Today we have a newly updated version of Google Play Store for you, bringing us to version 7.4.12. Of course, this means that we are officially in Play Store v. 7.4, and while that doesn’t appear to change much on the surface, if we take a deeper look at the code in the APK file for Play Store 7.4.12, there are plenty of hints of interesting things to come.
As you all know, Play Store is the official app store for mobile devices that are powered by Android OS, which is practically every device that isn’t an iPhone these days (with a few exceptions). There are alternative stores you can use to get your apps and games, but Google Play has one of the best selections and is by far the safest if you’re concerned about accidentally installing a virus or malware onto your device. The security and performance of the Play Store work best when you keep the app up to date, installing a new version whenever it becomes available.
Installing Play Store 7.4.12 APK file
Many people have automatic updates enabled on their Android devices, but there can be weeks between the time when an update is released by Google and when your device gets the go-ahead to auto-update. The only way to skip the wait is to manually install the Play Store APK file, which is easier than it sounds – trust me. Here’s how to do it:
First, check that the Android smartphone or tablet you want to update is compatible with Google Play Store 7.4.12. You’ll need to have Android OS 4.0 or higher and the update will use up 17.01 MB of disk space.
If everything looks good, you can tap on the Play Store 7.4.12 APK download link in this post and select “save” to start downloading the update. Next, while you wait for the download to finish, go into your device settings and find the security section/tab. You will see an option with a checkbox next to it that says “allow installation from unknown sources” or simply “unknown sources”. You need to check that box; otherwise, your Android device won’t let you install the Play Store update that you are downloading because it came from the internet and not from inside the Play Store (obviously).
Finally, use a file manager to find the APK in your downloads folder, tap to open the file, and select install. Easy!
Changes in Play Store 7.4.12
Most users aren’t going to see any dramatic changes once they install the Google Play Store 7.4.12 APK, although the security and performance improvements certainly make it worth your time to update. However, an APK teardown from Android Police reveals that some interesting changes may be in store for us.
The first has to do with the My Apps section of Play Store. As of right now, the code for this screen is hinting at a new layout, which in and of itself isn’t a huge deal, but it is sometimes a harbinger of more substantial changes. It looks like different sorting options are being worked on for this screen, so after this feature goes live you would be able to look at your My Apps screen and sort the apps alphabetically, by when you last used it, when it was last updated, size, etc. Having Play Store tell us when we last used an application will be very helpful when we need to do some spring cleaning on our Android devices.
The second, and in my opinion the most interesting future change involves the new Family Library, which went live in Google Play Store back in July. With this feature, the person designated as “head of the family” must have a payment method on file that the whole family can use, although they are able to implement some restrictions that require prior approval before in-app purchases are made. The problem is that right now, in order to approve those purchases, the head of the family has to enter their password on the other family member’s device, which isn’t very practical for people who are on the go or have separate living arrangements. Anyway, there are clues that Google is working on a way to give the head of the family the ability to approve purchases remotely from their own device, which will make the whole Family Library much more attractive to everyone.
Like we said, these changes have not yet been implemented and it’s possible that they never will be. However, the best way to make sure you are the first to see any new features in the Play Store is to keep it updated with the latest version available. After you download Google Play Store 7.4.12, it’s entirely possible that you’ll see some subtle changes to the layout of the My Apps screen, for example. You won’t know until you try!