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playstore

To celebrate the Play Store’s third birthday, Google has 33 hot deals going on right now.

Runtastic Running Pro, Runtastic Sit-Ups Pro and Facetune are available to purchase for $0.10. Racing Rivals is now Free, and there are also a number of other items from books, albums, and movies. There are 33 hot deals in all and you can check them all out by clicking here.

 

 

Come comment on this article: Google kicks off $0.10 Play Store promotion and other great deals to celebrate Google Play’s 3rd birthday

11 best new Android apps and Android games released in February 2015

Posted by wicked February - 28 - 2015 - Saturday Comments Off

We’re nearing the end of February and it’s been quite the month for Android apps and Android games. We saw some flops but we also saw some pretty impressive software. Let’s take a look at the best Android apps and Android games of February 2015.


do button by ifttt android appsDo Button by IFTTT

[Price: Free]
Do Button by IFTTT is a software button that allows you to customize your Android experience. You set up a button with a task to do something and that task gets done when you press the Do Button. Fans of IFTTT should definitely check this out and it’s a pretty nifty tool for just about everyone.
Get it on Google Play
do button by ifttt android apps


draw slasher android appsDraw Slasher

[Price: $2.99]
Draw Slasher is a hack-and-slash game where you use your finger to gesture your attacks. This was once a popular game on the PS Vita and the Android release is a pretty decent recreation. It features a fast pace, plenty of swiping, and ninjas. There are also no in app purchases.
Get it on Google Play


best new android apps heavenstrike rivalsHeavenstrike Rivals

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Square Enix has released a new RPG called Heavenstrike Rivals. This is a tactical RPG similar in game play mechanics to Final Fantasy Tactics. The graphics are pretty decent and it is free to play with plenty of stuff to do. Beware, though, as the title is suffering from some launch day issues.
Get it on Google Play


Limbo android appsLimbo

[Price: $4.99]
Limbo is a monochrome horror game where you play as a kid who is looking for his lost sister. The game has already received praise for its interesting graphics and creepy, misty atmosphere. At its heart, it’s a 2D side-scrolling platform and puzzle game and it doesn’t have any in app purchases.
Get it on Google Play


picturesque lock screen Android apps weeklyPicturesque

[Price: Free]
Picturesque is a free lock screen app that came out of Microsoft’s Garage project. It grabs beautiful wallpapers from Bing frequently to keep things fresh and also shows things like weather, news, notifications, calendar events, and more. They’re still working out some issues but it’s still pretty solid.
Get it on Google Play
picturesque lock screen Android apps weekly


screenpop lockscreen messenger android appsScreenPop Lockscreen Messenger

[Price: Free]
ScreenPop Lockscreen Messenger is a picture sharing service similar to Snapchat and others. The catch is that instead of opening an app, ScreenPop puts the photos right on your lock screen so you can view and respond without ever unlocking your phone. The app is going through some release day issues but it can be fun for people who are into that.
Get it on Google Play
Android apps screenpop


SlingTV Android appsSlingTV

[Price: Free app / $20/month subscription]
SlingTV turned a lot of heads in February by allowing people to get some decent TV channels streamed over the Internet for only $20/month. The app is having a few issues here and there but nothing too serious. It’s a great deal for cord cutters even if the channel lineup is rather limited.
Get it on Google Play
slingtv android apps


smart weather wallpaper Android apps weeklySmart Weather Wallpaper

[Price: $1.99]
Smart Weather Wallpaper is a live wallpaper that changes based on the weather. So if it’s rainy, you’ll have a rainy wallpaper. It also changes based on seasons and the time of day. Overall, it’s an attractive option even though there are some bugs to work out.
Get it on Google Play
smart weather wallpaper Android apps weekly


soundhud best new android appsSoundHUD

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
SoundHUD is a customizable volume panel where you can control things like your system volume, ringtone volume, etc and one of the few that doesn’t require root access. Its claim to fame is the ability to put Lollipop devices into silent mode which is something that is tedious and confusing to do without it. It also has a few other nifty and unique features.
Get it on Google Play
soundhud best new android apps


theScore eSports Android apps weeklytheScore eSports

[Price: Free]
theScore eSports app is a sports app that covers predominately eSports, such as DOTA 2 and other video games. It represents a monumental shift in mainstream sports coverage because this was the first major sports media company to officially cover eSports. The app itself is actually very good too.
Get it on Google Play


youtube kids best android appsYouTube Kids

[Price: Free]
YouTube Kids was released late in February and it’s a YouTube experience that caters to young minds. It’s full of playlists that show kids educational and entertaining content that caters specifically to their age range. Every parent should have this app without a shadow of a doubt.
Get it on Google Play


