google play store

Google Play Store: Official App Store (Android OS) | Complete Guide 2020

Google Play, earlier Android Market, is a digital distribution service controlled and designed by Google. It acts as the official app store for the devices that operate on the Android operating system, enabling users to surf and install applications developed with the Android software development kit (SDK) and issues through Google. 

The other interesting factor about Google Play is that it serves as a digital media reserve, and it gives access to several interesting and entertaining things such as books, movies, music, and television programs. This platform also provided Google hardware equipment for sale prior to the launch of an independent online hardware retailer, Google Store, established on March 11, 2015, and it also gave news announcements and magazines previous to the refurbish of Google News on May 15, 2018.

Users can install apps using Google Play, users can download a few apps for free but they have to pay some amount to download specific apps. Users can install these apps directly by using the play store app on your android device or by connecting the application to a device from the official Google Play website. 

Google Play store is considered as the best app providing platform, statistics also prove this point, Play Store hit more than 82 billion app downloads in 2016 and has expanded its applications capacity to 3.5 million apps issued in 2017. It has been the theme of several problems regarding security, in which spiteful software has been accepted and transferred to the store and installed by users, with different levels of seriousness.

On March 6, 2012, Google Play Store came into existence, and it has succeeded in bringing together Android Market, Google Music, and the Google eBookstore on to one single platform, marking a change in Google’s digital distribution scheme. 

Google Play also offers its services in several categories like Google Play Games, Google Play Books, Google Play Movies & TV and Google Play Music. After completing the re-branding process, Google has slowly extended the geographical backup for all the services it offers.

Android Applications

As per the records of 2019, Google Play Store has more than 3.5 million Android apps in its store. Users from 145 countries can use the services of Play Store to install applications, even though Google specifies on its privacy policy page that “their services are limited to certain countries and a few countries will not be able to enjoy the service they offer.”

App developers from more than 150 countries have access to publish their apps on this platform, however, it does not offer merchant registration services in all these locations. To publish their apps, developers need to pay a certain amount as a subscription charge to get their personal Google Play Developer Console account.

App developers have the power to decide which countries their app should be distributed to, and they also have the choice to decide the charges for the app and in-app purchases in every single country. 

The charges collected for installations are categorized into two parts, 70% is for the application charges, and the remaining 30% is directed to the distribution team and operating fees. Developers can increase their sales, using the real cost struck out and a poster under giving information to users when the sale ends. 

Google Play enables developers to launch recent versions of applications to a selected audience, as alpha or beta tests. Developers also have an option to launch their apps using planned releases, in which “your update reaches only a certain amount of your users, which you can maximize as time passes.” 

Users will get an option to pre-order the app he likes and waiting for (as well as movies, music, books, and games) this makes the items delivered as soon after they are out in the market. There are certain network carriers that provide billing feature for purchases made through Google Play, enabling users to include charges in mobile bill instead of paying using credit or debit cards. 

Users can raise a request to get a refund in less than 48 hours after purchase if “something you bought does not meet your requirements, or if its failure to meet your expectations if you ordered accidentally or else you change your mind regarding the purchase” Apps fulfilling certain usability criteria can count as a Wear OS app.

Games

Google Play Games can be simply described as an online gaming service for Android platform that gives real-time multiplayer gaming options, cloud saves, social and public leaderboards, and achievements, rewards and much more. Play store games has exciting features and rewards for its users.

The Google play was launched at the Google I/O 2013 Developer Conference, and the standalone mobile app was introduced on July 24, 2013.

Music

Google Play Music offers online music streaming services and online music locker. It has more than 40 million songs, and gives users offers cloud storage of up to 50,000 songs.

Google Play Music is accessible in 64 countries.

Books

Google Play Books is an ebook online distribution platform. Google Play provides more than five million ebooks for its users to purchase, and they can also upload up to 1,000 of their ebooks which are in PDF form or EPUB file formats. 

As per January 2017, Google Play Books is accessible in 75 countries. 

