A teardown of the latest Play Store APK suggests Google will soon start selling audiobooks. The version 8.4 update isn’t that significant on the face of it, but changes under the hood indicate there are big things planned for the future.
The Play Store has been a one-stop shop for digital content for years, offering music, movies, apps, and books all under one roof. But there’s one thing it has been missing, and that’s audiobooks. Now it looks like Google is paving the way to change that.
Code discovered in its latest Play Store update suggests an audiobooks section is on the way. There’s not a lot there for now, so it doesn’t look like this is a change that will happen imminently — but there’s no doubt Google has started working on it.
One question this raises is how audiobooks will be played on Android. Google wouldn’t expect users to find a third-party app, so it will obviously need to add support in one of its own titles. Will that be in Play Music, Play Books, or a new app altogether?
Another change that could be coming is new Play Store notifications for apps and games. These won’t be like normal notifications — which we obviously already have — but perhaps alerts to inform us of critical updates, change logs, invites to betas, and more.
It seems Google is also working to allow auto-update for system apps only. This would be useful for those who don’t like to install all updates automatically, but are happy to have their system apps always up-to-date.
The Play Store will also install large apps over whichever network you’re using — even if it’s LTE — rather than giving you the option to wait until you’re connected to Wi-Fi. This could be problematic for those with small data caps, but for the vast majority, it won’t matter too much.
Finally, there are indications that Google plans to revamp its layout for the Deal of the Day promotion.
Remember none of this is confirmed just yet. Google may have started work on these changes, but that doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to make it into a public Play Store update. We’ll have to keep an eye on future releases to find out which ones were approved.