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Android How-To: Google Play Store

Saturday, June 29th, 2013 by | Filed Under: Android

We’ve had a lot of questions recently finding apps for Android tablets. Not a surprise since Android by Google, is now the number one portable electronics operating system. At WorldStart, we always keep our readers updated on the latest and most popular tech, so we’ll be doing a multi-week series on how to use Android. If you don’t own an Android device yet, it’s still worth reading. Google gives away the source code to Android. That means it’s showing up on more devices every day.

Part 4: Androids  Google Play Store

The Google Play is the one-stop spot for Apps, Music, Books, Magazines, Movies and TV shows. To access the Google Play store, start by tapping the Play Store icon in your apps folder. The store requires a Google account, which you can create (the interface will walk you through creating a new account) or use an existing Google account. You have the option to add a credit card to your Google Wallet to pay for purchases or to buy Google Play gift cards at most major retailers.

Once you log in, the interface is pretty simple to understand. On the right of the home screen you’ll see a list of categories where you can select the type of content you’re looking for.  In the upper right-hand corner is three vertical squares which allows you to access your settings and account. Next to that is a magnifying glass icon which allows you to search in the store, and next to that is an arrow with a line under it which will show you installed and downloading content and allow you to update already installed Apps.

The interfaces for Music, Books, Magazines and Movies & TV are very similar, each showing a list of the most popular titles. You can swipe to the left or right on the grey bar to select different lists such as a Categories, Top Selling, New Arrivals In Fiction or other popular lists. Each listing will show the title of the product, a price and a star rating given by users. You can use the magnifying glass in the upper right corner to search for a specific title.

Once you click on an item you’ll be presented with a detailed description provided by the manufacturer, along with user submitted reviews. Some content may have an option to download a free sample, while others will just show a price. If you wish to purchase click on the price and enter in your Google password to confirm the purchase.

The most popular section of Google Play Store is the Apps section. In this interface you’ll see a series of lists you can tap on to select including Top Paid, Top Free, Top New Free and Categories. These sections let you easily identify the most popular and often downloaded Apps. The Categories list is useful if your looking for a type of App (say a game), but don’t have a specific one in mind. If you already know what App you want to download, you can search for it by tapping on the magnifying glass. Each app in a list will display the name of the App, the price, and a star rating given by users of the app.

Once you tap on an App, you’ll be presented with a detailed description, a selection of screens or videos, a price if it’s paid or “install” if it’s free or you already own it. Under the app icon on the left you’ll see the number of downloads, date last updated and the size of the App. If you scroll down on the right-hand side you’ll see detailed user reviews including comments about the App. To install the app either tap on the price if it’s a paid app or click Install if it’s a free app. The app should automatically install for you once it’s finished downloading, and appear in your Apps list (the six small squares icon on many Android home screens).

 Tap the arrow facing down with the line under it in the upper right hand corner to bring you to the My Apps list.  It will show you currently downloading apps along with apps you’ve purchased on your Google Play Store account. You can easily reinstall any purchased app y by going to the All category and clicking on a previously downloaded app and choosing Install.

One of the most common questions I’m asked is,  “What if you accidentally purchase an App?” Well Google has you covered with a 15- minute return policy. This may seem short, but the goal is to refund accidental app purchases, not let you use apps then return them when your done with them. For detailed instructions on how to return an App click here.


P.S. Your Google Play Store may look different then mine since Google is updating and changing it constantly. Want a crazy example? As I was writing this article the store updated to look pretty different. Take a look below, the screenshot on the left is the look when I started writing this article and the screenshot on the right is when I finished.


If you have any questions about Android, ask us by clicking here.

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