Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Google wants you to know Android apps aren’t just for phones anymore

When most people think of the Google Play Store, the first thing that comes to mind is smartphones. However, the spread of the Android ecosystem is far broader than that, and Google is taking steps to increase awareness of this and make it easier for folks to find apps on the Play Store for their smart TVs, watches, and even cars.

In a blog post today, the Google Play team announced three significant changes that should make it easier for Android fans to discover apps for all their devices, right from their phone. This includes recommendations of apps for non-phone devices, a search filter to focus on only games optimized for non-phone devices, and even a remote install feature that will let you deliver those apps to your Android TV, Wear OS watch, or Android Automotive-equipped car.

Related Videos
Google Play Store remote install app on other non-phone devices.

It’s the latest step in Google’s efforts to unify the Android ecosystem to make devices of all stripes work better together. It’s probably no coincidence that these changes are arriving only days before Google’s big October 6 event, where it’s expected to unveil not just the next-generation Pixel 7 but also enter the smartwatch space in a big way with the highly anticipated Pixel Watch.

Finding Android apps for all your devices

An update to the Google Play Store phone app, which should begin rolling out to compatible Android phones starting today, will enable these new features to put apps for non-phone devices on a much more equal footing with the Play Store’s vast collection of smartphone apps.

Google Play Store featured pages for non-phone devices.

A new “Other Devices” page on the Play Store will focus entirely on apps optimized for Wear OS, Android TV OS, and Android Automotive. This page will be laid out similarly to other Play Store pages, with featured apps, game recommendations, and editorials explicitly tailored to how key Android apps can extend and empower the experience onto other Android devices.

A new device filter on the Play Store will also let users narrow their search results to only those apps that are compatible with their selected device, including non-phone devices like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, Nvidia Shield, and even Android-powered vehicles like Volvo’s Polestar 2.

Google Play Store search filter for non-phone devices.

When you find a Wear OS, Android TV, or Android Automotive app you like while browsing the Play Store on your Android smartphone, there’s no need to go and look for it again on that device. Instead, a single click lets you deliver it directly to your non-phone device. This works just like remotely installing Android apps to other smartphones, extending to almost every non-phone Android platform.

Managing apps from the web

The Play Store website recently underwent a significant redesign to simplify navigation and improve accessibility. In the process, Google has also added these advanced device management features to the website, so you can find and install your favorite apps on your smartphone, wearable, smart TV, or vehicle from the comfort of any web browser.

All the same search filters and non-phone featured pages are available from the Play Store, making it even easier to search out and discover new app experiences for all your Android devices.

Google also hopes these changes will give developers more opportunities to showcase multi-device app experiences and extend their apps beyond smartphones and into the rest of the Android ecosystem.

Editors' Recommendations

You may want to think twice about buying a Samsung or Pixel phone
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra next to the Google Pixel 7 Pro.

A new report from Project Zero, Google's internal security research team, says that a laundry list of devices using Exynos modems are at a high risk of major security breaches that would give remote users the ability to very easily "compromise a phone at the baseband level." Notably, the recently released Pixel 7 is among those that are open to attack, alongside the Pixel 6 and Samsung Galaxy S22, to name just a few.

Obviously, this is a major issue, but not all hope is lost, as the problem is certainly fixable. The big question is when a fix for all affected devices is coming. Here's everything you need to know about the vulnerability and what you can do to keep your smartphone safe.
Why Samsung and Pixel phones are in danger

Read more
The Google Pixel Fold may not be as expensive as you thought
Alleged renders of the Google Pixel Fold in black.

Google’s long-in-development foldable phone — the Pixel Fold — is reportedly eyeing a late June launch. A recent leak predicted that the Pixel Fold will hit the European shelves priced at 1,700 Euros, which equates to roughly $1,800 based on current conversion rates. That’s not easy to digest, especially for a first-gen foldable phone and considering Google’s own shaky history with its Pixel hardware and software.
But it appears that the Pixel Fold’s price won’t be inexplicably exorbitant at all. Leaker Yogesh Bear shared on Twitter that the foldable phone could actually cost anywhere between $1,300 and $1,500. Assuming that turns out to be true, the Pixel Fold could undercut the Samsung Galaxy Fold 4 and its successor by a healthy $500.

In fact, such an asking price would put the Pixel Fold in roughly the same ballpark as the higher storage configurations of phones like the Galaxy S23 Ultra and Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max. Of course, Google won’t be able to match the asking price of foldables from Chinese brands, but it would at least look competitive in the Western markets.
Now, a price of around $1,300-1,500 makes a lot of sense. First, the biggest deterrent for foldable phones is their high asking price. There’s a reason Samsung managed to sell bucketloads of its flip-style foldable phones because they cost nearly half vis-a-vis the phone-tablet hybrids in the Galaxy Z Fold series.

Read more
Google Pixel 8: all the latest rumors and what we want to see
Google Pixel 8 leaked render.

The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are on their way. Google's fallen in a pretty reliable release pattern for Pixel phones, meaning we can safely expect a new lineup of flagship Pixels each year. In 2023, that means the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro.

The Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are two excellent devices -- possibly two of the best smartphones Google has ever made. But while they have some serious strengths, a number of problems and missed opportunities drag both phones down. This wouldn't be a problem if the competition was standing still, but it's not. The Apple iPhone 14 Pro refreshed the iPhone design for the first time in years, and the recently released Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is quite possibly one of the best smartphones ever created. So what's a humble Pixel to do?

Read more