Wrap up

If we missed any awesome Android apps or Android games that were released in February 2015, let us know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the Android Apps Weekly newsletter for more new releases and Android apps news!

Subscribe to our Android Apps Weekly newsletter!

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly

Posted by wicked February - 27 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Never autoplay videos

Welcome back to Android Apps Weekly! Here are your headlines this week:

If you want even more headlines, app releases, and app updates, then check out our newsletter. It’s curated weekly by yours truly and there’s no spam. Just the latest and greatest in Android apps and games news straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our Android Apps Weekly newsletter!


Flynx Android apps weeklyFlynx

[Price: Free]
Flynx is a special kind of browser that opens up in floating bubbles instead of full screen like a normal browser. It was updated to version 1.0 which means it has finally left beta. The update also brought a number of new features. It’s totally free so why not check it out?
Get it on Google Play


almightree android apps weeklyAlmightree: The Last Dreamer

[Price: $1.99]
Almightree is a 3D puzzle platformer where you play as an adventurer to who must bring balance to a crumbling world. It brings with it decent graphics, a fun story, and surprisingly good game music. It’s $1.99 but there are also no in app purchases.
Get it on Google Play


soundhud best new android appsSoundHUD

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
SoundHUD is a new app that helps you control your volume and does so without root. Using this, you can put your Lollipop device into actual silent mode if you want and there are a range of other features such as the ability to only adjust media volume on tablets. It’s free to use with in app purchases.
Get it on Google Play
soundhud best new android apps


best new android apps heavenstrike rivalsHeavenstrike Rivals

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Heavenstrike Rivals is a new tactical RPG out of Square Enix. It has some pretty decent graphics and similar battle mechanics to old classics like Final Fantasy Tactics. Not exactly the same, but similar. It’s free with in app purchases and it’s worth a shot if you’re a strategy RPG fan.
Get it on Google Play


youtube kids best android appsYouTube Kids

[Price: Free]
YouTube Kids was released this last by Google to generally positive reviews. It is a YouTube app that is geared specifically at kids and contains playlists with entertaining and educational content for kids. It’s an app that all parents should at least try out and it is totally free.
Get it on Google Play


Wrap up

If we missed any great Android apps and games news, let us know in the comments!

Rovio’s Bad Piggies reaches 100 million downloads, receives celebratory update

Posted by wicked February - 27 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Rovio-Bad-Piggies

Most of us have probably played at least one of the games from the popular Angry Birds franchise developed by Rovio, who has just announced that its Bad Piggies game has reached over 100 million downloads. That’s a pretty big number that includes download figures from Google’s Play Store, Amazon’s Appstore and Apple’s App Store. To celebrate, Rovio has updated the game to version 1.6, the details of which are below.

Bad-Piggies screenshot

The 1.6 update includes a new sandbox level called the Little Pig Adventure, which includes a large play area and slippery surfaces as well as a new part called the gearbox. The gearbox allows players to make their contraptions run in reverse. As per the rest of the game, the aim is to steer the piggies to their destination, choosing to fly, roll or even crash them to the target. Along the way, you can collect starboxes as well as other new parts. If you’d like to add to the 100 million downloads, just click the link below.

 

qr code

Google Play Store Link

 

Source: Rovio

Come comment on this article: Rovio’s Bad Piggies reaches 100 million downloads, receives celebratory update

Google pilot tests mobile app ads in Play Store

Posted by wicked February - 27 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

With more than one billion people now using Android devices, being an app developer can be heavenly at this point, until you see that there are also over one million apps clamoring for mobile users’ attention in the Google Play Store. While Google has offered a lot of tips and tricks on how to get discovered among the many apps out there, it is still only now that they’re experimenting with bringing mobile app ads in search results to the Play Store.