Movies and TV shows

Google Play Movies & TV is a video on demand service offering movies and television shows available for purchase or rental, depending on availability.

As of January 2017, movies are available in over 110 countries, while TV shows are available only in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, the United States and the United Kingdom.

User interface

Besides finding content by typing name, apps can also be explored through keywords given by the developer. When looking for apps, users have the choice to select the category they want to choose by pressing on recommended search filters, helping them to search apps fulfilling the required criteria of filters.

For the availability of apps, Play Store has few lists mentioning top apps in each category, including:

  1. Free – This section features most popular free apps of all time.
  2. Top Paid apps – Here you can see the most popular paid apps of all time.
  3. Top Grossing apps- This is a list of the apps which helps in generating highest possible income.
  4. Trending Apps – List of apps rated according to recent installations growth.
  5. Top New Free apps- Here you will find the most popular new free apps.
  6. Top New Paid apps- this list features most popular new paid apps.
  7. Featured apps- This section features new apps selected by the Google Play team.
  8. Staff Picks – a regularly-modified list of apps chosen by the Google Play team.
  9. Editors’ Choice – This is a list of apps that are popular as the best of all time.
  10. Top Developer – A list of apps made by developers considered the best. 

In the year 2017 March, Google added a “Free App of the Week” category, giving one normally-paid app for free. 

In the year 2017 July , Google play store updated its “Editors’ Choice” section to offer exact lists of apps considered to offer best Android user experiences from all themes available , such as fitness, video calling and puzzle games.

Google Play allows users to know the acclaim of apps, by showing the number of times the app has been downloaded by the users. The download count appears in a color-coded badge, with particular color patterns for outstanding certain app download milestones, including grey for 100, 500, 1,000 and 5,000 downloads, blue for 10,000 and 50,000 downloads, green for 100,000 and 500,000 downloads, and red/orange for 1 million, 5 million, 10 million and 1 billion downloads.

Users can give their reviews and ratings for apps and digital content offered through Google Play, which are showcased openly to the public. 

Ratings are given on a rate of 5-point scale. App developers can answer to reviews using the Google Play Developer Console.

Design

Google has completely re modified Google Play’s interface on multiple occasions. In February 2011, Google launched a website interface for the then-named Android Market that gives permission through a computer.

Applications bought are downloaded on an Android device, using “My Market Account” category which allows users to give their devices a nickname so that they can be easily recognized.

In May 2011, Google attached new application lists to Android Market, they are “Top Paid”, “Top Free”, “Editor’s Choice”, “Top Grossing”, “Top Developers”, and “Trending”.

In July, Google introduced an interface with a focus on featured content, more search filters, and (in the US) book sales and movie rentals. In May 2013, play store re modified its website interface looked similarly to the recently updated Android app.

In July 2014, the Play Store Android app added new headings to the Books/Movies sections, an additional data screen showing a list with the updated available app version, file size, and rating of the app, and simplified the app permissions prompt into overview categories.

A few days later, it got a redesign consistent with the then-new Material Design design language, and the app was again updated in October 2015 to feature new animations, divide up the content into “Apps and Games” and “Entertainment” sections, as well as added support for languages read right-to-left.

In April 2016, Google announced a redesign of all the icons used for its suite of Play apps, adding a similar style and consistent look. In May 2017, Google removed the shopping bag from the Google Play icon, with only the triangle and associated colors remaining.

Compatibility

Google announces the source code for Android via its “Android Open Source Project”, enabling the fanatics and developers to design and distribute their own revamped versions of the operating system. 

However, not all these updated versions are compatible with apps designed for Google’s official Android models. The “Android Compatibility Program” works to “explain a baseline execution of Android that is compatible with third-party apps written by developers”. 

Only Android devices that go along with Google’s compatibility criteria may download and access Google’s Play Store application. 

As mentioned in a help page for the Android Open Source Project, “smartphones or any other devices that are “Android compatible” can take part in the Android ecosystem, along with Android Market; devices that fails to reach the compatibility requirements stays outside that ecosystem. 

