Before the unified Play branding, Google had the Android Market, Google Music, and Google eBookstore. Google decided to merge and rebrand its individual digital offerings into the Play Store in March of 2012.

The Play Store is now the default place to purchase apps, movies & television, music, books, and news subscriptions for all Android devices. The latter four offerings having their individual Android and iOS apps to watch, listen, and read purchased content. Most content can also be accessed through the web.

In April of 2016, the suite of icons were redesigned in a similar style to provide a consistent look across all devices and the web.

Google Play Store Stories May 23

As first tested in November, Google is rolling out a big redesign of the web Play Store that brings it inline with other services after many years of the same user interface. 

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Google and Match Group have signed a temporary agreement so that any in-app payments made in Tinder and Hinge will be made using a third-party system.

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Google Play Store Stories May 20

PayPal offering $10 reward for your first purchase on Google Play

In a bit of cross-promotion, PayPal is offering a $10 reward for making a purchase on Google Play through their payment service.

Bandcamp will keep in-app billing on Android for now, as Google & Epic battle it out [U]

Just last month, Epic Games announced that it would acquire the music platform Bandcamp. Now, Bandcamp is the latest reason Epic Games is taking legal action against Google, this time over the tech giant’s Android app billing crackdown.

This article was last updated on May 20. Scroll down for the latest.

Google Play Store Stories May 19

In addition to other Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) announcements today, Google is making it easier to find accessible Android apps in the Play Store.

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Google Play Store Stories May 18

Google effectively blocks Total Commander file manager from sideloading APK files on Android

The Google Play Store has apparently blocked the relatively popular file manager, Total Commander, from sideloading APK files by threat of removal from the app from the store.

Google Play Store Stories May 17

Last week, a handful of Google apps opened preview programs, but new versions have yet to emerge. The Play Store now says that the Wear OS companion app is getting a beta.

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After a long wait and a number of limited region-locked beta previews, Apex Legends Mobile is now available for all Android users on the Google Play Store.

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Google Play Store Stories May 16

Google announced recently that it would purge the Play Store of outdated Android apps that didn’t support the platform’s latest features or had been neglected. According to a new report, Google’s crackdown will remove nearly 900,000 outdated Android apps from the Play Store.

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Google Play Store Stories May 13

In addition to a slew of new developer features at I/O 2022, Google is testing a Play Store tweak on Android that lets users see more information about apps without having to open the full listing.

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Google Play Store Stories May 11

At its core, Google I/O has always been a developer-focused event. Here are the biggest announcements that Google made during the I/O developer keynote and beyond.

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Google Play Store Stories May 5

Back in March, Google halted Android app and subscription purchases in Russia due to sanctions. Google Play is now “blocking the downloading of paid apps and updates to paid apps in Russia starting May 5, 2022.”

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Google Play Store Stories April 27

Google Play Store reportedly hit 28.3 billion app downloads in Q1 2022, led by Instagram

According to a new report, the Google Play Store drove an increase in the number of app downloaded during the first quarter of 2022, and to no one’s surprise it was TikTok that led the charge.

Google recaps how it countered bad Android apps and developers in 2021

Every year, Google recaps how it “fought bad apps and developers.” The 2021 edition comes a day after the company’s latest initiative, the Play Store’s Data safety section, has started to roll out.

Google Play Store Stories April 26

Google announced that the Play Store was getting a “Data safety” section last May, and it’s now beginning to roll out after a brief delay. The new section will be fully available over the coming weeks, and full developer adoption is set for July.

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Google Play Store Stories April 21

In addition to offering user-facing apps, Google Workspace gives companies the ability to manage their employees’ devices. Google Workspace admins now have more control over Android app updates on work devices that use managed Google Play.

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A new Google Play Store policy coming into force is set to block third-party call recording apps from the online storefront from May 11.

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Google Play Store Stories April 20

Google Play Store highlights easy ways to donate to support Ukraine, including using Play Points

In its latest show of support for Ukraine during the ongoing conflict with Russia, Google is now showcasing support for those affected in the country with easy donations within the Play Store.

At the end of last month, Google started requiring Android apps distributed via the Play Store to use its payment service rather than letting developers continue to collect billing details directly. To follow those latest guidelines, YouTube Premium and YouTube TV now use Google Play Billing. 

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Google Play Store Stories April 12

Subscriptions can get away from you, especially when you forget you signed up for anything to begin with. That’s exactly why you need to know how to easily cancel any Android app subscription at any moment, right from the Google Play Store. Here’s how you can do that.

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Google Play Store Stories April 6

With every release, Android introduces new system-level security and privacy features that more times than not requires support from third-party apps. Google Play will soon hide older apps for new users to encourage developers to support the latest Android functionality.

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Google Play Store Stories April 5

Beta programs allow you to experience cool new features in certain apps that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to see until full release. So how do you get early access to Google’s features? This guide will show you how to join beta programs on the Google Play Store and what apps allow you to do that.

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Google Play Store Stories April 4

Audible, Barnes & Noble Nook remove in-app purchases on Android over tightened Google rules

The requirement to use in-app billing systems from app stores has come under heavy scrutiny over the past couple of years, and in that time Google has actually cracked down on some long-standing loopholes. Now, Amazon Audible and Barnes & Noble Nook have lost the ability to handle in-app purchases on Android over Google’s crackdown.

