The best Google Play Store tips and tricks for Android users

Google Play Logo 696x392 - The best Google Play Store tips and tricks for Android users

For many, using the Google Play Store is limited to searching for apps or tapping the Install button. But the Play Store includes a bunch of lesser-known features to help you optimize the experience.

Whether you’re a new Play Store user or you’re looking to get the most out of this app, here’s a list of useful tips and tricks you should definitely try out.

Use parental controls

If you have children in your home, you might want to restrict them from downloading and installing apps/games that are not meant for them.

It’s quite easy to set a filter in the Google Play Store. Go to Settings>User Controls>Turn on Parental Controls>Set the restrictions.

Once in place, your child will have to enter your PIN each time he or she tries to download something inappropriate.

Prevent other people from buying on your account

Many people share a phone with someone else in the household, including kids. So if you linked your credit card to the Play Store, chances are high they will end up making a purchase without your permission.

To prevent this, restrict app purchases by enabling authentication from the Play Store. Go to Settings>Require authentication for purchases>For all purchases through Google Play on this device.

Also, if you’re smartphone has a fingerprint scanner you can also turn on the Fingerprint authentication options under User controls.

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Using content filtering in the Google Play Store

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Having the ability to restrict what sort of apps are displayed to you in theGoogle Play Store is important. While Google does have guidelines on what is and isn’t allowed into the store, it isn’t the same as being able to keep stuff you just don’t want to see out of sight and mind.

Whether it’s a personal choice or whether you just want to keep mature apps and games out of reach of your children, Google makes using it a simple process.

How to customize your content filtering settings

Thankfully the content filtering settings aren’t tucked away in some obscure location, they’re really easy to find and really easy to use:

  • Open up the Play Store app on your phone or tablet
  • Pull out the menu from the left and open “Settings”
  • Under “User controls” look for “Content filtering”
  • Tap on it and you’ll see the options shown in the image up top

This gives you the option to allow apps to be shown based on how mature you want the content to be. From low through to showing all apps, it gives you the choice of what you want to see. The Play Store is a pretty open place but Google does have guidelines on what developers can and can’t do. You can read those in full here. If you see an app in the Google Play Store that you think is inappropriate, you’ve got the option to flag it as such to Google and you should absolutely use it.

by Richard Devine

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How to install the Amazon Appstore on your Android

Is the Google Play Store not giving you what you want? Perhaps you may want to try the Amazon Appstore.

Although seasoned Android users may already know about this process, here is a walkthrough for those new to the platform. For those who don’t already know, you can download apps from sources other than the Google Play Store. Probably the next most popular way to do this is from the Amazon Appstore (the same app store that the Kindle Fire tablets use).

Amazon offers a free paid application everyday, something that Google Play only does on a rare occasion. That may be reason enough to install it, but it also offers some great recommendations as well as exclusive apps.

Since the Amazon Appstore isn’t available in Google Play, you need to do a few extra steps in order to get it installed. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install it on your Android.

1. Enable “Unknown sources” on your device

Before we begin, there’s a setting that needs to be changed on your device. First, navigate to the Security tab in your Settings menu. If you’re on an older Android device, you may need to navigate to the Apps menu under Settings. Once in the Security menu, scroll down until you see “Unknown sources”. Make sure the box is checked.

Amazon App Store 10 - How to install the Amazon Appstore on your Android

This feature is on your Android device to ensure that your phone stays safe. When this box is checked, it allows applications to be installed on your device that aren’t in the Play Store.

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McAfee Antivirus & Security for Android now free for download

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You can download the McAfee Antivirus & Security app for Android from the Google Play Store and you will have your Android phone or tablet protected with an award winning antivirus, security and privacy software from Intel Security Group. If you upgrade to MMS Premium you avail the McAfee’s award-winning device support, media backup including a promotion-free app context.

