One of Google’s main I/O 2014 announcements is the company’s new design language – dubbed Material Design – which will be applied to all of Google’s properties, including Android L, Android and iOS apps, and web apps. Google has already demoed its Material Design concepts, providing explanations for its design choices and vision, but Android Police has obtained more details about what Material Design means for Google’s content store, sharing images of the upcoming Play Store redesign. More →
Google on Thursday revealed it’s ready to support even more payment methods for Google Play purchases, thus encouraging buyers to spend money on apps, movies, TV shows and music. The company announced additional payment options for its online store, including PayPal support, which will let people in 12 countries pay for apps and other digital content. More →
Google Play is a terrific place to find Android apps… if you happen to know exactly what you’re looking for. But as Android Authority’s Simon Hill points out, things get a bit trickier when it comes to discovering new apps out of the blue since the Google Play store’s app discovery process leaves a lot to be desired. More →
This past December, we reported that a popular Android app called Brightest Flashlight could do more than just shine light. Brightest Flashlight was a simple flashlight app that was highly-rated and had over 50 million installs. However, it had one devious, hidden feature: It would share personal data, such as your location, with advertisers. The FTC caught wind of this and began investigating the developer. According to GigaOm, the FTC reached a settlement with the developer last week, and it looks like he got away easy. More →
Gamers are frugal. If you’ve kept up with mobile gaming at all over the past several years, you’re already well aware of the rise of freemium games — they’re free up front, but require a small monetary investment, usually in the form of in-app purchases, for a reasonable rate of progression. The freemium market came to a head with the release of Candy Crush Saga about a year and a half ago, converting millions of non-gamers to obsessed puzzle fiends. In light of the shifting market, WildTangent has teamed up with research and analytics firm IHS Technology to examine the new trend of bucking one-time fees. More →
Even though the Nokia X trio of Android handsets actually runs a forked Android version that looks more like Windows Phone than Google’s famous mobile OS – and their OS are completely stripped off any Google apps including the Play Store – there’s actually hope that users will be able to run Android apps from Google’s app store in addition to Nokia’s store and all the other third-party supported application stores. More →
The long-awaited Pebble app store has finally arrived, and with it comes over 1,000 apps and watchfaces for your wearable device. Pebble announced on Monday that the appstore had finally gone live on the iOS version of the Pebble app, with the Android release coming “very, very soon.” The Pebble appstore is the first central location for developers to share their creations with the public and for Pebble owners to install and manage the apps on their smartwatches. More →
Distimo’s new app survey has many interesting data nuggets. One fascinating insight is that Apple had 18% app revenue growth in December over November, while Google Play app revenue growth was 17%. This is more interesting than it seems at first glance, because Google Play has been able to deliver far faster app revenue growth over the past two years, outpacing Apple app revenue growth by as much as fourfold according to some sources. Cheap Android phones are popular Christmas gifts and tend to lead to strong Android app revenue spikes in December. So how come Apple was so strong in the Christmas of 2013? More →
Google is joining in on the Black Friday festivities by announcing its Google Play store Cyber Weekend Deals on Friday. Android users can find great deals on music, books, TV, movies, and apps. Some of the best deals on the Google Play store include Kanye West’s Yeezus for $1.99, and each Lord of the Rings movie for $1.99. In addition, is offering a $25 Google Play store credit for anyone who buys a Nexus 7, which is unfortunately itself not on sale. Google did not specify how long this particular deal will last, only saying that it is “for a limited time.” Google’s Nexus 7 deal is similar to Apple’s Black Friday offer of Apple gift cards instead of discounts with the purchase of Apple hardware.
The Google Play Store is starting to take tablet apps seriously. Announced last month on the Android Developers Blog and spotted on Friday by Android Police, the Google Play Store is now only showing tablet-optimized apps in its top lists when accessed through a tablet. Apps that are not optimized for tablets will receive a “Designed for phones” tag, on the other hand. The Google Play Store has always lagged behind the iOS App Store in terms of tablet apps, so this move should encourage app developers to optimize more of their apps for tablets. More →
Even though Google doesn’t make money directly from sales of Android devices, it does benefit financially when more mobile subscribers use its online services and when they download apps from its Google Play app store. Barron’s flags a note from Citigroup analyst Mark May, who projects Google Play revenues will have compounded annual growth of 43% over the next four years and will grow from $1.3 billion in 2013 to $5.2 billion in 2017. Things look even better for Google when you factor in app-related ads, which May thinks will help Google Play generate a “$3.2 billion in total revenue contribution in 2014 and $7.2 billion in 2017.” In part because of this increased Google Play revenue, May raises his price target on Google shares from $1,025 all the way up to $1,190.
Yet another music streaming service has arrived on iOS devices, primed to duke it out for the top spot against Pandora and iTunes Radio. That service is Google Play Music, which has been available to Android users for years, but finally launched on the App Store on Friday. Google Play Music differentiates itself by allowing users to access up to 20,000 songs from their personal music collections over the cloud and even store their favorites for offline listening. The app also has a monthly subscription service dubbed All Access, which gives users unlimited access to millions of songs and custom radio stations based on their favorite artists, albums or songs. Everyone who signs up for All Access is entitled to a 30-day free trial. Once that expires, the service will cost $9.99 per month. More →