Google Play names best apps and games of 2012

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Dec 272012
 
Google Play

With 2012 about to wrap up, a variety of ‘Best of 2012’ lists have begun to appear everywhere. Google is no exception. It has published both the ‘Best apps of 2012’ as well as the ‘Best Games of 2012’ lists.

First a look at Google’s Best Apps of 2012:

These are some of the best apps available in Google Play. Some launched in 2012 while others issued updates that achieved a great combination of utility, beauty and accessibility. Almost all of them are available globally and offer a great user experience on both tablets and phones. From excellent tools to objects of beauty, each of these applications represents the best of Google Play.

And then there are the games:

2012 has been a wonderful year for games on Google Play. While it was difficult to select only a few, these games represent the best and brightest releases from indie developers and industry leaders alike. The selection covers everything from cute and innovative casual games to the latest blockbuster racing title. Search the stars for humanity’s last hope, assume the role of the funniest anti-hero in gaming or join friends in a multiplayer shooting deathmatch and experience the best in gaming today.

Here are Google’s choices:

If nothing else, these lists are sure to spur some discussion. Are there any that Google missed or perhaps should not have put on its lists?

Read more: Google Play apps and Google Play Best Games of 2012

Nov 132012
 

Google Nexus 4Google today began taking orders for the Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet along with the 3G 32GB Nexus 7. Devices sold out very quickly across a number of countries where they went on sale. Expected to go on sale at 12:00 ET in Canada and the U.S., Google actually began taking sales about 30 minutes earlier and seemed ill-prepared for the demand by eager customers.

There’s been so much interest for the Nexus lineup that we’ve sold out of some of our initial stock in a few countries! We are working hard to add more Nexus devices to Google Play in the coming weeks to keep up with the high demand. You can learn more about Nexus devices and stay updated at play.google.com/nexus.

In Canada, the 16GB Nexus 4 sold out in mere minutes with the 8GB model not far behind. Worse, the Google Play store was unable to deal with the demand. Users reported a host of issues preventing them from placing orders. Items vanished from shopping carts mid-transactions, orders failed to process successfully, and some customers even received order cancellation emails after having successfully placed their orders. All in all, it made for a very poor customer experience and left many fuming.

The Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets remain in stock in Canada at the time or writing this post. As for the Nexus 4, customers may now have to wait “weeks” to try ordering again.

Update: Google now lists the Nexus 4 as “sold out” rather than “coming soon”:

Sold out Google Nexus 4

Read more: Google Android [via Google+]

Google announces Price Protection for devices bought on Google Play

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Nov 102012
 

Google PlayWhen Google announced the 32GB Nexus 7 tablet, it also dropped the price on the 16GB model by $50 to that of the discontinued 8GB model. Needless to say, anyone who had bought the older model for the same price as the new one was somewhat unhappy to miss out. Google has now taken steps to address this by unveiling a new Price Protection policy for devices bought through Google Play.

If we reduce the price of a device on Google Play, we’ll refund the difference in price if your purchase occurred within 15 days of said price reduction.

To be eligible, requests for a price protection refund must be submitted within 15 days of the price reduction occurring.

If you bought a 16GB version of the Nexus 7 through Google Play on or after October 14th, 2012, you are entitled for a refund on the difference in price ($50). If you qualify, you can request Price Protection from Google through the Play Store support page.

Kudos to Google for this move!

Read more: Google Play

Google announces 32GB Google Nexus 7

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Oct 292012
 

Google Nexus 7Despite not holding its Android event today, Google announced the Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet. It also announced two new version of its Google Nexus 7 tablet. As expected, both will come with 32GB of storage. One will be Wi-Fi-only while the second will also offer HSPA+ data connectivity.

The 32GB Wi-Fi model will sell for CA$259/US$249 while the 32GB 3G model will sell for CA$309/US$299. The 16GB model drops to CA$209/US$199. The 8GB model has been retired and is no longer available.

The 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi models are available immediately while the 32GB 3G model will go on sale on November 13th.

Read more: Google

Google announces Google Nexus 10 tablet with Android 4.2

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Oct 292012
 

Google Nexus 10To go along with its new Nexus 4 smartphone, Google announced the Nexus 10 tablet. Billed as “a premium entertainment device,” it was developed together with Samsung. As expected, it comes with a 10.1-inch WQXGA (2560×1600) display. With Android 4.2 preloaded, it also introduces support for multiple users with switching on the lockscreen.

We believe that everyone should have quick and easy access to their own stuff — email, apps, bookmarks, and more. That way, everyone can have their own home screens, their own music, and even their own high scores.

Google Nexus 10 specifications:

  • Processor: 1.7GHz dual-core Cortex-A15 Samsung Exynos 5250 with Mali-T604 GPU
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.2
  • Cellular connectivity: None
  • Other connectivity: GPS/Glonass, 802.11 b/g/n (MIMO+HT40), Bluetooth 3.0, NFC
  • Display: 10.1-inch WQXGA (2560×1600)
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB or 32GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP with 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 1.9MP
  • Connectors: 3.5mm headphone jack, micro-USB, micro-HDMI, pogo pin
  • Battery: 9,000mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 263.9 x 177.6 x 8.9 millimeters / 603 grams

The Google Nexus 10 will go on sale on November 13th in Canada and the U.S. (as well as the U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Japan.). It will sell for CA$409/US$399 for the 16GB model and CA$509/US$499 for the 32GB one.

Read more: Google Play

Movie purchases and magazines now available on Google Play in Canada

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Oct 292012
 

Google may have canceled its Android event scheduled for today but it appears that some things that might have made it into today’s announcement are still being rolled out. Canadians (and Australians) now have the ability to buy movies through Google Play. Only rentals had been possible earlier.

