Google Play Store

PlayStation app now supports deletion of games from the PlayStation 5

PlayStation app now supports deletion of games from the PlayStation 5

Sony recently updated its PlayStation app with new features for owners of the PlayStation 5 game console. Sony had previously promised that it would add new features to the app specifically for the PlayStation 5 console, and some of those features have finally begun to land. The latest update for the PlayStation app is version 21.4, and it allows remote managing of storage on the PlayStation 5 console from within the app.

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Google Play Store finally fixes misleading app names and icons

Google Play Store finally fixes misleading app names and icons

Thanks to its more open nature, the Google Play Store has hundreds if not thousands of apps, many of them offering similar functionality or, in the case of clones, even identical assets. In an attempt to stand out from the rest, Android app developers can get pretty creative but not in a good way. After years of letting the status quo stay, Google is finally setting its foot down on what is appropriate to use as app names, titles, and icons as well as screenshots, graphics, and videos used to preview them.

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Google Play Store app install optimization rolls out

Google Play Store app install optimization rolls out

Google has always been banking on AI and machine learning to help improve its process in lieu of manpower. Machine learning, however, always requires more data to learn from, and there is perhaps no better source of millions of pieces of data than the millions of Android users out there. One such example is in optimizing how apps are downloaded and installed, a federated learning feature that Google has now started rolling out to Android users.

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Google Play Store ML detected almost 1 million violators last year

Google Play Store ML detected almost 1 million violators last year

Android boasts of a more open and more welcoming ecosystem compared to iOS and part of that is its less stringent process in screening apps entering the Google Play Store. Creating a sort of chicken and egg situation, it meant that it would be logistically impossible for Google to manually review each and every app submission that comes its way. Since the beginning, the tech giant has relied on AI and machine learning to detect policy violators and now Google is boasting just how successful that technology has been in protecting Android users last year.

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Malicious Google Play Store apps snoop on SMS to make purchases

Malicious Google Play Store apps snoop on SMS to make purchases

Android malware isn't exactly new but you might presume they only come from apps downloaded from some shady sources. Anyone following mobile news, however, will probably be aware of how apps on the Google Play Store may turn out to be carriers for such malicious software, sometimes taking weeks or even months before someone discovers them. Such is the case with another batch of such malware-laden apps on Google's officially sanctioned and recommended app store, ones that misuse existing features to make unauthorized purchases.

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Facebook sends cease-and-desist letters to a pair of popular apps for Android

Facebook sends cease-and-desist letters to a pair of popular apps for Android

When it comes to using Facebook on Android devices, lots of people out there don't use the Facebook app. For many they prefer the interface offered by so-called wrapper apps such as Swipe and Simple Social. However, both of those apps recently disappeared from the Play Store.

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APKPure app store app infected with malware

APKPure app store app infected with malware

Although Google naturally advocates using only its blessed Google Play Store, there is technically nothing that prevents users from using other sources for their app needs. While those alternative stores sometimes offer legit benefits over Google Play Store for one reason or another, they are sometimes also more targeted by malware authors because of their less restrictive policies and systems. In some cases, however, it may be the store owner's own actions that led to a security compromise as was the case of APKPure's own app.

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Google Play Store ditches hamburger menu, moves things around

Google Play Store ditches hamburger menu, moves things around

Out of all of Google's major Android apps, the Play Store is the one that perhaps sees the most number of redesigns, most of them coming without warning. Long before even the likes of Gmail and Calendar embraced it, the premier Android app marketplace began toting Material Design elements and principles, sometimes not to users' satisfaction. Google Play Store is undergoing yet another redesign, perhaps in the name of cleanliness and visual simplicity. Unfortunately, it could actually end up being more cumbersome to use with everything hidden behind groups and menus.

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Google Play will limit apps that can see what apps are installed

Google Play will limit apps that can see what apps are installed

Every Android release has seen a refinement of what was once an overly broad app permissions system. Today, users can grant or deny permissions on a case-to-case basis and developers are required to be more upfront about the permissions they need and why they need them. There are still some cases, however, where even the fine-grained permissions can be abused, forcing Google to tighten the noose. One such case is the ability to see what apps are installed on a phone, and starting next month, Google will start culling apps that don't have any business doing that.

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Google Play Store crowdsources optimizing Android apps

Google Play Store crowdsources optimizing Android apps

Once upon a time, Android apps were these monolithic packages that contained almost all versions of the app for all architectures and languages that it supports. Recently, Google has been pushing for a new system that put Android packages on a diet to make downloading, installing, and running them faster. Its latest trick is to learn how to better optimize that process and it's pretty much roping in almost all Android users in a crowdsourced "study" on how apps are being used after they are installed.

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Android Nearby Share can share Google Play Store apps

Android Nearby Share can share Google Play Store apps

There has been a focus on device-to-device file sharing on Android recently, partly due to the revelation about popular app SHAREit's security flaws. The reason third-party apps like this proliferate is that Android itself hasn't had a reliable, long-term file-sharing system across different phone brands. Google has been slowly, very slowly, working on its Android Nearby framework and its latest trick is to let users share not just files between two phones but even apps from Google Play Store.

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Google Play opens the door to gambling apps in more countries

Google Play opens the door to gambling apps in more countries

If lawmakers and regulators were already up in arms about loot boxes, especially in mobile games, they might have a storm coming once real gambling and betting apps start arriving on Google Play Store. Such apps that involve the risk of losing large sums of money have always been a thorny subject, which is why they were limited to an extremely low number of markets. Starting March, however, that will no longer the case as Google Play adds 15 more countries to that list.

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