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Google Play's website now lets you remotely update, uninstall, and install Android apps

June 28, 2012
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With all the major hardware and software announcements made by Google yesterday at the I/O Conference keynote, one could see that the entire Android/Google ecosystem is evolving towards a smoother cross-platform experience.

Some of the best (subjectively, of course) software exponents of this principle let you continue reading your ebook on the Nexus 7 tablet from exactly the point you left off on a browser, or continue watching a movie (TV shows are now also available from Google Play) from the frame where you left it off on your notebook. But it turns out that Google now also allows you to uninstall or update your apps directly from the Google Play website, accessible on any device.

To remotely uninstall or update apps, go to the “My Android Apps” inside the Google Play website, and you’ll be greeted with an alphabetical list of all the apps installed on your Android devices.

Apps that have an update available can be found on top of the list, so you can quickly update them (by the way, a cool feature that Google has introduced in Android 4.1 JellyBean is that app updates will download only the portions of the code that has changed, translating into app updates that are roughly one third the size of current app updates).

Uninstalling an app from any of your Android devices is equally simple: the only difference is that you’ll have to press the trashcan icon instead of the “update” button, then confirm the deletion of the app (useful for the most sloppy of us).

While this new feature isn’t huge, it does serve to prove that Google is aiming towards a smooth cross-platform experience. On a personal level, I believe that eliminating the transition phase between using your desktop and your Android device is a principle that could differentiate Google’s platform from all competitors (hear this, Apple?), especially given the huge penetration of Google’s services (Gmail, YouTube, Google Books, Google Docs, etc) on desktops.

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