Google Play Tips And Tricks




A few essential Google Play tips and tricks to let you make the most of the biggest Android app store.

If you are an Android user, Google Play is probably the place where you spend a lot of your time  searching for cool Android apps and games. This is, after all, the center and “homeland” of almost all Android apps out there.

That’s why I want you to discover a few great Google Play tips and tricks (for both the mobile and desktop version of the app). Turn your Android device on and let’s start!

Google Play tips and tricks (mobile)

The below Google Play tips and tricks refer to the mobile version of Google Play (the one you can access via your phone).

Remember that to be able to use Google Play, you need to at first add a Google account to your device. Without that, you won’t be able to use Google Play and many other Google apps and services on your phone. Adding a Google account should be one of the first configuration steps you take after buying your Android phone.




Updating all your apps at once

Keeping your device and all the apps installed on it up-to-date is one of the most important security measures. In Google Play you can easily check which apps need to be updated and update all of them at once.

To do that:

  1. Open Google Play and swipe left to open the left panel. Click on My apps & games.
  2. If some of your apps need updates, you will see them in the INSTALLED list. If all apps are up-to-date (just like in the screenshot below), you will only see the list of recently updated apps.
    Google Play tips and tricks
  3. If there are any apps that can be updated, choose UPDATE ALL and all the apps will be updated.

Setting apps to auto-update

This Google Play tip is in fact part of the first above tip. You should make sure that apps are set to auto-update so that you don’t have to remember to manually check for updates and install them.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Open Google Play and swipe left to open the left panel. Scroll down until you see Settings and click on it.
  2. Under General click on Auto-update apps and make sure that the first option (Do not auto-update apps) isn’t checked. If you have a unlimited data plan, you can choose the second option (but it will consume more battery).Google Play tips and tricks: auto-update apps

Removing apps from your Google account

If you have had several different Android phones and used the same Google account with all of them, you will probably have lots of apps “associated” with your account. It’s a good idea to clean them and remove those you don’t actively use.

To do that:

  1. Open Google Play and swipe left to open the left panel. Choose My apps & games.
  2. Go to tab ALL and review the apps that are there. To remove the app, simply click on “x” and confirm your choice.Google Play tips and tricks: removing apps from Google account

You will probably be surprised at how many useless apps you will find there.

Making use of parental controls

If you have children or other people use your Android device sometimes, it’s a brilliant idea to make use of parental controls to protect your money and privacy.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Google Play and swipe left to open the left panel. Scroll down until you see Settings and click on it.
  2. Scroll down until you see Parental controls. Click on it, turn it on and set PIN.Google Play tips and tricks: Parental Controls
  3. Now you can choose what apps to allow up to and restrict the music market.Google Play tips and tricks: Parental Controls

If you ever change your mind and want to stop using Parental controls, simply turn them off with the toggle button on the right.

Adding extra authentication for purchases

If you added payment methods to your account (especially your credit card), it becomes very easy to make app purchases. If your phone has a fingerprint sensor, you can turn fingerprint authentication on upon purchases. To do that:

  1. Open Google Play and swipe left to open the left panel. Scroll down until you see Settings and click on it.
  2. Scroll down and make sure that Fingerprint authentication is checked.Google Play tips and tricks: fingerprint authentication

Compile your Wishlist

The Google Play Wishlist is a special list where you can add apps  and other Google Play content you want to go back to later.   It’s a great way of saving apps you are thinking about buying for later.  To access and manage your Wishlist:

  1. Open Google Play and swipe left to open the left panel. Scroll down until you see Wishlist and click on it.Google Play tips and tricks: Wishlist
  2. You will see the apps added to the list. To add new apps simply click on the Wishlist icon you can see under the INSTALL button. To remove the app from the Wishlist, simply click on this icon once again.

Manage notifications

By default your phone will notify you if there are app updates available and after apps were auto-updated. You can easily turn this notification off:

  1. Open Google Play and swipe left to open the left panel. Scroll down until you see Settings and click on it.
  2. If you don’t want to receive these notifications, make sure these two positions aren’t checked.Google Play tips and tricks: app notifications

Block adding new apps to your home screen

Again, by default shortcuts to new apps are added to the home screen. If there isn’t any place on the home screen, a new panel will be created and the app shortcut will be placed there.

If you don’t want this to happen, you can easily turn that feature off.

  1. Open Google Play and swipe left to open the left panel. Scroll down until you see Settings and click on it.
  2. Make sure that Add icon to Home screen isn’t checked.Google Play tips and tricks: add icons to home screen

Browse apps by categories

There are millions of apps in Google Play right now so it’s sometimes really difficult to find the kind of app we are really looking for. Browsing apps by category may be very helpful in that situation!

To do that:

  1. Open the Google Play app and click on CATEGORIES.
  2. Now you can see the categories of apps and browse apps only from them.Google Play tips and tricks: categories

Google Play tips and tricks (desktop)

Of course in the desktop version of Google Play all of the above Google Play tips and tricks will work. But there are also a few extra ones I am about to show you!

Manage your Android devices

In the desktop version of Google Play, you can manage all of the devices that you have ever used with your Google account. To do that click on the top right icon and choose Settings.

Google Play Settings

You will see the list of all the devices and some basic information about them (e.g. when it was registered). You can also choose whether you want a given device to be shown in menus or not.




Remotely control your device with Android Device Manager

If you ever lose your phone or forget where you left it, the Android Device Manager can literally save your life. It’s a shame that so few people know about this functionality and use it.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. When on the homepage of Google Play, click on the top right icon and choose Settings.
  2. This time choose Android Device Manager and type your password (for confirmation purposes).
  3. The app will try to contact your device and find its exact location. Remember that this will work only if location and mobile data are turned on!Android Device Manager
  4. Once Android Device Manager contacts your device, you will be able to activate a very loud ring, lock your device, erase its memory or locate it.Google Play: Android Device Manager

Android Device Manager is one of the most useful and essential features of Google Play you should know about and make use of.

Install an app to your phone

Finally there comes one of the most important but little-known  Google Play tips and tricks, i.e. installing new apps to your phone from your desktop (wirelessly, of course).

To install a new app to your phone:

  1. Open Google Play on your desktop. Make sure that you use the same Google account you use with your Android phone.
  2. Browse the apps and simply click on INSTALL to install the app of your choice.
    Google Play tips: installing new apps
  3. The app will be installed on your phone as soon as it goes online.
    Google Play tips: installing new apps

Now you know all the best Google Play tips and tricks. Did they work for you? Do you know any other tips or tricks? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below!

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