Google Play Store Stories March 23

Back in 2020, Google announced that it would require all apps in the Play Store to use its billing system but later delayed that to this month. Google will soon allow Android apps to use their own payment system as long as Play Store billing is an option alongside it, with Spotify notably the first “User Choice Billing” partner.

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Google Play Store Stories March 22

After the death of Play Music, Google Play was left with applications, books, and television. The Play Store will soon drop Movies & TV on Android with the Google TV app being the new place to buy and rent content.

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Google Play Store Stories March 17

Android users in Australia will need to use ID to prove their age to YouTube and Google Play

Google has announced that it will be adding a new step to verify a user’s age on some core Android products in Australia, with YouTube and Google Play requiring as much as a valid ID to confirm your age soon.

Google Play Store Stories March 16

Last year, Google announced that app ratings in the Play Store will be specific to each device type. The company is now continuing that work of improving the large screen experience by surfacing high-quality apps and warning about unoptimized ones .

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Google Play Store Stories March 15

As the 2022 Google for Games Developer Summit kicks off this morning, the company detailed its latest efforts and tools for Android developers.

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Google Play Store Stories March 10

Google has informed Android developers that Play Store users in Russia have lost the ability to purchase apps, games, IAPs, and subscriptions.

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Google rewrote the Play Store’s UI with Jetpack Compose for up to 50% less code, faster rendering

Jetpack Compose is how Google wants Android developers to create app user interfaces going forward. Google today detailed how the Play Store leveraged Jetpack Compose for its UI rewrite.

Google Play Store Stories March 9

If you have amassed a large pile of Google Play Points, you can use your existing balance for purchases on the Play Store.

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Google Play Store Stories March 6

Google rolled out a Material You redesign for the Play Store in October, but it really only applied to the homescreen. The Play Store will soon get new Material You buttons throughout the app.

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Google Play Store Stories March 4

[Update: Fixed] Google inconsistently removes last ‘Updated on’ information from Play Store again 

Back in November, Google removed the last “Updated on” section from Play Store app listings on Android to everyone’s annoyance. That change was reversed at the time, but it now appears to be gone again.

Google Play Store Stories February 24

Last May, Google announced that each app in the Play Store is getting a “Data safety” section. It serves a dual-purpose for developers and end users alike, but Google Play is now delaying the launch until later this year.

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Google Play Store Stories February 22

“Checks” is the latest project from Google’s Area 120 incubator to help developers of mobile apps “create a safer digital ecosystem by simplifying the path to privacy compliance.” 

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Google Play Store Stories February 17

After widely rolling out iOS-style install indicators on the homescreen, Google now specifies what version of “Android OS” is required to install an app on the Play Store.

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Google Play Store Stories February 14

Google Play Store now shows new app install progress directly on the homescreen

Following initial testing during the Android 12 Beta period last May, Google Play will now show the progress of new app installs right on your homescreen. This behavior mimics iOS and was previously limited to restoring from a backup on Android.

Google Play Store Stories January 29

Android 12 introduces a Game Dashboard that’s currently exclusive to the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Besides providing useful tools, Google is encouraging developers to take advantage of Game Mode API. Google Play is now listing games that are “optimized for Pixel 6.”

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Google Play Store Stories January 27

First spotted in November with a wider rollout already underway, Google today made official the new “Offers” tab for the Play Store on Android.

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Google Play Store Stories January 25

How to use a Google Play gift card and where to buy one

The Google Play store offers tons of content for all customers – not just Android users. Movies, TV shows, books, and more can be found in the Play Store. A gift card for the Google Play store is a great gift for anyone. So how do you buy one and how can it be used? Read our guide to find out.

Google Play Store Stories January 24

Celebrity Q&A app Cameos on Google set to shut down

Designed as a way for celebrities and public figures to answer some of the most asked questions on Search, Cameos on Google is set to shut down in the coming weeks.

Google Play Store Stories January 22

Back in October, the Play Store got a Material You redesign that was pretty straightforward in that it only touched the homescreens. Google now looks to be adding an “Offers” tab to the Play Store that makes for a quite cluttered bottom bar.

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Google Play Store Stories January 21

How to find and use watch faces on the Galaxy Watch 4

One of the benefits of Samsung switching its Galaxy Watch 4 over to Wear OS is that it opens up a new world of watch faces. So how do you change the watch face on your Galaxy Watch and customize it to fit your style? This guide will help you do exactly that.

Google Play Store Stories January 10

Google has begun sharing details of what’s new in each month’s Google Play system patch, the new update system for recently released Android phones, tablets, and more.

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Gmail for Android has hit a pretty huge milestone after surpassing the 10 billion download milestone on the Google Play Store.

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Google Play Store Stories December 20, 2021

When securing your online accounts, two-factor authentication (2FA) is an easy way to add another layer of security. There are numerous options available to download including the Google Authenticator app.

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Google Play Store Stories December 17, 2021

Play Store adds ‘Your devices’ search filter to make it easier to find compatible apps

To help you find apps for all of your Android and Wear OS devices, the Play Store now has a neat search filter to help you get compatible apps for all of your hardware.

After announcing a full rebrand from Facebook to Meta, the entire app portfolio of the social media giant is now reflecting this change on the Google Play Store.

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