Google announced that they will be doing a pilot test of letting app developers advertise directly on the Google Play Store by including paid search results when people look for certain categories or key words for apps. So for example, if you search for puzzle games, included in your results would be both paid and organic apps. The differentiation would be a small “Ad” button under the app that is being advertised.

Attachment-1

Over the next few weeks, the first to be offered this capability are publishers that have already been advertising Google search ads for their apps. Not all users will also be able to see the ads first, just a select number of those who go to the Google Play Store. This is for both the pilot developers and users to test out this feature and provide feedback on mix of ads, keyword targeting, how the paid search affects the algorithms in their Top Chart, etc.

This new program will allow new developers the ability to compete with the already popular and established ones. That is, if they have enough money to bid for the keywords, just like you would any normal Google ads. One of the questions thought is that will it actually be detrimental to smaller developers and publishers who have great apps but maybe not the budget to advertise. We’ll see more feedback as the pilot program goes underway.

SOURCE: Google

VIA: Tech Crunch

Google is bringing sponsored app search results to the Play Store

Posted by wicked February - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

play store ads

Google is making a lot of money from its bread and butter business, showing ads against search results. Now the tech giant is bringing ads for apps to the Play Store.

Here’s how it works – search for a term like “travel apps” or “fitness” and the first app shown in the search results page could be a paid listing by Expedia or Endomondo. Just like on Google.com, the Play Store will show you relevant results from developers who are willing to pay for the privilege.

“Search ads on Google Play will enable developers to drive more awareness of their apps and provide consumers new ways to discover apps that they otherwise might have missed,” said Michael Siliski, Product Management Director for Google Play.

play store ads gif

Google will pilot the new feature with a select number of users over the following weeks. The first developers to gain access to paid app listings will be those who are already paying for ads for their apps on Google.com. Google has not specified it, but it looks likely that both the app and the web version of the Play Store will display the new ads.

The addition of paid search results in the Play Store could be a good way for developers to raise awareness of their applications, especially for new products. With that said, deep-pocketed developers could use ads to gain an advantage over smaller competitors, so it remains to be seen how beneficial the feature will be overall.

In general, Google could do much more to improve the quality of its search results. For a company that has so much expertise in search, the results shown in the Play Store are often a mess, with spam or unrelated results drowning out legitimate results. Our Joe Hindy will surely touch on the issue on a future installment of his series dedicated to the Play Store. Check out the first part here.

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week – Android Apps Weekly

Posted by wicked February - 20 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off


Welcome back to Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines!

For more headlines, app updates, and app release news, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter! I curate it myself every week and we’ll never send you any spam or ridiculousness. Just app news, app releases, and app updates straight to your email every Friday!

Subscribe to our Android Apps Weekly newsletter!


VLC android appsVLC

[Price: Free]
VLC is releasing an update soon to version 3.0 and with it will come big changes. The biggest of which will be Chromecast support. That means very soon, Chromecast users will have a powerful media player in their arsenal. The update isn’t out yet but it should be coming sometime soon.
Get it on Google Play
android apps


monkey King escape android appsMonkey King Escape

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Monkey King Escape is a new infinite runner out of Ubisoft that features some colorful graphics, fun cartoons, and of course, that always addictive infinite runner style. It’s fairly run of the mill when compared to others, but it’s still a great game for kids and adults who love animals.
Get it on Google Play


PushBullet free Android appsPushbullet

[Price: Free]
Pushbullet received a huge update this last week. Now, on top of text messages, you can also respond to Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and Google Hangouts messages on your computer. This is the update that a lot of people have been waiting for and really helps augment an already strong set of features from Pushbullet.
Get it on Google Play


draw slasher android appsDraw Slasher by Mass Creation

[Price: $2.99]
Draw Slasher was a popular game on the PS Vita console and last week it saw an official Android release. It’s an action-adventure hack and slash game where you swipe to slash up bad guys. It’s a paid game but there are no in app purchases which is quite refreshing.
Get it on Google Play


do button by ifttt android appsDo Button by IFTTT

[Price: Free]
Do Button by IFTTT is a new app from the same great minds that brought us, you guess it, IFTTT. This allows you to create a button that does whatever you want when you press it. Simply create the recipe and then whenever you tap the button, your device will do the things you want. It’s also totally free.
Get it on Google Play
do button by ifttt android apps


Wrap up

If we missed any great Android apps and games news, let us know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter!

