Thursday, August 16, 2012

Latest Google Play Store v3.8.15 Introduce Play Store Gift Cards And A Wish List

 
A new Google Play Store update v3.8.15 has just started rolling out to Android devices. The new version updates 3.7.15 from the end of July, Something definitely is, because the apk is 300KB larger than the three previous 3.7.XX ones. Here you can Download the New Play Store apk

 Here are some historical sizes:

  • com.android.vending-3.5.19.apk 3.81MB
  • com.android.vending-3.7.11.apk 5.07MB
  • com.android.vending-3.7.13.apk 5.07MB
  • com.android.vending-3.7.15.apk 5.07MB
  • com.android.vending-3.8.15.apk 5.35MB
As you can see, each time the Play Store was updated to the next 3.X, there was a considerable jump in file size (as well as functionality). Thanks to our Sources for digging up these stuff : AndroidPolice

Play Store Gift Cards

What I found inarguably points to Google gearing up to finally release redeemable Play Store gift cards - something we've been anxiously waiting for since the Android Market started supporting paid apps. Earlier this year, Google renewed our hopes by adding the ability to have a Play Store balance for those who purchase a Nexus 7. This put us one step closer to gift cards, but there was still nothing concrete. What I have here today is more than concrete - it's solid evidence.
One additional interesting detail regarding gift cards popped up in the code - the Play Store is now set to intercept links to play.google.com/redeem, which currently returns a "404 page not found" error. It's possible that the links could actually look like play.google.com/FOO/BAR/ETC/redeem, but it's not really important right now as everything I tried returns a 404 at the moment.

  •  Mathias Tillman was able to get a screenshot of the Redeem Activity (I'm guessing he issued a custom Activity call once he knew what it was called).
  •  Shen Ye was got a few more showing the Wish List and the new menu. Check them all out below.
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Wish List

In addition to adding the ability to redeem Play Store gift cards, Google is going to add a Wish List where you can add apps, books, tv shows, movies, music, and magazines. I'm not sure what exactly the point of this wish list would be (maybe later it can turn into a cart), but presumably you'll be able to add the aforementioned types of content into a list and then buy later, perhaps after redeeming a gift card (this would explain why the two features are being added together).
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The Evidence

Here's a long list of assets and strings that were all added in Play Store 3.8.15 that was released today. I'm just going to release the kraken and let those of you who understand code (or if you don't, just read the English-looking bits) soak it all in.

New Icons

ic_menu_market_redeem.png
image
ic_menu_market_wishlist.png
image
ic_apps_added.png, ic_books_added.png, ic_magazines_added.png, ic_movies_tv_added.png,
image image image image
These are in addition to ic_tv_added.png and ic_music_added.png that were already present in 3.7.15:
image image
And last but not least, there seems to be a new Play Store icon (the file gplay_graphic.png is new), though I'm not sure if it's actually new to the Internet. I don't recall ever seeing it in the wild, but I may be wrong.
image

Layout Resources

These were added in 3.8.15:
These were changed:
  • details_section_music.xml, generic_creator_details.xml: now with added <include layout="@layout/details_wishlist" />.
  • details_wishlist.xml: now with added <ProgressBar android:id="@id/details_wishlist_progressbar" />. Presumably, this will keep track of your progress adding or buying things in your wishlist.
  • menu/base.xml: now with added <item android:icon="@drawable/ic_menu_market_redeem" android:id="@id/redeem_item" android:title="@string/redeem_gift_card" />. Looks like a new menu item is coming next to Accounts, Settings, Help, etc.

String Resources

These were added in 3.8.15:
  • <string name="redeem_gift_card">Redeem</string>
  • <string name="balance_label">Google Play balance</string>
  • <string name="no_balance">0.00</string>
  • <string name="gift_card_code_hint">Gift card code</string>
  • <string name="invalid_gift_card_code">Invalid gift card code.</string>
  • <string name="gift_cards_not_supported">Google Play gift cards are not valid in your country.</string>
  • <string name="menu_my_wishlist">My Wishlist</string>
  • <string name="keep_shopping">Keep shopping</string>

Android Manifest

These lines were added in AndroidManifest.xml, the main file that describes how the Play Store application works:
  • <data android:scheme="http" android:host="play.google.com" android:pathPrefix="/redeem" />
  • <data android:scheme="https" android:host="play.google.com" android:pathPrefix="/redeem" />

Conclusion

If you, like me, have been waiting for gift cards for a long time, rest assured that they're coming. I don't know when, but we're likely close if Google decided to unleash the hounds and release the Play Store apk in the wild. My guess is that they will either wait for an event or announce it after the latest Play Store has trickled through to everyone (days? weeks?).
As someone who runs a lot of giveaways, I've also wanted an ability to gift individual apps rather than gift cards, but I don't see any indication that this ability is coming at all.
Finally, we're getting a Wish List, in case you were dreaming about being able to add apps, movies, etc. to a collection to buy later. I'm not sure anyone will care - the main news here is definitely gift card support.


    Sid Goswami is a tech enthusiast, besides being an avid Android fan and blogger, Sid wants to be a photographer and a designer. He can usually be found reading through blogs, taking photos. He's a student and a PHP web developer.