The Android Compatibility Program is nothing but a process explaining how they separate “Android compatible devices” from other devices that only run derivatives of the source code.

They welcome all benefits of the Android source code, but only Android compatible devices as defined and tested by the Android Compatibility Program may participate in the Android ecosystem.”

Some device manufacturers decides to work their self developed app store instead of or in addition to the Play Store. This includes Amazon choosing for Amazon Appstore in place of Google Play for its Kindle Fire tablet computers, and Samsung adding Galaxy Apps for its line of Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

Payment Methods

Google allows its users to make a purchase using credit or debit cards, carrier billing, gift cards, or they can also use PayPal. Google started taking off carrier billing charges for purchases from May 2012, followed by support for PayPal in May 2014.

Application Security

In February 2012, Google launched a new automated antivirus technology, called Google Bouncer, this scans both new and existing apps to check malwares if there are any.(e. g. spyware or trojan horses).

In 2017, the Bouncer feature and other safety parameters within the Android platform were re modified beneath the umbrella name Google Play Protect, a system that scans apps for viruses in regular intervals.

Android apps can check or need few permissions on the device, along with access to camera, location, microphone, calendar, phone, SMS, body sensors, storage, WI-FI, contacts, and access to Google accounts.

In the same year Google explained a new security feature called “peer grouping”, in which apps executing similar functionalities, such as calculator apps, are grouped together and qualities compared. 

If any one of the app stands out, like asking more device permissions than others in the same group, Google’s systems automatically marks the app and then security engineers take a closer look on it solve the issue. Peer grouping is built on app descriptions, metadata, and statistics such as download count.

Application Approval

Google have some statutes on the types of apps that can be published, particularly Google will not accept sexually explicit content, gambling, illegal activities, violence, bullying & harassment, hate speech,child endangerment, and requiring precautions for user-generated content.

In March 2015, Google revealed that over the past few months, it had been started using a blend of automated tools and human reviewers to verify apps to find malware and terms of service violations before they get published in the Play Store.

Google PlayStore FAQ

(1) What does Google Play Store offer?

Through Google Play Store users can install apps, games, and amazing digital content on your device. 

It also offers a feature to use instant apps without installing the app on your device. Most of the content is free, but for some content you’ll have to make a purchase.

(2) What does pre-order or pre-register means?

Pre-order or pre-register means nothing but it gives an opportunity to select your favorite movies, music, e-books, and audio books and they will appear in your library as soon as they’re available. Users can also pre-register for few selected apps and games that aren’t out yet.

(3) How to update apps?

Users can update their apps on their Android device individually or automatically. This process introduces you to the latest features and advancements in app security and stability.

For this, open the Google Play Store app > Tap Menu and then Settings > Tap Auto-update apps.

(4) What is Google Play Protect?

Google Play Protect is a feature that helps you in protecting your device from any kind of suspicious activities. 

  • It performs a safety test on apps that you download Play Store.
  • It also make sure to keep your device away from harmful apps or any other sources. These harmful apps are known as malware.

(5) Can I find family friendly content on Play Store?

Before publishing apps Play Store goes through a procedure and it requires certain eligibility criteria for an app to get published. 

It is also parents duty to check all information about an app before installing on their children’s devices. 

Open the Google Play StoreGoogle Play > Tap Games, Movies & TV, or Books > At the top, tap Family.

(6) What does Google Play Games means?

The games you install from Play Store give you immense pleasure and playstore always strives to find your favorite games and much more.  

“Instant play,” feature allows you to play the games instantly without installing. Save your achievements and keep an eye on all levels. Additionally, players can also start their game from where they left previously. 

(7) How does instant play apps function?

An instant app will load only the portions that you require at that particular point of time , based on the actions you want to perform. 

The portions of the app and any data they store are temporarily added to the device. To delete that data, see “clear the data for a specific instant app,”. 

(8) How to see recently used instant play apps?

