With an average smartphone user launching nearly 30 apps a month and 9 apps every day, the Play Store has become an important part of discovering and purchasing new apps. Even with nearly 2.8 million apps on the Play Store and 2 billion active users, the Play Store still falls short by failing to add advanced search filters or the ability to update apps only when charging.
The main difficulty for users is using the app properly when many of the store’s important features are tucked away in hidden menus. So here’s a list of recommendations that will come in handy when using the Play Store with tips to correct some common frustrations caused by the app:
Suggestions to Improve Play Store Experience
# View Play Store Purchases
Even a simple task like filtering only purchases from the Play Store Library is not possible. So to view only the purchases you’ve made on Google Play,
Step 1 – Press the hamburger icon and select Account
Step 2 – From the list of options choose Order history
Here purchases of apps that went free for a limited time are also counted as legitimate purchases. The list will also include any purchases of songs, books & movies.
To view active in-app subscriptions, select Subscriptions to view them.
# Enable Fingerprint Authentication
The inclusion of fingerprint sensors in phones is an asset to additional security and a time saver for authenticating purchases. To enable fingerprint authentication before purchases, press the settings button in the hamburger menu and check the option that says Fingerprint authentication.
After the initial password prompt to enable the feature, you no longer have to enter passwords when making purchases. Furthermore, you can define how often you’re asked for authentication by pressing the Require authentication for purchases button below Fingerprint authentication.
# Disable Auto Updates for Specific Apps
Maybe there’s one app that you’re holding off updating because the new version is terrible or crashes often. If you’d like to prevent auto update specifically for that particular app, here’s how to do it.
Go to the Play Store and search for that app and navigate to its app page. Now, press the three dot menu and deselect the auto update checkbox.
While this is a great way to escape updates, a better way would be to use the app App Cloner to clone the preferred version of the app and deleting the original app from the phone. App Cloner forges a different app signature and thus the cloned app never shows up on your Store for updates and is essentially off the grid.
# Get More Personalised Recommendations
If you using Gmail as your primary email for personal or work and if that email is tied to your active Play Store account, selecting the option Use itineraries from Gmail will scan your location and appointments in the Gmail account to recommend more relevant app recommendations.
# Clear Store Search History
If the search prompt is showing really old Play Store search suggestions you can clear the entire Play Store search history by selecting Clear search history in the settings.
# Fine-tune Play Store Notifications
I personally prefer Apple’s method of quietly updating apps in the background without any notifications. By going to Settings and selecting Notifications, you can control the specifics of which notifications you’d like to receive.
Additionally, you can also add new icons to the home screen by checking Add icon to Home screen option.
While the above recommendations should help you have a better time using the Play Store, there’s a long way for Google to go on the road to making the Play Store more user-friendly.