Ultimate Guide To Google Play (Part 1)

9/11/2012 1:08:45 AM

The Google Play store is the hub for apps, books and movies. Here’s everything you possibly need to know about the ultimate media store

Formerly known as the Android Market, the recently rebranded Google Play store brought with it an entirely new looks and image, but still maintained the same elements as before.

Description: Google Play
Google Play

On first instance, you may think that the Google Play store is just for packing your Android device out with the latest and greatest apps, but if you dig a little deeper you’ll soon find a host of other things you can download to enhance your Android OS experience.

Apart from the vast selection of over 400,000 apps, there’s also a dedicated book section, entitled Play Books, where users can find their favorite novels and download them on to their device. Thanks to the update to this service, Play Books uses its own dedicated reading service to help show you what you’re reading in the best possible quality. The selection is vast, and most can be purchased for a fraction of the price you’d expect to pay within a real life book shop. If a particular book takes your fancy, you can share the details of it to a friend, or post a link to it directly on to Facebook or Twitter. For avid readers there’s no need to worry about your vast selection of books clogging up the memory on your device, as every book you choose to download is stored in cloud storage. This gives you access to them wherever you are without wasting your internal storage on them.

“Split into a variety of sections, all aimed id the perfect app"

Description:  Google Play Book App

Google Play Book App

The other section within the Google Play store is the movie section, entitled Play Movies. Although a dedicated movie section has been around for a while now, the collection of movies on offer has rapidly grown only recently. Users can now choose to preview their favorite movies, watch trailers and then rent or purchase the movie. Renting a movie gives you full access to said movie for 24 hours, while purchasing it will keep it on your phone until you decide to delete (only a small selection of movies can be bought outright). The benefits of renting a movie from the Play Movies section are that you can stream it directly on your device, with no download and no fuss. Any app that you do purchase will be tied to your Google account, meaning you’ll be able to access it across any device that you can access with your Google account.

Fundamentally, the main reason we go on to the Google Play store is to download apps, or in some cases, manage our own apps. With the rebranding of the aforementioned Google Play store, users had more power to control their apps, without having to laboriously go through various settings menus. The My Apps section within the Store enables users to check for updates on their currently installed apps, and also see what the update will add to the current app, and notify you of any changes to the app’s permissions. Through this section you can also navigate through various app settings, and even get a refund on apps you’ve purchased up to 15 minutes before. In most cases this will be a tablet or desktop computer, but you can even set up your phone to stream the movie directly to the television in your living room.

Description: The app section of the Google Play store is split in to a variety of sections; all aimed at helping you find the perfect app.

The app section of the Google Play store is split in to a variety of sections; all aimed at helping you find the perfect app.

The app section of the Google Play store is split in to a variety of sections; all aimed at helping you find the perfect app. As you’d expect, every app that’s uploaded is put in to a category. Not only is this a great way of keeping different types of apps separate from each other, it also allows your users to search for a certain category of apps. Even before downloading an app, the Google Play store has a host of options for you to check out. Each dedicated app page has a description of the app, as well as details about how to contact the developer, and also a notification on whether your device will be compatible with it. Paying for apps is a lot simpler with the Google Play store, and you can switch between different payment methods easily. After you’ve finished downloading the app, the app will then appear in your My Apps section where you can take a closer look at its settings, and receive a refund for it if you don’t like it within the first 15 minutes of using it.

The Google Play store is also great at notifying you of any sales that are currently happening within the store, and it isn't too hard to find something with a big discount attached. Although some may think that discounts only happen to certain apps, it’s fairly common to see exclusive deals on many books and movies as well. If you’re having trouble finding a movie, book or app that takes your fancy, then you can check out the brilliant Trending and Editor’s Choice sections. Each section of the Google Play store has a version of the Editor’s Choice section that can be found in the Apps section. These are often new films that the Store wants to showcase, or in some cases, blockbuster hits that have been highly rated. Within the Apps section, you’ll also find a Trending section. This will list some of the most downloaded apps of the past week or so, but the quality is often mixed.

Description: One of the more clever features of the Google Play store is the links that can be made from it directly to your device

One of the more clever features of the Google Play store is the links that can be made from it directly to your device

One of the more clever features of the Google Play store is the links that can be made from it directly to your device, especially when you access the Store from a desktop computer. If you use the same Google account that’s on your Android device when you access the Store on your computer, you'll be able to download apps from your computer directly on to your phone. In the same instance, you can then access the My Apps section of the Store while on your computer and uninstall any apps from your device.

When you start really digging a little deeper in to the rather plain fascia of the Google Play store, you’ll soon uncover a host of new features you wouldn’t have noticed before. And with Google pushing out incremental, but frequent updates to the Store, the best is surely yet to come.

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