Users can look at the list of instant apps they have used recently:

For this, On your device, open the Settings app Settings > Go to Google > Instant Apps.

Click on any app to check additional details of its usage. You can also see the instant apps you’ve used in your phone overview menu.

(9) How to install an instant play app?

The interesting feature of instant app is that you can use it without installing, but if you wish to use the app on your device regularly, then it’s better to install. You can find those apps on the Play Store or search for them in the Instant Apps menu:  

Open the Google Play Store app > Search or browse for the app > Select it > tap on install.

(10) How to clear the data for a specific instant app?

To clear data of instant apps you used:

On your device, open the Settings app > Go to Google Instant Apps > Tap on the instant app you want to change the setting for > Tap Clear app data.

(11) How to set a budget for Google Play expenses?

Open the Google Play Store app > on the left, tap Menu and then Account and then Purchase History > Select Set budget > Enter an amount and tap Save.

(12) How to change budget limit?

Open the Google Play Store app > On the left, tap Menu > Account > Purchase History > Select Edit budget > Change your budget and tap Save.

(13) How to check the money spent?  

On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Play Store app > On the left, tap Menu > Account > Purchase History.

(14) How to fix issues while setting or removing a budget?

To fix an error while removing a budget, check your data provider or mobile data connection, then try again.

(15) How to fix payment issues on your account in Android?

Try to pay with a different payment method:

Google Play Store > Go back to the item you want to buy & tap the price > Tap the current payment method > Choose a different payment method or add a new one.

(16) How to fix credit and debit card errors?

  • Check the information provided is correct and cross check your card & address is up to date.
  • Don’t forget to check about fund before making a purchase. 
  • Contact your bank or card issuer.

(17) How to add a payment method?

Google Play Store > Tap Menu > Subscriptions > Manage > Backup payment mode > In “Other Options,” select a payment method and add.

(18) How to remove a payment method?

Google Play Store > Tap Menu > Payment methods > More payment settings > In payments section select the method you wish continue and click Remove.

(19) How Edit a payment method?

 Google Play Store > Menu > Payment methods > More payment settings > tap Edit.

(20) How to review your order history?

On your Android device, open the Google Play Store app > Tap Menu then Account > Tap Purchase history.

(21) Is there any fee to make a purchase in play Store?

Google play store does not charge for making any kind of purchases on Google services like Google Play or Google Drive. 

The amount you pay is only for the purchases you make, there are a few applicable taxes, and delivery fees.

(22) How to change authentication settings on mobile?

To change the authentication settings, open the Google Play Store app Google Play > click on Menu and then click on Settings > Tap needed authentication to make purchases >and finally choose a setting.

(23) How to set up fingerprint authentication?

If your device supports fingerprint authentication, then you can link it with the Google Play purchases, and next time when you make a purchase it asks for your fingerprint scan.

Open the Google Play Store app > Tap Menu > Settings > Turn on Fingerprint authentication.

(24) What are the accepted payment methods on Google Play?

The payment methods accepted by Google Play Store varies from country to country. Here are some common payment methods:

American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa, Visa Electron.

(25) What are the unsupported payment methods?

Google Play can’t be used with:

Wire transfers, Bank transfers, Western Union, Money Gram, Virtual Credit Cards (VCC), Health Savings Account (HSA), Transit cards, and any escrow type of payment.

(26) Is there any feature available to add cash in play balance?

This feature is available only in japan, Indonesia and Mexico.

(27) Can I use Paypal to make a purchase?

Yes, users can use PayPal to make a purchase, they can buy apps and digital content on Google Play.

(28) How to add one or multiple accounts on your device?

If you haven’t already, set up a Google account. 

Open your device’s Settings app > Tap Accounts and then Add account and then Google > Follow the instructions to add your account > If needed, repeat steps to add multiple accounts. 

(29) How to switch between accounts?

Open a Google Play app > Tap Menu > Look for the name and email address of the account you’re using at the top of the screen > Tap Down arrow > Tap the account you want to use.

