It's unbelievable, yet true. Google has not released an update to the Google Play Store in close to three months. Luckily the wait is over and we have been rewarded for our patience. Google has released an update with quite a few features for the Google Play Store which bumps up the version to 4.6.16. We have taken the apk file (for the uninitiated, Android applications are packed in apk files) for a test run on our beloved HTC One and have a laundry list of updated items for you. So, what's new you ask?
Users have been crying for the batch remove capability for multiple apps in the My Apps list to be re-added, however Google has chosen to turn a deaf ear to the entire hullabaloo. Instead, we get the functionality to be able to batch install multiple apps. This would definitely come in handy once you're changing devices, and you could easily install all you favorite apps in a single batch. You can find this new feature in the My Apps tab from the side drawer.
We had reported this sometime back, that a class-action suit over in-app purchases had hit Apple, with the same issue existing in Android as well. It seems that Google has been taking stock of the situation and we now have a Require Password option in the new Play Store, which essentially allows users to set their own level of security. A user may choose to set a password requirement for all in-app purchases, or time the requirement for 30 minutes (which will allow all in-app purchases to go through for 30 minutes since the password was last entered), and finally a never option, which is most beneficial if you have loads of in-app purchasing to do and you're the only one to use your phone for that purpose. Settings and Help have been finally moved out to the slide-out navigation bar, which is keeping in line with the design principles of other Google apps. This also invalidates the requirement of the overflow menu.
Auto-add Widgets was a nomenclature mistake on the part of Google, a confusing name which had people confused as the setting was adding the app icon on the launcher home-screen and not the widget. This has now been changed, and you can take a look at the change in the screenshots down in the gallery. One of the bigger additions to this latest version of the Play Store, is the ability to update the Play Store on your own time, without having to wait around. To do this, all you need to do is hit the build version in the settings and you'll be prompted to update, if there is one.
A notice now appears in case the app requires in-App purchases. It seems that Google has done everything possible to avoid any more class-action suits against in-app purchases. In the previous Google Play Store version, Google Plus +1s were rounded off to 'K' for large quantities. There for some reason have been turned to exact numbers. Some changes to the overall styling have been made as well, such as the add button has been turned blue with white text from the previous white button with black text, as well as a white border has been added to the profile image. This new version of the Play Store now supports multiple accounts within the app, using an account selector that looks a bit different, and also includes the other options which are there on the slide-out nav bar.
This update to the Play Store should be rolling out to devices right now, but if it isn't and you just can't wait – which is probably true – then you can download the APK from our Android File Host mirror. It's a safe APK and is signed by Google, so have at it! Let us know in the comments how it goes for you and how you're liking the new update.