Google Play movie purchases

Most recent releases look to be on sale for CA$19.99 for SD versions and CA$24.99 for HD versions. Looking through, it appears that purchase prices go as low as CA$7.99 for older movies or movies on sale (like some Halloween movies). Not all movies are available for purchase though. Rental prices remain unchanged in the CA$2.99 to CA$5.99 range.

Canada still does not have access to magazines, music and TV shows.

Update: Magazines are now also available in Canada. Individual issues as well as subscriptions are available. Prices vary by magazines.

Google Play magazine purchase

Read more: Google Play

Google Nexus 7 out of stock at Google Play

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Oct 292012
 

Google Nexus 7Both the 8GB and 16GB models of Google’s Nexus 7 tablet are sold out at Google Play in Canada and the U.S. this morning. Both are now listed as “coming soon.”

Google had been widely expected to announce a new 32GB model of the Nexus 7 tablet at its now-postponed Android event today. The new model would have replaced the 16GB model as the high-end US$249 model with the 16GB model replacing the 8GB model at US$199. The fate of the 8GB model remains unclear at this point.

Google was also expected to announce a 3G version of its new 32GB Nexus 7 tablet along with the new LG Nexus 4 smartphone, the Google Nexus 10 tablet and the latest version of its mobile operating system, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

Read more: Google Play

Google Play $0.25 app sale: Day 5

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Sep 302012
 

Google PlayThe celebrations marking 25 billion Google Play downloads wrap up today. Here is the list of apps on sale today for CA$0.25:

Happy shopping!

Read more: Google Play

Google Play app sale: Day 3

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Sep 282012
 

Google PlayThe celebrations marking 25 billion Google Play downloads continue today. Unlike the first couple of days, not everything is on sale for CA$0.25. Prices go up to CA$0.99. Here are the apps on sale today:

Happy shopping!

Update: Good news! All of today’s apps are now listed for CA$0.25.

Read more: Google Play

Google Play 25-cent app sale: Day 2

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Sep 272012
 

Google PlayThe celebrations marking 25 billion Google Play downloads continue today. Did you remember to save a few quarters for the second day of Google Play’s 5-day app sale. Today, the following are on sale for CA$0.25:

What did you pick up today?

Read more: Google Play

Google Play 25-cent app sale: Day 1 list

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Sep 262012
 

Google PlayAfter announcing earlier today that it had topped 25 billion Google Play downloads, Google has now kicked off its 5-day app sale with the following – All available for 25 cents:

If this sale goes like past sales, you can expect to see a fresh app lineup tomorrow so make sure to set aside a few quarters for tomorrow.

Happy shopping!

Read more: Google Play

Google Play hits 25 billion download milestone

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Sep 262012
 

Google today announced that Google Play, its app and media store, has surpassed the 25 billion download milestone. It was only in May that Google announced it had passed the 15 billion mark.

Twenty-five billion is more than twice the distance, in miles, that the Voyager 1 spacecraft has travelled since its launch 35 years ago. It’s the amount of time, in minutes, that have passed since some of our earliest ancestors began to set foot in Europe. And now, thanks to all of you, it’s a Google Play milestone. We look forward to the next 25 billion.

Google Play downloads to September 2012

Google Play launched four years ago as the Android Market. It was rebranded earlier this year. It now offers 675,000 apps and games.

To celebrate the event, Google will offer discounts on a number of apps for the next five days. Participating developers include Gameloft, Electronic Arts, Rovio, runtastic, Full Fat and more. It is also offering discounts on “special collections” like 25 movies you must own, 25 banned books, 25 albums that changed the world and our 25 top selling magazines

Apple hit the same milestone earlier this year.

Read more: Official Android Blog

Galaxy Nexus to return to Google Play next week with Android 4.1 preloaded

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Jul 052012
 

Galaxy NexusWhen Google pulled the Galaxy Nexus from the Google Play Store earlier this week, it only promised that it would return soon. It has now confirmed that it pulled its smartphone down in response to the pre-trial injunction obtained by Apple in its lawsuit against Samsung. It also told ABC News that it will resume sales next week.

As promised by Google, when the Galaxy Nexus goes back on sale next week, it will do so preloaded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Sandwich. Functionality at the core of the infringement suit will also be removed. Namely, the “Quick Search Box” will remain but only search the web. Its ability to search the phone’s own content will be removed.

For its part, Samsung will continue to pursue an appeal of the Galaxy Nexus preliminary injunction.

Read more: ABC News (Source: Electronista)

Google Play confirms Jelly Bean to be Android 4.1

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Jun 212012
 

Google appears to have inadvertently confirmed that Jelly Bean, the next major version of Android, will in fact bear version number 4.1 when it is announced. A description of the Galaxy Nexus in the Google Play cart indicates that it will soon be “the first phone with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.”

Android 4.1 spotted on Google Play

A second image, of the Galaxy Nexus itself, seems to sport elements of Android 4.1 including a new skin for the search bar and a new background image.

Google is expected to announce Android 4.1 (along with the Google Asus Nexus 7 tablet) at next week’s Google I/O event.

Read more: XDA-Developers (Source: The Verge)

Google Play Store now offering Galaxy Nexus accessories

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May 302012
 

Google today announced via Google+ that it is now offering accessories for the Galaxy Nexus through its Google Play store. Only three accessories are offered so far: A vehicle dock, the HDMI Portrait Desktop Dock, and the Desktop Dock with Pogo Pin.

Galaxy Nexus accessory on sale on Google Play

Accessories only support the HSPA+ version of the Galaxy Nexus (the same one that is sold on Play).

Like the Galaxy Nexus, the accessories are only available in the U.S. although Google has indicated that it will expand sales to other countries in the future.

Read more: Google Play (Source: Google+)