(30) How to update apps?

Users can both update the apps that are downloaded and installed on their Android device individually or automatically. The updating process enables you to experience the latest features and enhances the performance and stability of the app.

(31) How to update apps automatically?

To automatically update apps on your Android device:

Open the Google Play Store app > Tap Menu > Settings > Tap Auto-update apps > Select an option.

  • Update apps using either Wi-Fi or mobile data.
  • Update apps only when connected to Wi-Fi.

(32) How to update apps manually?

Open the Google Play Store app > Tap Menu > My apps & games > Games with an update available are labeled “Update.” You can also search for a specific game > Tap Update.

(33) How to update individual apps automatically?

Open the Google Play Store app > Tap Menu > My apps & games > Select the app you want to update > Tap Enable auto update.

(34) How to delete or disable apps on Android?

You can uninstall apps you’ve installed on your phone. If you remove an app you paid for, you can reinstall it later without buying it again. You can also disable system apps that came with your phone.

Open the Google Play Store app > Tap Menu > My apps & games > Tap on the app or game > Uninstall.

(35) How to disable apps that came with your phone?

You can’t delete some system apps that came pre-installed on your Android phone. But you can turn them off so that they won’t show on the list of apps on your phone.

Open your phone’s Settings app > Tap Apps & notifications > Tap the app you want to disable > Tap Disable.

(36) How to reinstall and re-enable apps (PC)?

You can use apps you bought on Google Play on any Android device without paying again. However, each device must have the same Google Account on it. You can:

  • Install an app on more than one Android device. 
  • Install an app on a new Android device. 
  • Reinstall an app you bought but deleted.

(37) How to reinstall apps or turn apps back on (Android)?

On your Android phone or tablet, open Google Play Store > Tap Menu > My apps & games > Library > Tap the app you want to install or turn on > Tap Install or Enable.

(38) How to hide devices & add device nicknames?

You can select which of your devices are shown on app menus on the Google Play website. 

If you hide the visibility of your device, you won’t be able to install apps to that device from your web browser. By adding a device nickname, you can make it easier to identify that device when installing apps.

(39) How to hide devices on Google Play?

If you no longer own or use a device, you can hide it so it’s not shown when you download something from your computer or mobile browser:

On a web browser, go to Google Play Settings > Under “Visibility,” next to each device you want to see in Google Play, select Show in menus.

(40) How to add a nickname to device?

You can add device nicknames to make them easier to identify, which can help when you have multiple devices associated with your account.

  • On a web browser, go to Google Play Settings.
  • Locate the device you’d like to add a nickname for and select Edit.
  • Under “Nickname,” name your device in the text field that appears.
  • Select Update to save your device’s nickname.

(41) Can I add & use on or more than one account on my device?

To start downloading and buying items on the Google Play Store app, you need to add a Google Account on your device. You can repeat the steps below to add multiple accounts to your device. 

(42) How to secure my account with recovery options?

You can help protect your Google Account and your Google Play purchases by adding account recovery options, like a backup email address or phone number. This helps us contact you if you ever forget your password or need help with your account.

(43) How recovery info helps?

A recovery phone number or email address helps you reset your password if:

  • In case if you forgot your password
  • If some unknown person is trying to get into your account. 
  • Or if you are unable to login due to any other reason

(44) How can I add or change a recovery phone number?

Go to Settings > Google > Google Account > At the top, tap Security > tap Recovery phone > From here, you can:

Add a recovery phone.

Change your recovery phone: Next to your number, select Edit

(45) How to add or change a recovery email address?

  • On your Android phone or tablet, open your device’s Settings app and then Google and then Google Account.
  • At the top, tap Security.
  • Under “Ways we can verify it’s you,” tap Recovery email. You might need to sign in.
  • Here, you can add or change your recovery email address.

(46) How recovery phone number is used?

