Possibly the main key to the astounding success of the tablet, and indeed the smartphone, is the app. Apps allow users to do pretty much anything from listen to music, surf the Internet, pay bills or even play games; they give a smart device its functionality. For the various mobile platforms, the main place to get these apps is the app store. Android users have Google Play, which has recently undergone a revamp.
Here’s an overview of the new Google Play layout which was introduced May 15, along with some tips on how you can get the most out of it.
The new layout
When you first open the updated app you will notice that there is now a series of buttons under the search bar. These colorful buttons will bring you to the different services associated with Google Play. For example, in the US there is now a button for: Movies & TV, Books, Games, Music, Magazines and Apps. Tapping on each will take you to the different stores. i.e., Apps will take you to the Apps section of the Play store.
Each section of Play now has an expanded layout, with three (two for phones) apps/books/albums per row. Just below the search bar is a horizontal menu bar that you can swipe left or right to see different options. For example, on the Apps section you will see the different app categories like Home, Top Paid, Top Free, etc. Swiping to the left will bring up more app categories.
Each app is now shown in its own card with a larger picture, the name, rating and price. Tapping on an app will open a new window that shows more information about that specific app. All apps now have integration with Google+ meaning that if a friend +1’s the app, their profile picture will show up in the app’s information.
Probably the biggest update, aside from the improved layout, is Google Play will now notify you when there is a large app update, if you are connected to mobile data. This is really useful, especially if you have a limited amount of data.
How to use the new Play store
While the idea and basic use of Google Play hasn’t changed, it may be harder to find some information, or to figure out how to use it at first. Here’s an overview of how to use the new Play store:
You can either tap the Apps button from the landing page of the Play store to look for apps, or type the name or type of app you’re looking for in the search bar. Once you find the right app, tap on it to bring up the information screen. Pressing Install at the top of the window will open the App permissions window. Tap Accept and the app will download and install. If it costs money, you will first be asked to select a method of payment before you are able to download.
Find what apps you have installed
Searching your tablet for apps you have installed can be a be a chore. Luckily Google Play keeps a record of all apps you have installed. To see your apps:
- Open Google Play.
- Press the three vertical grey squares in the top right of the window.
- Select My apps.
- You can tap on an app to bring up more information about it, and uninstall it by tapping Uninstall.
Tinker with your settings
We recommend that you take a minute and ensure your settings meet your requirements. You can access Google Play’s settings by:
- Opening Google Play.
- Pressing the three vertical grey squares in the top right of the window.
- Selecting Settings.
It is a good idea to tap on Auto-update apps and set it to Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only. This will ensure that you are not using mobile data to download updates. If you have a credit card linked with your Google account, it is a good idea to set a password to restrict purchases. Simply tap on Password from the Settings menu and enter a password.
Overall, this update makes the Google Play store look inviting, and easier to use. If you would like to learn more about how an Android tablet or device can be used in your organization, contact us today.