Google Play Store is the platform for digital distribution of Android applications of the Internet giant. It works as an online store and in addition to applications and games, it also includes films, series, music and selected devices from Google’s own brand, Pixel mobiles or Chromecast streamers, among others.
Similar in concept and operation to the Apple App Store for iOS, the Google Play Store is a very important platform as it is the official store for an operating system that holds an 85% market share of all mobile phones sold on the planet. It includes a good number of free applications and games, as well as other paid ones that thousands of developers, big and small, offer in the store and with which they earn a percentage of the revenue.
The ease of use of the store is total given that its dedicated application is included in practically all new Android phones or tablets. From there, finding, downloading, and using the apps is super easy. But perhaps a good part of users only do this and miss other lesser known features and at different levels. We review ten tips or tricks to better take advantage of the possibilities of the store.
Google Play Store: tips and tricks
test and refund
Google is pretty lenient when it comes to refunds for things you bought from the store that you don’t like. The process is quick and easy and all you need to do is use the Google Play refund form. For apps and games, you have 48 hours after purchase to request a refund. Other content, such as music, movies, and books, has a longer time window. For other periods, you can alternatively contact the developer and refunds are possible.
Unlock beta and early access apps
If you hear about an upcoming online game or app that you want to try, you can check to see if it’s available in “early access,” a development model that’s also heavily used in PC gaming. You will find them under the heading “For you” located under the Applications in development. These types of software may be buggy and not well optimized yet, but with this method they can be tested before release.
Find apps by developer
When searching for apps in the store, you can use the pub modifier:[nombre del desarrollador] to filter the search results to show only apps whose developers match this query. This is handy if you like a certain app and want to see other work from a particular developer.
Install Region Locked Apps
Sometimes an application we are interested in is only available in a particular country, either because the developer only has the resources to support one domain or because of an agreement with the publishers. A good way to circumvent these blocks is to use a VPN of which there are many offers, many of which are free, in the same Google store.
Reviews on a certain software can help the user’s choice, but not all of them are equally useful. In the Google Play Store, you can filter reviews and see only the most relevant:
- Enter the store.
- Select the app.
- Read all reviews
- Select the most relevant.
Install your own apps
The Google Play Store keeps track of all the apps you have purchased or installed. This comes in handy when you buy a new device and want to restore a bunch of apps, but finding and installing them one by one can be a big hassle. There is a better way.
- In the Play Store, tap your profile picture in the top right corner.
- Select Manage apps and devices.
- Switch to the Manage tab and use the filter to set it to not installed.
- Check all the apps you want to reinstall and tap the download icon at the top.
Disable automatic updates
Mobile apps tend to be updated more frequently than desktop apps. They usually fix bugs, add features or improve functionality, but not always and there are times when new versions are worse than previous ones. Google Play Store lets you turn off automatic updates for some apps. To do this, press the menu button in the upper right corner and uncheck the box Enable automatic updates so as not to be surprised. When you check its stability, you can update it.
Avoid adding apps to your home screen
It is really hateful that when you download and install any app from official store then it adds shortcut to default home screen by modifying your personalization or adding pages to home unnecessarily. Access can be easily removed, but best to disable this behavior. The exact method will depend on your device, but in general you need to press and hold an empty section of the home screen, select Settings, then turn off adding apps to the home screen.
Prevent children from installing apps
Cases of bills of several hundred dollars for the purchase of applications (and in-app purchases), games or devices made by children and young people without sufficient preparation have been well-known. Or access not suitable for their age. Google has a Guide for parents/mothers and the official Google store includes parental controls to manage:
- In the Play Store app, tap your profile picture in the top right corner.
- Click Settings.
- Select Family > Parental Controls.
- Enable parental controls and set a PIN.
- You can customize the controls for each type of content (software, games, movies, etc.).
Create a wishlist
If, when browsing the store, you see interesting content for the future, you can add it to this special list to better locate it in case you want to buy it later.
- Tap the menu icon in the upper right corner and select Add to wishlist.
- This immediately adds it to the list.
- To see your saved content, tap your profile picture and go to Library > Wishlist.
Google Play Store is the preferred gateway to deliver content to your Android smartphone and the most important platform when it comes to mobility with Apple. Its basic operation is very simple due to its integration into the system, but these tricks will surely help you to get the most out of it. We hope you find this useful.