The History of Google Play
Google Play is the offspring of Google Music, Google eBookstore, and the Android Market, which used to be the app of choice for Android users looking to install new free apps and games for their device. The three stores combined in 2012 into a single branded product and named Google Play. It was after this time that Google supported in-app subscriptions and allowed users to use the plan of their phone carrier for buying apps, games, and in-app purchases.
The Google Play Store: Offers
Desktop and laptop users can head to the URL play.google.com to browse apps, movies, and games, while those using Chromebooks and Android phones and tablets can open the Google Play app to download and install apps, movies, and games on their device.
The top five categories of the Google Play Store are: Apps, Movies, Books, Newsstand, Devices; all split into sub categories for interest topic, age, and category. Here’s some brief information of each category:
- Apps – See all the latest free and premium Android apps including Minecraft, Whatsapp, and Instagram.
- Movies – Browse the latest movies from Hollywood blockbusters to low-budget local flicks.
- Books – Read classic novels, short stories, and popular titles from bestselling authors like The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and Harry Potter.
- Newsstand – Read up to date news and find out the latest gossip, fashion, and cooking tips from digital magazines while on the move.
- Devices – Shop for a new Android phone to replace or complement your current device.
Google often releases promo codes for discounts on downloadable products from Google Play. Typical promotional periods are big yearly shopping events like Black Friday/Cyber Monday, Valentine ’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s day, Christmas, boxing day, monthly events, and discounts given to users for buying other Google products.
Buying Hints on Google Play
In order to download and install apps, games, and so on, you need to have a Google account and a compatible device to ensure compatibility. Since most apps and games are free to install, you won’t have to worry too much about payment options at first. But if you decide to make in-app purchases or buy a premium app, movie, or game to get rid of those pesky ads, Google Play will accept payment from MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover (US only), Visa Electron, debit cards, and PayPal. When you make your first payment with one of these methods, Google will save the details for future purchases and help you complete the process much quicker. You can also add a payment method to your Google account at any time.
If you’d prefer not to provide Google with your secure card details, then you can take advantage of Google’s other flexible payment options such as Google Wallet, direct carrier billing, or Google Play gift cards and promotional codes. With Google Wallet, UK and US users can use part or all of their balance to pay for products in the Play store. Alternatively, some mobile providers allow their customers to make digital purchases and then add the total cost to their next bill. You’ll see the charge on your online phone bill 15 after your purchase.
After completing payment of paid content, the app, in-app purchase, game, or movie is downloaded and installed to your device immediately. And even if you upgrade or lose your device, or buy an extra phone or tablet, all of your purchased items can be re-downloaded across every one of your Android devices; the only stipulation is that you must use the same Google account.
Getting Refunds from Google Play
If you’re not happy with your download or change your mind after hitting the install button, you can request a full refund of apps and games as long as you do so within a couple of hours of completing payment. Claiming a refund for downloaded movies must be done within 7 days and only if you haven’t already started watching it. Here’s how:
- Tap to open the Google Play app on your Android device or go to the Google Play website on your desktop or laptop computer.
- From the menu options, click on ‘My account’.
- Go to ‘Order History’ to locate the app, game, or movie you want to return for a refund.
- Tap ‘Refund’ to request the refund. If you are using your phone or tablet, the app will be uninstalled at the same time.
- Credit card refunds typically take 3 to 5 working days to process, Google Play balance and Wallet refunds are done within one business day, and PayPal refunds typically take 3 to 5 working days for the money to reappear in your PayPal account.
If you wait longer than two hours to request the refund of an app or game, you must contact the app or game developer using the contact information from the app or game description page and wait for their response to discover if they will refund your payment or not. Additionally, refunds for in-app purchases and subscriptions are at the discretion of the developer.
Google Play Online Marketing
Google don’t just stick to their own omnipresent marketing channels when communicating with Android fans online and advertising on social media sites. The dedicated Google Play Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube pages all have various types of content promoting new and popular apps and games, plus the occasion promotional code for discounts on Google Play.
Google Play App for Android
The Google Play app comes pre-installed on Android phones and tablets as standard. When you open the app for the first time, it will ask you to create or sign in to a Google account. Every time you open the app in the future, it will automatically sign you in to your Google account and will remember your download and purchase histories to ensure a seamless experience across all of your computing devices; much like how other Google services work on a computer.
The official Google Play blog is where you will find all the latest goings on in the world of Android. Posts are published by Googlers and other influential Google enthusiasts to ensure the blog publishes only the most accurate and up to date news, technology info, how to guides, culture, and recent releases on the Google Play store.
Getting Support on Google Play
If you need help with using Google Play or troubleshooting issues with your account, go to the Google Play Help Center to get answers to common questions. The support team can also be reached for free at 0800 328 6081 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm Saturday to Sunday. Certain issues will have further options to contact the Google Plus support team via email or live web chat. If you select the email option, rather than provide an email address, Google will recognise your Google account and ask you to complete the online form, which creates and sends the email to Google support for you.
To ensure you stay up to date with all the best deals from Google Play, browse and bookmark the special Google Play tag page on HotUKDeals.