Google lowers minimum app prices in 17 countries

Android Lineup - Beige

To many people around the globe, 99-cent apps might still be too expensive. In an effort to reach more people worldwide, Google has lowered the minimum app price in the Play Store for 17 countries, after a successful pilot in India earlier this year. Prices vary depending on location: Indians enjoy the lowest minimum price of 10 Indian Rupees (15 cents), while folks in Turkey and Ukraine will be able to buy the cheapest apps for 21 cents each. Poland is getting the smallest price cut of them all, but the minimum amount still costs less than half a dollar at 45 cents. You can find the full price list below the fold with their US dollar conversations. If you're a developer willing to sell at a lower price, you can adjust your apps' pricing scheme under "Pricing & Distribution" or "In-app Products" in Google Play's Developer Console.

Source: Android Developers Blog, Google Support

Google Play Books is more comic friendly thanks to vertical scrolling

Is Google Play Books your go-to app for reading comic books? If so, your digital page turning is about to get a whole lot better. While the app is getting a number of updates, the most notable is the introduction of vertical scrolling. Rather than having to flip to the next page, which can be a bit awkward when it comes to comics on a phone or tablet, simply turn your device to landscape mode and scroll vertically with a swipe. There's a curated series section too, organizing volumes, issues and editions of some of the most popular titles. To help you find new reading material, the app will also offer personalized recommendations based on what you're reading. Just as a reminder, Google Play Books houses comics from major publishers like DC Comics, Marvel, Image, IDW and Dark Horse. The update is rolling out to Android users "over the next few days" and iOS is said to follow soon after for users in the US, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, India, Singapore, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Google’s redesigned Play store starts rolling out

After being teased last week by Google engineer Kirill Grouchnikov, the redesigned Play store has apparently started showing up on some Android devices. Android Central says the new mobile shop for apps, books, music, movies and more, which features a simplified tab-based interface, hit one of its smartphones last night. We checked ours to no avail, so you shouldn't freak out if it's not on yours either. Now that it's out there for certain people, it won't be too long before everyone can begin using it. Patience is a virtue.

Source: Android Central

Google Play’s pending redesign gets an early tease

While an app store redesign may not be the most exciting update, there are some pending tweaks to the Google Play store app that tidy things up a bit. Thanks to Google software engineer Kirill Grouchnikov, we have an early look at a few of the changes. Aside from some aesthetic polish and scrolling animations, Google is dividing the store into two main parts: Apps & Games and Entertainment. Google Play is currently divided into six categories that appear when you first open up the app, so reducing those down to two seems to simplify matters a bit. There's also support for languages that read right to left, based on some of the screenshots Grouchnikov uploaded to Google+. Unfortunately, there's no indication as to when Android users will receive the update. For now, you can see how the Google Play has evolved since its early days as Android market on the other side of the break.

Via: The Verge

Source: Kirill Grouchnikov (Google+)

Bell Canada gets slapped for fake App Store reviews

Bell Canada has been handed down a $1.25 million CAD ($970,719) fine by Canada's competition bureau after its employees posted fake reviews of Bell apps. According to the regulator, the carrier "encouraged" staff members to post glowing testimonials of the MyBell Mobile and Virgin My Account apps on the App Store and Google Play. Unfortunately, these overenthusiastic write-ups neglected to mention that they were written by people on Bell's dollar. Oops.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Canadian Competition Bureau, Globe and Mail

Google gives your Android apps more room to breathe

Google Play app search

Google just introduced a low-key change that could make a big, big impact on the Android apps you use. The search giant has doubled the maximum initial download size for apps from 50MB to 100MB, giving developers more headroom before they have to rely on post-install downloads like the ones you often see for large games. That will not only spare you from rude surprises when you're launching apps for the first time, but allow for more complex apps than were possible before.

Source: Android Developers Blog

Android app makers can experiment with Play Store listings

Google Play Store Developer Pages

Those rumors of Google letting Android app developers experiment with what you see in the Play Store? Yes, they're true. Creators can now conduct tests to see what pricing works best, or whether one icon color is more alluring than others -- you'll only view one of each while the test is ongoing. Also, app makers are getting Developer Pages (shown above) that showcase all of their apps, so you'll have a one-stop shop for everything from your preferred brand. If all goes well, you'll find more Android apps with prices you're willing to pay, and you won't have to scrounge quite so much to get every app you need.

Don't miss out on all the latest news and updates from Google I/O 2015. Follow along at our events page.

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Google adds pre-registration and alerts for Android apps

Starting with Glu's Terminator Genisys: Revolution mobile game, you can now pre-register for apps from the Play store. Now if a developer wants to drum up some interest before an app release, they can stick a placeholder page in the store where users can sign up and receive an alert on their phone when the app is actually released. This is obviously handy for users, but it can also help devs gauge interest in their apps before they're released.

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Via: Android and Me

Source: Terminator Genisys: Revolution (Google Play)

Android developers will get to experiment with app prices

Google Play on a Galaxy S6 Edge

When you make a mobile app, you usually have to find out the hard way what will sell. You can't fiddle with pricing for just a few people, for instance. All that could change very shortly in the Android world, however. Sources for The Information claim that Google is introducing a feature that lets Android developers try different versions of the same Google Play Store page. You could not only see different previews of the app, but different pricing -- the creator could charge you $2 for that hot new game, but ask $3 from others to see if they'll accept higher pricing.

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Source: The Information

Google’s staring down the barrel of a Russian antitrust probe

It's only been two days since Russian search giant Yandex accused Google of anticompetitive mobile shenanigans, and the country's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has already leapt into action. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier today that Russia's antitrust body is kicking off a probe investigating how Google requires some smartphone makers to preload its apps onto their devices before they hit store shelves. If those deals are found to have run afoul of Russian law, Google could be on the hook for some hefty fines and might even have to change how it licenses Android to device makers.

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Source: Wall Street Journal