaming framework for Android could appear at Google I/O
Google may be revealing an entire gaming framework to developers at Google I/O next week, based on newly-released data. The Google Play Services component for Android includes support for various game-related features in a new update, including synchronizing saved games and various multiplayer components seen in a previous leak.
Google addition to Nook HD leaves Kindle Fire as last closed Android system
Barnes & Noble is boosting the number of apps available for its Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets, by adding the Google Play store. The software update will add Play alongside the company's own app store, boosting the number of apps available to its users by over 700,000, along with the millions of songs found on Google Play Music, and other Google-supplied content.
Policy change to affect Facebook, other independently-updated apps
Google has updated its Play store with a small change to its developer program policies, to prevent malicious code appearing on devices. The small change now forbids applications supplied through the Google Play store from receiving updates using another process, in an effort to improve the overall security of apps provided to Android users.
Developer revenue more than 2.6 times higher on iOS side
The Apple App Store and Google Play are now nearly equal in terms of download volume, according to new data by analytics firm App Annie. "While the iOS App Store and Google Play both had solid gains in app downloads last quarter, Google Play had a higher percentage growth rate as well as a greater gain in absolute downloads," the firm writes. "As of Q1 2013, Google Play’s app downloads were close to 90 percent of iOS App Store downloads." The App Store is, however, continuing to do far better than Play in terms of generating revenue.
Facebook home downloadable in UK, Canada
Facebook Home is now available to Android users in the UK and Canada, after the limited launch in the US. The Home launcher, replacing existing front end software used on Android smartphones, allows users to see their Facebook news feed from the home screen, and includes a number of socially-focused elements, including the Chat Heads system released earlier in Facebook Messenger. The initial range of devices that can use the Google Play download remains unchanged, populated by the Samsung Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III, HTC One X, One X+, and One.
Apple remains the number one platform for app developer profit
A new report by Canalys estimates that the top four app stores served up a total of 13.4 billion apps for the first quarter in 2013. App downloads across Apple’s App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store and BlackBerry World grew 11 percent over the previous quarter. Revenue for developers also grew by 9 percent with app revenue reaching $2.2 billion in gross returns.
Caveat emptor when it comes to buying hardware from the Play Store
So you see a great deal on some Nexus hardware on Google Play, what could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a lot it seems, if my recent Google customer experience is one by which its customer support can be judged. I have been trying to return my second faulty Google Nexus 7 and I still haven't managed to get it back to Google since first initiating the returns process in January…
Google puts Nexus 7 on sale in Indian Google Play store
Google has opened up the Nexus 7 to pre-order in India, ahead of the April 5th release date. The Google Play store lists the tablet at 16,000 rupees ($295) for 16GB of storage and Wi-Fi connectivity, reports ZDnet, and will have the same 32GB option seen in other territories available to purchase. A version with mobile data access is not currently listed in the store.
Google Now-style cards used in app lists
A redesign of the Google Play store is in the works, according to a report. The refined store, said to be version 4.0.16, appears to show a highly-simplified and clean design, complete with larger icons, a design influence at seems to be inspired by Google Now cards, and a lighter-in-appearance home page.
Adblock Plus updated to work without Google Play
A new version of Adblock Plus for Android has become available. The revised app, including changes to configuration options and a visual overhaul, now includes an update system separate from the Google Play marketplace that it previously used before being banned. Users will have to sideload the latest version through the Adblock Plus website.
The Article 29 working group -- composed data protection authorities from across the European Union -- has issued a new set of recommendations which may have a significant impact on app developers. Under the new guidelines, it's proposed that developers should ask for consent for each kind of data an app wants to access, including not only common items like location, contacts, payment info, and social network logins, but browsing history and other content. Even then though Article 29 argues that this "does not legitimize excessive or disproportionate data processing," and further recommends setting an inactivity window, after which data collection from a person's app account will stop.
Week of discounts, free items for Android users
Google is celebrating the one year anniversary of rebranding the Android Market to Google Play, by offering discounts and free downloads to users of Android tablets and mobile devices. The celebratory offers come at the same time as Google makes available its Google Play gift cards in retail stores in the United Kingdom.
Nintendo, Apple claimed to be close in game revenues
New research suggests that gaming on mobile devices is now a more lucrative market for developers than portable game systems. Spending on gaming apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play is said to be higher than for dedicated portable consoles from Sony and Nintendo during the last quarter of 2012, with the largest amounts of spending taking place in December due to hardware being given as gifts.
Recent change allows all Android developers right-to-reply
Google has extended its program to allow all app developers to respond to user comments. The ability to respond to user feedback in the Review section of Google Play app pages has now been extended for all creators of Android apps using the storefront, after initially being rolled out to programming teams with a Top Developer badge.
Google still seeing significant revenue increases
Google Play is catching up to the Apple App Store by some metrics, but still has a ways to go, according to a year-end study by Dutch analytics firm Distimo. Both stores now have over 700,000 apps, but the App Store generates about 4.3 times more revenue than Google Play. "On a typical day in November 2012, the revenues in the Apple App Store exceeded $15M USD, while in Google Play the revenues are just below $3.5M USD in 20 of the largest countries in both app stores," Distimo writes.
Apps, websites to require consent before obtaining data
The US Federal Trade Commission has formally updated rules derived from the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, better known as COPPA, says the Wall Street Journal. The act was originally passed by Congress in 1998, but subsequent evolution of the Internet prompted the FTC to start reconsidering its enforcement in 2010. Influenced by feedback, proposed changes started emerging last year.
Google launches Maps beta app for Mexico
The Google Maps team has been hard at work, earlier this week announcing the release of a beta app that will allow navigation in Mexico. The app is available to download on Google Play (free) and supports devices running on Android 2.2 and newer. Like for other regions, the app will provide directions, maps, local information, and traffic updates in real time.
Google Play revenue up sharply, Apple generates 4 times as much
Google Play sees strong revenue growth, 311 percent higher than last year according to a new study by App Annie Intelligence. By comparison, Apple’s iTunes App Store revenue made four times as much in revenue over the same period. However, while Apple retains a strong lead in app monetization, revenue was up only 12.9 percent according to the App Annie study, although Apple disputes those figures.