Google has dropped the hammer on a wide range of apps in the Google Play Store, including those that mine cryptocurrency, contain hate speech, and those that contain adult content aimed at minors. The changes are part of Google efforts to clean up the Play Store and make it a safer place.
Developers who have apps in the Play Store with the restricted content will have their apps immediately removed and, in some case, could have their apps reported to law enforcement officials. In almost all cases, not only will the app be removed but the developers account will be removed from Google all together.
Continue reading “Google Cleans House on Apps in The Google Play Store”
Back at Google I/O, Google announced that a new centralized subscription page would be coming to the Google Play Store app. The idea behind is that users will have one place to go and manage their subscriptions, be it unsubscribe, change billing information or the like. That new page is now live.
If you go to the Play Store app on your Android phone, tap on the hamburger menu in the search bar and you will see a new Subscriptions section. Tap that and all of your subscriptions are listed for you.
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G Suite is getting a small but time saving feature for admins who have corporate owned Android devices, or devices with a corporate work profile. They will now be able to allow any app to be installed on those devices, saving the tedious work of having to whitelist apps one at a time. It is a change that will be rolling out to all domains over the course of the new few weeks.
To this point, if a corporate owned or corporate work profile device needed to install an app beyond what the admin’s had whitelisted, they had to go and approve that app for that specific device. As you can imagine, this can be time consuming if you have a lot of corporate devices. Now admins can allow any app to be installed but, and this is important, end users will still only see the whitelisted apps in the corporate version of the Google Play Store first. It is only when they search for an app that they will be able to find it and install it.
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A new top navigation slider is making its way out to the Google Play Store app this weekend. The change is a cloud-side change so there isn’t anything new to download. It will just be pushed to your app so long as you are running the latest version.
The change is a minor one but it is something that Google has been A/B testing for a while now and would appear to be the direction they want to go with it. At the top of the Google Play Store app you have the tabs for Home, Games, Movies & TV, Music, Books and Newsstand. But under each one of those, you know have a content specific slider for filtering.
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If you haven’t checked into the Google Play Store over the weekend and are a player of games like Candy Crush Saga or Clash of Clans, you may want to take a peek. Over the weekend, Google started a $1 off promotion on in-app purchases on a handful of games. The promotion ends on February 28.
There are five games that you can get the $1 discount on throughout this month:
- Candy Crush Saga
- Clash of Clans
- Candy Crush Soda Saga
- Clash of Kings
To get the discount, you just need to accept the promotion within the Google Play Store, then open one of the games and make an in-app purchase. The $1 discount will be applied prior to completing the purchase.
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Through the use of Machine Learning to detect apps that impersonate, have inappropriate content or malware, Google removed over 700,000 rogue apps from the Google Play Store, taking 100,000 repeat offender developers along with them. The injection of ML can find patterns that detect bad behaving apps quicker than human inspectors, resulting in a 70% increase in removing of apps from the Play Store over the previous year.
Not only did we remove more bad apps, we were able to identify and action against them earlier. In fact, 99% of apps with abusive contents were identified and rejected before anyone could install them.
The end result is that the Play Store, while still not perfect, is a far safer place than it was this time last year and it will only get better as the Machine Learning models get smarter.
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This past weekend I experienced one of my pet peeves about the Google Play Store so you get to listen to me vent. Google, you in particular need to pay attention to me on this one.
Developers, for the love of all that is good and pure in this world, update your Release Notes. I can’t tell you how many times I or another site has found something new in an update to an app and yet the release notes provided in the Play Store say absolutely nothing about it. If you want people to know about that thing you added to your app, you may want to let people know about it?
This weekend however, pretty much took the cake for this month. It was Google and Chrome for Android. It literally made me utter harsh language and have a catharsis moment of writing this post.
Continue reading “Developers, Please Update Your Release Notes (Talking to You Google)”
Nova Launcher Prime, the paid version of the ever popular launcher for Android, is on sale at a great price right now. For a limited time it is only .99 cents for the Prime version that brings more customization and features over the free version. If you’ve never tried Nova Launcher or want to upgrade your free version to Prime, now is the time to do it.
Nova Launcher is arguably one of the best and most popular launcher alternatives for Android. I reviewed the launcher earlier this year and while it is a little dated now given the rate of progression of the app’s updates, it is still a good primer on what it can do for you.
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