Incoming Google Play Store update brings a handful of design changes

Posted by wicked February - 20 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Google Play Store

An update to the Google Play Store should be making its way to a device near you sometime soon, and will bring along a few design changes. Google’s own Kirill Grouchnikov teased today on Google+ that an update to the Play Store should be in our hands shortly. In fact, the hashtag Grouchnikov used was ‘#rollingout’, so we’re assuming the updated Play Store is already making its way to a few Android devices.

burgergif

A few design changes will be present in the new update. First, Google will bring its white Google Search bar to the top of the Play Store, and will completely get rid of the small search magnifying glass button. The Google Search bar isn’t present in many other Google apps yet, but maybe this is the start of the company adding a streamlined way of searching their own apps. Last but certainly not least, we’re seeing the return of the spinning arrow. Well, the spinning arrow animation has been present in the past few iterations of the Play Store, but it has since been covered up by the full page hamburger menu on the left side.

There’s no word on a specific rollout date, or even what version this is, so we’ll be sure to update you once that information surfaces. Are you liking the design change?

Things the Google Play Store could improve: Part 1 – The top charts

Posted by wicked February - 18 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Google Play Store

Editor’s note: this is the first post in our new series discussing Play Store flaws and what Google could do to improve user experience. Feel free to join the discussion and suggest new topics. 

The Google Play Store top charts are an amazing tool for consumers. It shows a quick glance of the popular and trending applications that everyone else is using which kind of allows consumers to curate their own experiences. The idea is amazing but far from perfect. Games seem to run the place and there exists only moderate continuity between the web and mobile platforms. Let’s dig in and talk about the problem.


Google Play Store

The Main Top Charts in both Apps and Games are actually just two charts for games

To show what we mean, we decided to go through the top apps charts to show you just how few apps you can actually find in the top apps categories. We had no need to do this for the games because the top games charts were, predictably, all games.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Top Free in Android Apps
    In the Top Free in Android Apps section of the Google Play Store, we took a look at the top 50 apps. Of those, 29 were games and 21 were apps.
  • Top Paid in Android Apps
    In the Top Paid in Android apps section, we again looked at the top 50 apps. Of those, 35 were games and 15 were apps.
  • Top Grossing Android Apps
    You can see where this is going. Out of 50, 48 were games and 2 were apps.
  • Top New Paid Android Apps
    Out of 50, 26 were games and 24 were apps.
  • Top New Free Android Apps
    Out of 50, 43 were games and 7 were apps.

When you don’t take duplicate apps into account, the top 250 apps across five categories are actually 181 game entries and 69 apps. In other words, 72.4% of the apps you’ll find in the top Android apps charts are actually games. When you add in the 250 top games across the same categories on the Games side, that means across ten categories and 500 apps, 431 are games and 69 are apps.

Now let’s count duplicates!

Let’s go a step further. I took a close look at the top 50 apps and games listed over the ten top charts across both apps and games. Here are some observations.

  • Total number of duplicates
    In the top 500 apps listed in the top charts, 160 apps/games were listed at least twice. Of those, 12 of them were listed three times, 12 were listed four times, SimCity BuiltIt was listed five times, and Trivia Crack was listed an astounding six times.
  • There are less than 300 unique apps in the top 500
    The total number of applications and games actually listed in the top 50 of each of the ten top charts categories is 290. Only 130 of those are listed just one time.
  • Games win again!
    Of the 160 apps and games listed multiple times, 159 were games. Pandora Internet Radio is the only application listed twice.

If you need to see these numbers for yourself, I’ve compiled a nifty spreadsheet that you can view here. The bottom line is the top charts don’t really show much variety and give games a heavy spotlight by allowing them to invade the Top Apps charts, despite having a whole set of charts specifically for games.

Most of the duplication takes place between the same charts on Apps and Games. For instance, Clash of Clans tops both Top Grossing charts and that’s really unnecessary. Further duplication takes place when newer games hit the top spots on the new games and apps charts and then become popular enough to make it on to the regular top apps and games charts. Back in January 2015, this happened to Trivia Crack, which appeared on six different charts.

