Aug 17th, 2012

A lot of information has laked out regarding the Google Play Store this past week. First, we heard the cards were going to be coming sometime between late August and early September. Then, an update to the Google Play Store APK was stripped to its bones, and what was found inside was a system to facilitate gift card redemption (alongside the ability to bookmark apps).

A day later, images of the physical gift cards first appeared. Fast forward to Friday, and it seems we have our first purchase. A reader of Android Police’s submitted an image of the gift card with a receipt to prove he was able to purchase one from the Target store where they work.

Apparently, the gift cards were sitting inside a bin near the cash registers. He picked one up, and the cashier — unaware of the fact that they shouldn’t be sold yet — successfully processed the gift card for use. For starters, this lets us know at least one of the several retailers who will be carrying the stores.

Secondly, we know that Google is so far along that retailers’ POS systems are setup to handle the cards, so we have to be extremely close to that aforementioned launch window. Unfortunately there’s no way to redeem the code officially, but Android Police used the same method they used to uncover the gift card redemption feature in the Google Play Store, and they were indeed able to add the $25 value to their account.

It’s all working full circle, but until Google gives the green light (this would also involve updating the Google Play Store one last time to unleash the feature to the masses) you’ll have to get lucky to find one, and then know what to do to actually redeem one. But this tells us the wait won’t be long at all, and we should all have a more convenient way to buy content from the Play Store soon enough. [via Android Police]