The Android interface is unique to anything else on the market, and the Google Play Store helps it stand out among the crowd. If you’re switching from an Apple device, the front-end design Android uses in their mobile app development will be quite the shock. The custom software development invested into the Google Play Store comes with a variety of perks, however. There are a few key advantages new Android users need to know about the Google Play Store to help them with their transition.
Mobile App Development via Google Play Services
One of the most important apps Android users will have on their devices is Google Play Services. This app is a central station for all other apps, provides necessary tools for custom software development enthusiasts, and a hub for mobile app development on the Android platform. It keeps older devices more in tune with modern needs by bypassing OS updates and is generally a layer between the Android OS and your apps.
Although Google Play Services is typically included by default on Android devices, it can be added or explored via the Google Play Store. It’s worth exploring if you’re interested in making your device highly customizable or developing applications of your own.
Try Out Beta & Early Access Apps
Early access and beta applications are apps that haven’t been publicly released yet. They may be newer, experimental versions of apps that developers are gathering data on. They might be less stable than most apps and have frequent crashes or persistent bugs. Although they might not work properly, these issues are exactly what the developers are attempting to identify and fix prior to an official, public release.
Occasionally, you may hear of an exciting new app that users are excited to try out. Even though the app isn’t released for public use yet, it might be hiding in Google Play Store’s “early access” section. You can find any early access apps in the “For You” tab in the Play Store.
For beta apps, they may simply be versions of already-released apps that have extra features or custom software development improvements (but still have a few bugs left to sort out). To find a list of these apps, you can go to the app’s page in the Google Store, search for a “Join the Beta” section, and tap to join.
Developers offer early access and beta access to have actual user testing and feedback for front-end design features. Sometimes, there may be a limit on how many users can join these programs and download the app, so you may have to wait until someone else leaves or more users are approve for use.
Filter Apps By Developer (And More)
Did you forget the name of an app? Or maybe you have a favorite developer and want to see more of their content? The Play Store has a feature to narrow results by a specific developer. All you have to do is use the pub:[developer’s name] modifier in your search to filter through results and show matches specific to your query.
Beyond that, the Play Store’s front-end design is similar to many other queries. You have the option to filter by release date, recommended, top performing, categories, paid/unpaid, and even maturity levels.
Family-Friendly Mobile App Development Features
The Google Play Store is constantly adding updates to be more mindful and inclusive of its users’ needs, including those with family devices. The mobile app has development features that allow for parental controls. You can set up restrictions for each content type and enable them easily with a pin of your choice. This will effectively block anyone from installing apps of a specific genre without permission. To enable this, you should follow these steps:
- Tap your profile picture displayed in the upper right-hand corner.
- Select “settings” from the menu.
- Select “family” and then “parental controls.”
- Enable parental controls and set your PIN.
- Add any customizations as necessary for each type of content.
And…done. It’s as easy as that. You can toggle these controls at any point by accessing the same panel in your settings. The same process can be follow to require purchase authentication, except you only need to access the “settings” section in the menu. The option should appear to request authentication for all purchases through Google Play on your device.
Easily Request Refunds
Maybe you were a little too late setting up the parental controls, or perhaps you forgot to cancel a subscription. Regardless of the reason, refunds are available for Play Store purchases through a single tap. As long as the purchase was made within a 2-hour window, Google Play Store is fairly lenient with any refunds. This makes it easier to do test-runs for any paid apps you might have been on the fence about. It offers a level of insurance regarding any disappointing apps that didn’t necessarily live up to expectations set in their previews or descriptions.
The 48-hour window might be extend for products such as movies and books, so be sure to check the product’s page to review the fine print. You can always reach out to the developer directly with any additional concerns or requests.
Explore the Google Play Store
The Play Store has a very intuitive front-end design and user-friendly mobile app development features. Its tools are constantly evolving to implement the best custom software development for improved user experiences, so tapping through its pages will help you grow familiar with all it has to offer. New Android users will get the best introduction by immersing themselves within the Play Store. Good luck, and have fun!