If you have been using an Android phone, you are familiar with the Android Market and now what is called Google Play. Google Play replaced the Android Market as Google’s digital distribution network for everything from applications to games to books and other forms of multimedia. Google Play launched in March of 2012, replacing Android Market and becoming the go-to place for Android users to find everything and anything they might need for their mobile devices.
How to get started with Google Play
Google Play is utilized in two ways now: You can use it online through its website or you can use it through your Android phone. By using Google Play through both methods, you can get the most out of the experience.
First, we will begin working with Google Play online. Navigate to Google Play.
From there, you can jump right in. You will see various ads for the current hot apps, games, videos and more on Google Play.
At the top, you can search for apps and other multimedia on Google Play.
Just type in what you are looking for then click the “Magnifying Glass Icon.”
Google Play, and your Android phone utilize your Google account to keep track of what you have downloaded, rated, reviewed and more.
So, login to your primary Google account, you will be able to use this on your Android phone, too, to keep track of things.
Once you are signed in, you want to click on “My Android Apps.”
This is where you can see online what apps you have installed on your Android. You can also rate and review them from here as opposed to doing it on your phone.
You can also share apps with friends, as well as see similar apps you might enjoy.
Now, pick up your phone and head to the Google Play store. All Android users were forced to upgrade to it when it was released in the spring of 2012.
Once open, you will be greeted again by the hottest items on Google Play as well as the categories you can browse through.
If you click your options menu, you can view your apps, accounts, and settings as well as the Google Play help resource.
If you click on “Accounts,” you can choose which account to access the Google Play store from based on what is already synced on your phone through Google’s services.
If you click on “Settings,” you can choose how Google Play interacts with your phone. This can be especially important for those using Wi-Fi at home to save on data services.
Now, click on “My Apps.”
This will bring up all the apps you currently have on your phone and allow you to update, remove and see details about them. If an app needs a manual update, such as when the terms and services or permissions changes, you will need to manually update them and they will show up here. Otherwise, you can set up Google Play to automatically update apps as they become available.
Click the “Magnifying Glass Icon” in the top right-hand corner of Google Play.
This will allow you to search for apps and multimedia. Type in what you are looking for and click the “Magnifying Glass Icon” again.
You can also click the “Microphone Icon” to speak your results for searching.
Google Play will then display the results of your search, breaking them down into categories. From there, you can choose what you want to view and possibly install and begin using the app.
In this example, we will install Google Drive.
The first screen will give you a breakdown of the app, its reviews, ratings and show you how many people have downloaded it to their own phone. You click “Install” to continue.
Next, you will see what permissions the app wants from you and your phone. If you agree to them, click “Accept & download” to move forward.
Depending on your connection, it will take a few moments to download and then install your app.
When finished, you can open the app or choose its icon from one of your screens to begin using it.
From this same screen, if you ever opt to uninstall the app, you simply click “Uninstall” to do that.
Your phone will ask for confirmation, so click “Ok” to begin the uninstall process.
It will take just a few more moments for your phone to uninstall the app. When finished, you will be alerted that the process is complete and the app is no longer available on your Android device.
That is all you need to get started with Google Play and take advantage of everything it has to offer on your Android phone.
Does the change to Google Play make a difference for most users?
For most users, the changes to Google Play were more cosmetic than anything else. Those taking advantage of apps and multimedia were already doing so primarily relying on searching for what they really wanted. For those not taking advantage, Google Play’s user interface re-design and quicker search allow them to find apps they might like as opposed to simply just searching for what they want. Google Play’s redesign has its perks for everyone looking for apps, movies, books, games and more for their Android phone.