Note: The spreadsheet was put together in January, 2015. The top charts do change periodically and while the numbers may not be exactly the same, the ratios should remain consistent.


Google Play Store

The website and mobile apps don’t work the same

Now that we’ve discussed the front pages, let’s dig a little deeper. On the mobile app, going to any app category gives you a range of lists to look at based on Google’s recommendations for you and just some general lists as well. You can then swipe over and see the top charts for those apps. It’s a fairly simple layout that makes sense and exposes people to a wide variety of recommendations and top apps in each category. No problems there.

On the website, however, none of these things are true. There is zero access to top charts unless you Google Search them directly. This is especially confusing considering the UI. The white bar that houses the category name is otherwise left totally blank and there seems to be more than enough space to put links to the top charts there. After all, they do exactly that on the front apps page and on the front games page. Furthermore, it doesn’t make sense not to link to them because Google has these webpages. They already exist. Why not give us a link to find them more easily?

To their credit, the recommended content and specialized lists (e.g. the top apps for teachers in Education) remain the same in both the web and desktop versions.


Google Play Store

What can be done to fix it?

Thankfully, these shortcomings could be easily fixed:

  • Remove games from the top apps: This is fairly obvious. There is a whole section in the Google Play Store specifically for games. It seems incongruous to put games in the top apps categories while maintaining a totally separate section dedicated solely to games. This would also cut down dramatically on the number of duplicate entries resulting in a wider variety of apps to choose from.
  • Graduate top new free and paid to actual top paid and top free: Many of the duplicate listings take place on the top new free and top new paid in both games and apps. If a game or an app is so popular that it makes the regular top paid and top free charts, would it not make sense to remove them from the new paid and new free to make room for the next generation?
  • Put the top charts links back into the website version: That white bar at the top isn’t being used for anything else anyway. Plus, the top charts for each category actually do exist and Google does maintain them. There seems to be no reason not to put a link there.

Google Play Store

Wrap up

There are two sets of charts that you really can’t do anything about and they are Trending and Top Grossing. Changing Top Grossing in any way would compromise the integrity of the information. That means some duplication will invariably take place. Trending is a whole different story. I’m not entirely sure what that chart actually is, what it does, how it’s calculated, or if there’s anything actually wrong with it.

With the proposed solutions in place, there should be a wider variety of apps for consumers to choose from. With maintenance on the top new paid and free charts, new developers and new apps have a greater and more frequent chance of being noticed. It may also coax those who long ago abandoned the top charts to revisit with the promise of newer, more varied content.

That should also help with the app discovery problem and expose more people to more new content more often. With the links restored in the website version, Google will achieve more continuity between the desktop and mobile experience which will make both platforms easier to understand for consumers.

Of course, we’d love to know what you think. Are there any other solutions you would suggest to fix this problem or are we way off base with any of ours? Sound off in the comments!

12 more countries can now sell paid apps on Google Play Store

Posted by wicked February - 18 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

As Google continues to extend their digital domain through various products and through the Android platform, they have been opening their doors to more than just North America and Europe. In fact, a lot of their programs and updates have been looking towards to developing markets like Asia, Africa, and South America. Now Google has announced that 12 more countries have been added to their list and app developers here can now sell paid apps to their market.

Users in these 12 countries have been able to get free and buy paid apps from the Google Play Store from some time now. What developers have not been able to do is to earn from their apps and games since all they can do is to submit free apps, without even having in-app purchases available. But now, developers that are registered in these 12 additional countries can monetize from the digital content that they have been creating. The countries are Bahrain, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Honduras, Jamaica, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, and Panama.

Currently, there are 152 countries that can apply for Developer Registration at the Google Play Store. But only 74 of those (including the 12 new ones) can have merchant accounts. Developers have had to resort to getting alternative business models, and also relying on advertising, to be able to earn at least a few bucks while they continue to churn out apps and games.

If you’re registered in any of those 12 countries, you can now change your registration to that of a merchant, and slowly start earning a bit of cash (unless you have a really great app or game, which will take the market by storm). Let’s hope Google adds even more countries to that list later on.

SOURCE: Google