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Google Play readying audiobook support, dedicated app and game notifications

Code snippets from a recent APK teardown indicate that the features are on their way soon.

Published onNovember 3, 2017

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Google Play Store version 8.4 began rolling out yesterday, bringing with it only a few minor tweaks. Among these were some UI changes and a revamped Editor’s Choice section. However, some code buried within the latest version has hinted at some larger changes to come in the future, as highlighted by Android Police.

It looks like Google is gearing up to support audiobooks for the first time on the Play Store. These are said to become available alongside the regular Play Store eBooks and are expected to include both free and paid audiobooks. It’s a move that could strengthen the Play Store’s position as an alternative to Amazon’s Kindle Store, which has included audiobooks for years.

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Meanwhile, it looks like Google Play may soon support dedicated notifications direct from app developers. These are likely to appear on the action bar when you enter the Play Store (not clogging up the already too busy notification tray), along with a counter showing the number of unreads. Seemingly, this could be used to give devs a channel through which they could post updates about upcoming app news or features; games like Pokemon GO, which feature semi-regular events, may be able to put this to good use.

Rounding off the potentially upcoming features is an “auto-update” mode for system apps only — allowing users to get their core apps updated while being able to be more selective over the updates for the apps they downloaded separately. It’s a feature that could be useful for those who like to read over changelogs before installing, or removing, third-party apps.

We don’t know when exactly these new features may arrive, but would you like to see them roll out in Google Play sometime? Let us know in the comments.

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