It could just be that this writer is in the minority, but yours has always preferred to call the Android app storefront the Android Market instead of the Google Play Store. The change was made in March 2012 as Google sought to unify the Android Market and Google into one brand. Only two years before the name change, the Android Market contained only 30,000 applications, against 10,000 in September 2010 and 16,000 in December 2010.
You may remember the original Android Market icon which was a white shopping bag with the green Android bug on the front. When Google changed the name to Play Store, it created a new icon that looks like the triangular play icon found on many apps, including Google’s YouTube and YouTube Music.
Server-side update allows Android users to quickly check the Google Play Store for an update
19 months later, the Android Market was home to half a million apps and Android was on its way to becoming the most popular mobile operating system on the planet. At last count, there are over 2.5 million apps in the Google Play Store.
Server-side update lets you quickly check for an update from the Google Play Store
9to5Google reports that accessing the Google Play Store through a server-side update is a new, quick and easy way to make sure your Android phone is running the latest version of the Play Store. Just open the app and tap on the profile picture on the right side of the search bar at the top of the screen. From there, press Settings > On and when you scroll down to the bottom of the screen, you will see the words “Update Play Store” in green text.
Tap this link and if your Play Store version is the most recent available, you will receive a message saying “Google Play Store is up to date”. If you need to update the app, you will be given the option. While not all Android or even Pixel users have received this update, we are seeing it (as you can see in the image we included with this article) on our old Pixel 2 XL under Android 11.
Apple iPhone users spend significantly more on apps than Android users
Before adding this feature, tap the version number from the About screen to check if your Android phone was sitting on an update for the Play Store. The problem is, unless you knew it, there wouldn’t be any reason for you or anyone else to press the version number on the About screen. It’s worth pointing out that the newly added link has been placed right under the Play Store version number.
One theory is that in developing economies like India, the world’s second largest smartphone market, low-cost Android models are in demand. And in regions like India, many Android phone buyers are not financially equipped to spend a lot of money on apps. Or to look at it another way, those who can afford a new iPhone are most likely able to spend the money to buy iOS apps from the App Store.
Since this is a server-side update, Android users don’t have to worry about updating the Google Play app manually. Just keep an eye out for the new link and you should eventually find it in the Play Store app on your Android phone. In case you were wondering, the Play Store version on our Pixel 2 XL which includes the new feature is 28.2.10-21.