Google Play Changes Purchasing So Kids Can’t Go On In-Game Shopping Sprees

Google Play Changes Purchasing So Kids Can’t Go On In-Game Shopping Sprees

Many smartphone or tablet owners have done it, whether we have kids of our own or not: handed our devices over to a youngster that we’re tasked with entertaining. Now Android users can lock kids and other guests out of accessing their real wallets with in-game currency purchases. [More]

Google Sued Over Kids’ In-App Currency Purchases

Google Sued Over Kids’ In-App Currency Purchases

While the folks at Apple have already settled civil and regulatory complaints about in-app purchase policies that allowed children to run up huge bills on their parents’ accounts, the Google Play store has only recently come under scrutiny for its allegedly lax controls. Now, a mom in New York has filed a potential class action against the Internet giant, claiming its policies encourage kids to waste their parents’ money. [More]

EA Doesn’t Really Want People Sharing Negative Game Reviews Where Someone Might Read Them

EA Doesn’t Really Want People Sharing Negative Game Reviews Where Someone Might Read Them

It’s almost time to start thinking about this year’s Worst Company In America tournament, which can mean only one thing — two-time reigning WCIA champ Electronic Arts is once again making a final push to be hated by its own customers. This time, the video game giant has been caught apparently trying to game the Google Play review and ratings system. [More]

“Kid-Friendly” Plastic Surgery Apps Pop Up On Apple, Google Stores

“Kid-Friendly” Plastic Surgery Apps Pop Up On Apple, Google Stores

Because there’s nothing children love more than animated fat-shaming and liposuction, a supposedly youngster-friendly plastic surgery app has popped up in various forms (and has also been taken down) on both Google Play Store the and Apple App Store. [More]


Google Play Saga Becomes A Cautionary Tale For Customer Service Staff

Tim put his faith in Google. He ordered up a Chromecast video streaming device and a Nexus 4 smartphone from the Google Play store, canceling his existing cell phone plan before a planned move. Then his package from Google didn’t come. The Chromecast was backordered, but his phone wasn’t. Still the package didn’t come, even though the phone was supposed to ship separately. [More]


Apple Inches Closer To Streaming Music Service

Given that Apple reshaped the music industry with the iPod, it’s still a bit of a surprise that it’s been so far behind the curve on launching its own streaming music service. But a new report claims that Apple is now closing deals that would clear the way for it to stream away, right into users’ ears. [More]

Google Thinking About How To Let Users Cherry-Pick App Permissions

Google Thinking About How To Let Users Cherry-Pick App Permissions

When you download an app from the Google Play store — or when an update to an already downloaded app includes a change in permissions — users are required to accept those permissions before downloading. But there is no way to say no to any single permission, so users are either begrudgingly downloading apps with permissions they don’t want or not downloading otherwise acceptable apps because they are concerned about these permissions. But one Google engineer says there may be some hope. [More]

We weren't exactly blown away by our first stab at creating a radio station on Google's new All Access service.

Google Launches Subscription Music Service, World Continues To Spin

During the keynote speech at today’s Google I/O conference, the company unveiled its latest offering — a music subscription service that appears to be intended for users of existing services like Pandora, Spotify and Rdio. [More]

Facebook Home Earning Oodles Of Negative Feedback From Google Play Reviewers

Facebook Home Earning Oodles Of Negative Feedback From Google Play Reviewers

Earlier this month, Facebook announced Facebook Home, the massive upgrade of its Android smartphone app that basically puts the social networking site front-and-center on your device. The app began rolling out to customers late last week, and some of the responses may have you waiting to press “update.” [More]

The update alert being pushed out to some Android users (via

Facebook Android App Wants To Bypass Google Play Store For Updates

As most Android users know, one of the nice things about the operating system is that you don’t always have to get your apps through the official Google Play app store. But usually, any future updates to an app come through whichever store you downloaded the app from. Except now Facebook is asking some Android users to accept an update in the app itself that would allow future updates to be pushed through without notice. [More]

(Hofman Photos)

Want Ad-Blocking Apps On Your Android Device? Don’t Expect Google To Sell Them Anymore

Until yesterday, Android users could go into the Google Play store and find a bunch of apps developed to block ads from showing up on your wireless device. But now Big G has decided these types of apps violate its policies. [More]

Gift-Givers, Beware Of Google’s Short Return Window For Nexus Devices

Gift-Givers, Beware Of Google’s Short Return Window For Nexus Devices

Are you buying a product from Google’s Nexus line as a gift this holiday season, or for an upcoming special event? It’s too late for reader Joan, but she wants everyone to know that you should probably make your purchase from somewhere with a looser return policy than the Google Play store if your gift-giving occasion is more than two weeks or so away. That’s because you can’t return items more than 15 days after purchase unless they’re defective. [More]

You can't buy this.

Sorry, You Can’t Buy Nexus Devices With Your $350 Google Play Store Credit

Michael’s plan seemed like a really great idea at the time he hatched it. He wanted to make sure that he would have the money for a Nexus 4 set aside, so he purchased $350 worth of credit for the Google Play store. The phone’s available for sale there, so this made perfect sense. Until the phone actually launched. When he could finally get through to place his order, he learned that Play Store credit specifically couldn’t be used on Nexus devices. Oh, no. [More]

(Eric Hauser)

Verizon Closing Its App Store Because You Can Buy Apps Everywhere Else, So Why Bother?

Those Verizon Wireless customers with a Blackberry or Android phone will soon have one less icon on their phoens come January 2013, as Verizon announced it’s killing off its branded app store at that time. Why? Simply because with all the other ways for customers to access apps for their phones, the company says it’s not needed anymore. [More]

(Dee Adams)

It Gets Worse: Galaxy Nexus Takes 3.5 Months To Show Up Using 2-Day Shipping

Just a few hours ago, we shared Dan’s complaint about Google Play and its inability to ship him a phone. Jameson responded to our call for stories about Nexus orders gone wrong shortly afterward, sounding a little guilty: maybe he could have saved Dan and other customers all this trouble. See, he ordered a Galaxy back in July, and it took three and a half months and a lot of wrangling with Google to get it to show up. [More]

Google Doesn’t Send My Galaxy Nexus, Doesn’t Know Why

Google Doesn’t Send My Galaxy Nexus, Doesn’t Know Why

Purchasing an unlocked Galaxy Nexus directly from the Google Play store is very easy. The problem seems to be in getting it. Dan ordered his phone almost two weeks ago, and wonders where it is. Google’s customer service representatives are very nice, but completely powerless and don’t have anything to tell him. The phone is supposed to be shipping now. Where is Dan’s? Is anyone else having the same problem? (Update: Yes, they are.) [More]

The Google Algorithm Has Become Self-Aware and Self-Hating

The Google Algorithm Has Become Self-Aware and Self-Hating

Reader golddog has been noticing some unflagged messages/false positives coming from Gmail’s spam filter, but noticed something in his spam box that really, really shouldn’t have been there. It was a message from Google itself, promoting a Google product for sale. The Gmail account that golddog uses on his Android devices flagged this message, naturally, as spam. [More]


Google’s Settlement With Group Of Publishers Means You Can Read More Before You Buy

It’s taken all of seven years and plenty of time in court, but Google and a group of publishers have finally reached an out-of-court settlement to resolve a dispute over the digitization of books for the Google Library Project. What does that mean? Hopefully that longer samples of books will be available in Google Play before consumers have to decide whether or not to buy it. [More]