Google Play turns 5 today, reveals all-time top five download lists in the U.S.

One this day five years ago, Google opened its digital store that would become one of the largest places to shop for mobile games, apps, movies, TV shows, music, and books. Since March 2012, Google Play Store has grown to more than 1 billion active users in 190 countries.

The store now lists millions of apps, 40 million songs, 5 million books, as well as movies. In celebration of the 5th birthday, Google has decided to reveal the top five most downloaded books, games, apps, songs, albums and films in the United States since the Play Store was launched.

These tops only list installed …


More than 100 Play Store apps tried to infect Android devices with Windows malware

In a curious case uncovered by security research firm Palo Alto Networks, 132 apps published on Google’s Play Store were found to contain malware designed for Windows PCs. The apps, which were published by a total of seven developers and some of which had more than 10,000 downloads, all shared the common symptom of concealed iframe tags in their HTML code.

The iframes, which are most commonly used for embedding external elements, such as a YouTube video, in a webpage, tried loading elements from two well-known malicious Poland-based domains. What’s even …

Like to support the underdog? Google Play Store has an Indie Corner, though, it's a bit hidden

For the past couple of years, Google has been making strides to improve the searching and sorting experience in the Play Store… albeit it has been very, very slow at implementing new features. For example, we have a filter to only see apps with a rating of 4+ stars if we use the desktop version of the Store, but no such option on mobile. But that’s not the only feature you may not know about.

The Play Store has an Indie Corner — a gallery, which highlights the best and most innovative titles from small studios — the smart little games that usually get drowned …

Google Play will get better at suggesting quality games

There are so many games available on Google Play, that finding something to suit your tastes is often a difficult task. The problem is worsened in part due to how the Play Store displays content – namely, sorted by number of installs. This is about to change soon, however, as Google announced that an upcoming overhaul in the sorting algorithms on Google Play will bring more interesting games to light by sorting titles based on user engagement, rather than number of installs.

This will enable more quality, but lesser-known, games to enter the limelight of Google’s …

Meteor to land on Earth March 1st; expect it to touch down in the Google Play Store

Ever wonder how well a certain app will work on your phone based on the current network connection speed? Thanks to Meteor, you’ll be able to easily see which messaging app will give you an Awesome, Very Good,. OK or Poor experience based on network speed tests. And the app is written for the layman, so you don’t have to be an engineer to figure out which apps to use and which ones to avoid. Meteor is developed by the same team that produced OpenSignal, the crowdsourcing app that measures the speed and coverage of mobile networks in your area.

Meteor can also tell you which features …

Google announces three new Daydream VR games coming soon to Play Store

GDC (Game Developers Conference) is in full swing, so it’s no surprise that Google announced a few new games for its Daydream VR headset. These new titles will be joining Google’s gaming lineup in the coming months and will be published on the Play Store.

Virtual Rabbids seems to be the most interesting out of all three. The game is developed by a joint-venture between Ubisoft and the original creators of Rabbids. According to the developers, the game will make full use of the controller to show what the VR headset can really do.

The folks over …

Possible alarm clock integration coming to Google Play Music in future update

The latest update for Google Play Music brings a handful of new things to the table, including a “Recents” tab in the app’s menu, an animated visualizer while playing songs, and slims down the overall size of the music storefront to around 18 MB. That’s all sure to please users of Google’s on-demand music streaming service, but we are more interested in a feature that has not yet been implemented into the app.

A recent app teardown by Android Police revealed that Google may be slating Play Music for some sort of alarm clock integration in the near future. Evidence …

Buy an unlocked 16GB Moto G4 Play for $99.99 from B&H Photo

B&H Photo is one of those stores in New York City that is a retail landmark. If you’re a longtime PhoneArena reader, you’ll recognize the name from some of the great smartphone deals that they have offered in the past. The store is located at West 34th Street, less than half a mile from the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden. Today, B&H has a great deal on the unlocked 16GB Moto G4 Play for those who shop online.

Normally sold at B&H’s store and on the website for $149.99, an instant $20 savings takes the price down to $129.99. But wait! There’s more. While you …

Samsung Galaxy S7 Android 7.0 Nougat Update Video Shows New Features Coming To S7 And S7 Edge Video

It appears as if Samsung’s rugged Galaxy S7 variant, the Galaxy S7 Active, is set to receive its Android 7.0 Nougat update soon. A Galaxy S7 Active running the latest Android software build has received Wi-Fi certification from the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Samsung-Galaxy-S7-Android-7.0-Nougat-Update-Video

Samsung Galaxy Series Android 7.0 Nougat Upgrade

We’ve been closely following the progress of the latest Android software upgrade, Android 7.0 Nougat, for the Samsung Galaxy line of devices expected to receive it, and as we have reported, Samsung is currently in the process of rolling out the update worldwide to its two current flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge.

As those two prioritized handsets receive the Android 7.0 Nougat update, other devices in the Galaxy series are naturally next in line for the upgrade. Samsung has officially announced that, in addition to the aforementioned current flagships, the Galaxy S7 Active, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, S6 edge Plus, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy Tab A with S Pen, Galaxy Tab S2 (LTE unlock), Galaxy A3, and Galaxy A8 are all set to eventually be updated to Android 7.0 Nougat.

We recently offered our projected timeline and order of release for the remaining Samsung devices on the official list, and suggested that one of the next handsets likely to be the recipient of an Android 7.0 Nougat rollout was the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active. The device is the only official variant of the Samsung Galaxy S7, and therefore its update shouldn’t come far behind those of its siblings. In addition, a Galaxy S7 Active running Android 7.0 Nougat was spotted on GFXBench about a month ago, also signaling the update was being readied for rollout.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Active Model Running Android 7.0 Nougat Receives Wi-Fi Certification
Now, another sure sign the Android 7.0 Nougat update for the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is coming soon has emerged. A Galaxy S7 model has just been officially Wi-Fi certified by the WFA, or Wi-Fi Alliance. That means Samsung is getting its certifications in order for the eventual rollout.

The Galaxy S7 Active is an exclusive of AT&T in the United States, as were all previously released “Active” labeled Galaxy S series smartphones (the Galaxy S5 also had a “Sport” version almost identical to AT&T’s S5 Active that was exclusive to Sprint in the United States).

Recently, AT&T offered the guidance through a company rep that it would be releasing the Android 7.0 Nougat updates for Galaxy S7 and S7 edge devices running on its network in early spring, and it is now fair to surmise that the Galaxy S7 Active is likely to be upgraded around the same time as its namesakes. Video

Android 7.0 update for the German Moto Z Play is delayed until next month

Motorola Germany’s official Twitter account is delivering some bad news today to owners of the unlocked Moto Z Play in that country. The update to Android 7.0 that was expected to hit the phone by the end of January, is now scheduled for March. And the Moto Z Play isn’t the only Moto handset in Germany that is affected by a Nougat delay. The Moto G4 family made up of the Moto G4, Moto G4 Plus and Moto G4 Play were also supposed to receive the tasty Nougat update at the end of last month. But this never happened.

With the delay, German owners of the Moto G4, Moto G4 Plus and Moto G4 Play …