  • To send you a code to get into your account if you’re ever locked out
  • To block someone from using your account without your permission
  • To make it easier for you to prove that an account is yours
  • To tell you if there’s suspicious activity on your account

(47) How recovery Email id is used?

  • To confirm your username after you create an email address
  • To help you get into your account if you forget your password or can’t sign in for another reason
  • To let you know if you’re about to run out of storage space
  • To tell you if there’s suspicious activity on your account

(48) How to view account activity? 

Go to your Google Account > On the left navigation panel, select Security > On the Recent security events panel, select Review security events > Check for any suspicious activity

(49) How to check which devices are using my account?

Go to your Google Account > On the left navigation panel, select Security > on the Your devices panel, select Manage devices > Check for any devices you don’t recognize.

(50) How to get rid of harmful software?

If you think your account has suspicious activity, you might need to remove harmful software. To improve your account’s security, install and run trusted anti-virus software.

You can also reset your computer to its factory settings and reinstall the operating system.

(51) Why an account recovery request gets delayed?

If you’ve already followed the steps to recover your account, you may see a message that your account is protected by a security hold. This is a delay between when a request to recover your account is made and when the account recovery claim is processed.

(52) Does this delay helps in anyway?

During this delay, we use your recovery info and other info you’ve provided to notify you that an account recovery request has been made. That way, if someone else is trying to access your account, you have time to deny the request and secure your account.

(53) How long account recovery request can be delayed?

Account recovery requests can be delayed for a few hours or a number of days, depending on a variety of risk factors. For example, if you added more security to your account by setting up 2-Step Verification, your account recovery request might be delayed for longer.

(54) What are the easy ways to avoid account recovery delays in future?

You can help make sure it’s easy to access your account by staying signed in, adding recovery info and keeping your recovery info current. If you use Two-Step Verification, you can add backups to give you more ways to verify it’s you.

(55) How to change your Gmail password?

  • Open your Google Account
  • Under “Security,” select Signing in to Google.
  • Choose Password. You might need to sign in again.
  • Enter your new password, then select Change Password.

(56) How to keep my account more secure?

  • Do a security checkup
  • Add or update account recovery options
  • Turn on 2-Step Verification
  • Remove risky access to your data
  • Turn on screen locks

(57) How does 2 step verification will protect my account?

  1. Step Verification helps prevent a hacker from getting in to your account, even if they steal your password. To avoid common phishing techniques associated with text message codes, choose a stronger second verification step.

(58) What is advanced protection program?

Advanced Protection Program for a higher level of security. Advanced Protection uses security keys to protect against phishing and includes other protections like blocking insecure apps.

(59) How removing access to specific apps help?

Consider removing account access for any non-essential apps to better protect sensitive information.

Manage apps with access to your account and learn more about the risks.

Turn off access for apps that use less secure sign-in technology.

(60) How screen locks will protect the information?

Screen locks help protect your devices from being used without your permission. For info on adding a screen lock on other devices and computers, visit the manufacturer’s support site.

(61) How does alerts for sign in helps?

The alert gives the time and place of the sign-in. If something looks suspicious to you, for example if you weren’t the one to sign in, head to the Recently used devices to help secure your account. There, you can manage which devices have access to your account and see when they were last used.

(62) How to tackle with suspicious activity in your account?

To tackle with these kind of activities, Sign in to your Google Account, create a new password. The new password should be impenetrable and it should be the one that you haven’t used for any other websites.

(63) How to make Google as homepage?

  • In the top right corner of your computer’s browser, click More More and then Settings.
  • Under “Appearance,” turn on Show home button.
  • Select your current homepage or Enter custom web address. Then, enter: www.google.com.

(64) How to turn off or turn on cookies?

  • On your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app.
  • At the top right, tap More More and then Settings.
  • Tap Site settings and then Cookies.
  • Turn Cookies on or off.

(65) Why cookies are helpful?

Cookies are files created by sites you visit. They make your online experience easier by saving browsing information. With cookies, sites can:

  • Keep you signed in
  • Remember your site preferences
  • Give you locally relevant content

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