Google Play Store is the official store and portal from Google, where you can find and download all the applications, games and other content for your Android devices (smartphones, tablets or Android TV device) you could possibly want. It is an enormous market and it provides a great collection of content to Android users, making it an essential application to have on all Android devices. In fact, Google Play Store comes pre-installed as a system app on all officially licensed mobile devices that run on Android OS!
Google Play Store for apps, games, music, and much more!
Google Play is the gigantic virtual universe where all kinds of stuff for Android devices can be found; in addition to apps and games (most of which are totally free), there are “daughter stores” of Google Play Store, including Google Play Music, Google Play Books, Google Play Newsstand, and Google Play Movies & TV. Each of these apps can be installed individually on any Android device: phones, tablets or even Android TV (except for Books and Newsstand, which are for mobile devices only).
By using the Google Play Store application, you can buy and download apps (everything you can imagine, from productivity to games to health and fitness) and media (including TV series, movies, music, e-books, and e-magazines and newspapers). The availability of the apps and content is not the same in all countries; some might not be able to download some of the apps or use some features (free on-demand streaming music in Google Play Music is only available in the United States, for example). Google is working on this issue constantly so that all the services would roll out all around the world soon. But no matter where you live, there are millions of possibilities waiting in Google Play Store.
Why do I need Google Play Store?
If you want to download new apps, games, or any other content on your Android smartphone or tablet, you’ll need Google Play. Although you may certainly find other sites and markets to download apps on your device, the official store is Google Play, and it is really the safest way to get whatever you want for your Android device. There is a huge number of games, apps, books, music, TV shows, movies and more at the tip of your finger, so don’t look any further.
Getting around the Play Store
After downloading and installing the Play Store APK (which you can find right here on our site, for free, if you need it), tap on the app’s shortcut icon on your device to open it (it looks like a white briefcase with a multicolored triangular “play” button on it). You’ll need to have a Google account to log in (use your “@gmail.com” email address, or create one if you don’t have one already). Wherever you are in the app, you can open an options menu by tapping on the icon that looks like three horizontal lines, one on top of the other. You can manage all sorts of things from this menu; look for the item “Settings”, and tap it. You will find a list of things that you can set and manage, most of them oriented towards Android applications. For example, you can tell the Play Store when to auto-update apps, if ever, or manage parental controls. To do this, find the item called “User Controls” or “Parental Controls”.
These settings are for all areas of the Google Play Store (Apps & Games and the Entertainment section), so make sure you set them as you like. You will find an item named “Content filtering”; with this item, you can control the visibility of apps that may include mature content. Adult content and hate-speech are not allowed in the Play Store, but there are a few apps that may contain subject matter that are uncomfortable for you to see or unsuitable for kids.
Under the section, “Require authentication for purchases”, you can set it so that you will need to enter your Google account password to make in-app purchases. This is really important, specifically if you let someone else (particularly kids) use your phone for playing games without being aware that these games can cost real money. You can enable those purchases without the need to enter your credentials by selecting “Never”, or for a moderate level of control you can ask it to require your password “Every 30 minutes”.
All you need to get started with Google Play Store is your Google Account. After logging in, you can start downloading as many free apps and media as your device can hold, but you will need a credit card or a Google Play Gift Card balance to purchase paid content. Enjoy an amazing experience and explore new apps (check the editor’s choice and most downloaded apps for some great picks). Most importantly, have fun!