While 82 percent of others apps track users’ personal information, and round 80 percent gather location details, McAfee Security app grant privacy features like as multi-user, app lock, app profiles, call blocker, app protection and SMS filter.

Part of the anti-theft characteristics offered by the app incorporate CaptureCam, which can silently click image of the one holding a user’s misplaced device together with emails the image to the user along with the location of the device; device lock that limits misuse of the device by remotely securing it; S.O.S that automatically keeps the ultimate location of the device before it goes out of battery; backup and recover data that can save messages and contacts, on demand, or on a schedule; remotely clean data which cleans the private data, by the default settings; find and track can better find a device if it is misplaced or stolen; uninstall security which guard the McAfee Security app against being removed.

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Here’s How Android Users Can Download 2013’s Most Popular Songs For Free

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Arcade Fire’s Win Butler performing at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas Special. The band’s new album is part of this deal

The Google Play Store just launched a new promotion calledPlay Picks 2013. Music lovers who happen to own an Android device can download a selection of 2013’s most popular songs for free.

Some of the selections aren’t surprising. Kanye West, Arcade Fire, and Drake claimed the top three spots, while the rest of the list was populated by indie artists like CHVRCHES and more popular personalities like Rihanna.

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So you’ve just got an Android device? Download these apps first

If you just unwrapped a new Android smartphone or tablet for Christmas, listen up. While there are no shortage of apps waiting for you in the Google Play store, only a handful of them are worth downloading on your new device.

So rather than digging through user reviews or picking out apps on a whim, read our guide to find out which Android apps are worth your time and money.

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Give Your Android Homescreen A Deserved Makeover With Go Launcher Ex

go launcher ex android - Give Your Android Homescreen A Deserved Makeover With Go Launcher Ex

You can’t help but get enough of the popular apps on Google Play Store once you get a taste of the Android experience. You always wonder why they are popular and are they really worth the space on your smartphone or tablet? But sometimes the most popular apps are just a temporary source of joy derived from superfluous novelty that will probably be forgotten in a matter of a few days and left untouched beyond it.

So why waste your data plan in trying to download an app you don’t need? If people just followed the one cardinal rule of cherry picking an app based on its utility factor for your Android device, then there wouldn’t be any disappointments to deal with. And so we bring to you one of the best-rated and highly touted utility apps for your Android device, which is none other than the Go Launcher Ex tool. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must’ve surely heard about this name buzzing around in the Android app market.

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Get the KitKat keyboard for Android 4.0 and up

KitKat, the most recent version of Android, brings features as sweet as its namesake to the new Google Nexus 5. Among these, you’ll find a new phone dialer, Caller ID, true full screen, a new Hangouts app, and printing abilities.

To use all of these new features, KitKat also has an updated Google Keyboard. This keyboard is very similar to the version released on the Google Play Store, except the swiping line color has changed, you can glide over space to insert it between words, and some upgraded emoji are included.

If you have Android 4.0 or above on your device, AndroidPolice has made the keyboard APK available for download so you can try it right now. Ready to get started? Here’s how:

Disclaimer: Installing third-party software means taking risks with your device and/or personal information. You will be responsible for any issues caused by the installation, and should only proceed if you are prepared to deal with the resulting consequences.

First, you’ll need to make sure you have the ability to install software from outside the Google Play Store. Open your Settings menu, go to Security, and then check the box next to Unknown Sources.

Next, download the actual Google Keyboard APK (Android Package). You can download it directly to your device, or you can download it to your computer and then transfer it to your device’s storage later (via USB, cloud storage, or another preferred method of transfer).

Here are the mirrors shared by Android Police:

Now you’re ready to install the keyboard on your device. If everything is set, you should be able to tap on your completed download (or the file you moved to your device) and the package installer will pop up to finish the process. However, on some devices (such as the Note 2), you may only see a prompt to use programs that have nothing to do with installing apps. If you are running into this issue, you can easily work around it by uploading the app to your Dropbox or Google Drive account and installing from there.

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