Today we have our first stable release of Google Play Store v7.1, in the form of the 7.1.12 APK. Now right off the bat I want to let you know that, while the last few updates have been pretty ho-hum, there’s a lot of interesting stuff happening under the hood in Play Store 7.1.12. Whether or not this interesting stuff is actually available for you when you download the APK depends on your device, OS version, and often just luck of the draw.
But even if you download the new Play Store 7.1.12 APK and find that nothing has really changed, it will still be worth your while; as you know, bug fixes and performance enhancements are constantly being added and tweaked by the folks at Google, so the 30 seconds it took to download and install the file weren’t in vain.
So, let’s get into what’s new with Play Store version 7.1.12!
Changes in Play Store update 7.1.12
The big pattern here is that the Play Store is getting some changes to go along with either the new Android OS 7.1, which is expected to be released in December to the general public, and/or Google’s new hardware devices like the Pixel smartphone and Chromecast Ultra.
First, let’s talk about what some people are actually able to see after downloading Play Store 7.1.12 APK. If you happen to use Google’s official launcher app on your Android device, you might be seeing a change in how the icons look for Google apps there. Pixel Launcher (which until last month was called Nexus Launcher) on certain devices is showing redesigned app icons for just about everything that comes from Google, including the Play Store icon itself; they are all round icons now, mostly with the old icon centered in a white circle like a button.
Play Store 7.1.12 APK teardown
Now comes the part where we peek into the code and see if we can find hints of any upcoming changes. These things are most likely not live and might not ever make it to official release status, but it’s fun to speculate and get excited about some cool changes.
There are some strings of code that indicate a new shortcut that will be used in the same Pixel Launcher app mentioned above, and it’s one that a lot of Android users will be very grateful for: a shortcut to your device’s installed apps. Right now, if you want to go manually check for an update, you have to go through several steps to get to this screen; this new Play Store shortcut would make this a one-tap process.
We can also see the beginnings of support for 4K ultra-HD content in the Play Store. This goes hand in hand with the upcoming release of Chromecast Ultra, whose big feature is the ability to transfer ultra-HD video to your TV. In preparation for this, Google Play Store 7.1.12 has inactive code that will eventually be used to buy and rent this ultra-HD content.
Whatever happened to Play Store gifting?
Rumors about a Play Store gifting feature have been buzzing around for what feels like an eternity, and we’ve seen hints about this in previous APK teardowns, but now we have something new that leads us to believe progress is being made on this front: a new icon for gifts and promotions. So I guess we’ll all just have to hold tight and see when we’ll finally be able to send our friends gifts like premium apps from Google Play.
How to download Play Store 7.1.12 APK
To get access to the latest set of bug fixes and improvements to Google Play Store, and try your luck with some work-in-progress features, depending on your device, make sure the box next to “allow installation of apps from unknown sources” is checked (located in security settings). Then, tap the Play Store 7.1.12 download link in this post and save the file. Tap on the notification you get when it’s finished to open the APK file in your Android device’s installer program. Finally, tap “install”, and accept the permissions required by Google. In no time, you’ll be up and running with the latest version of Google Play Store, straight from the developers to you.