Google’s Play Store is your official Android portal forapps, games, movies and TV, books and magazines, and more. But Google Playisn’t just about content; it’s also a
valuable tool for managing your variousAndroid devices, setting notifications for apps and services, enablingautomatic software updates, and personalizing your Android
Here are ten tips andtricks for getting more practical value out of Google Play.
1. MANAGE YOURDEVICES VIA THE WEB
In addition to accessing the on-device app store, you canreach Google Play via your Web browser. The Web interface offers an array ofoptions that aren’t available through the Android-based app store, includingthe ability to see and manage all of the Android devices associated with yourGoogle account.
To see a list of all your Android devices, visit Google Playat play.google.com. Click a content option in the vertical menu on the leftside to see a Settings icon that looks like a small gear in the top-right ofyour display. Click that icon to view a list of your registered devices. (Ifyou don’t see the Settings icon, try choosing another content option from thecontent menu.)
To change the name of a device in the list, click the Editoption, type the new name in the Nickname text field, and click Update to saveyour changes.
2. MANAGE MAILPREFERENCES AND NOTIFICATIONS
The Play Settings screen also lets you update your emailpreferences and notification settings. Open the Web-based Play settings, usingthe process described above, and then scroll down to the bottom of the screen,where you’ll see two check boxes. If you want to receive news and promotionsfrom Google Play, fill in the first box. If you want to receive emailnotifications from developers seeking feedback on the apps you use, check thesecond box.
3. REVIEW ORDERS,REPORT PROBLEMS, AND REQUEST REFUNDS
To see a handy list of all of your paid transactions onGoogle Play, first click the Play Settings icon—but this time, instead ofchoosing the Settings option, click My Orders.
The orders list provides details about the specific contentyou’ve purchased or downloaded, including the item’s full name, price,transaction date, content type, and status (complete, cancelled, shipped, orwhatever). To filter your purchases by content type, use the All Orders menu inthe top left corner, above the list of purchases.
To report a problem with an app, product or service, or torequest a refund, find the specific purchase in the orders list and hover yourpointer over that name in the list. A set of three vertical dots will appear tothe right of the name. Click the dots and choose the Report a Problem option. Apopup box with a drop-down menu and a set of options specific to the contenttype will appear. Choose the appropriate option from the menu, and you’ll see alist of possible resolutions. If the suggestions don’t help, fill in the textfield with appropriate details and submit your request. You should receive sometype of email receipt after submitting a request.
4. PASSWORD-PROTECTYOUR ORDERS
It’s a good idea to password-protect your Google Playaccount, to avoid unwanted or accidental purchases—especially if multiplepeople (including children) frequently use your device or devices.
Google Play in-app settingsGoogle Play's in-app settings.
To enable Play password protection, open the Google Play appon your Android device, tap the three vertical dots in the top right corner ofyour display, and choose Settings. In the User Controls section, you’ll see abox next to Password. Enter a password there, and then confirm it to enable thesetting.
After turning on password protection, you’ll be prompted foryour password whenever you make a Play purchase. You can make additionalpurchases without reentering your password for up to 30 minutes after your mostrecent purchase.
Some devices enable password protection by default. If the A password box is checked, your account is already protected.
5. AUTOMATICALLYUPDATE YOUR GOOGLE PLAY APPS
Google Play’s 'Auto-update apps' setting lets youautomatically update your apps and games so you don’t have to update themmanually. Activating this option will reduce the number of (potentiallyannoying) update notifications you receive, too.
To enable automatic app updates, click the Menu icon (thethree vertical dots) in the top right corner of your Google Play Android appand choose Settings. Under the General section, you’ll see an option forAuto-update apps. Tap that option and confirm it in the popup box.
You may still occasionally receive notifications to approveapp updates if permissions change, but most of your apps will automaticallyupdate after you enable this setting.
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