Google Play Store, Google Search app updates rolling out [UPDATED]

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| March 14, 2014

Google Play Store 4.6.16 update screenshots

Typically Google chooses Wednesday as the day of the week to roll out app updates en masse, but it looks like The Big G has decided to spread its update love out this week.

Google is now pushing out updates to both the Google Play Store and the Google Search app. Let's start with the Play Store update, which is by far the more significant of the two. The new version of the Google Play Store brings the app up to v.4.6.16 and includes a number of new features and tweaks that are sure to please power users. Here's a rundown of what's inside, courtesy of Android Police:

  • Batch install apps: Users can now navigate to the My Apps > All tab and batch install apps that they don't already have on their device
  • Require password for purchases: This option allows the user to select how often their device requires a password for Google Play purchases. Options include always, every 30 minutes or never.
  • Settings and Help options have moved: Both Settings and Help are now located in the slide-out navigation menu
  • Force Play Store update: Users can now force the Play Store app to check for an update by repeatedly tapping on the "Build version" option in the app's Settings menu
  • In-app purchases part of permissions: If an app includes in-app purchases, that will now be listed as part of its "App permissions" in the Play Store
  • Small UI tweaks: Include blue "Add" buttons, bold user names, slightly revised account selector

That's a pretty beefy update, no? The ability to select how often Google Play will ask your password for purchases will come in handy for folks that give their phone out to others frequently, like a parent giving a device to a child, and the ability to batch install apps will be useful when folks get a new Android phone. The force update option is another nice addition that will appeal those of us that drop everything at the news that an app update is available.

The Google Search app is also receiving an update today that adds support for cricket to Google Now, just in time for the ICC World Twenty20 championship. Also included is the ability to display traffic incidents on a route, support for setting reminders for chains and "Ok Google" hotword functionality for German and French.

As is usually the case with updates, expect these new versions of the Google Play Store and Google Search to slowly roll out to users over the next week or so.

UPDATE: Google has also started pushing out an update to the Google Maps for Android app. The update brings with it the ability to view upcoming events and performances, tap and hold anywhere on a map to drop a pin and save or share that location and some unspecified bug fixes. You can find Google Maps for Android in the Play Store right here.

Via Android Police, +Google, Google Play: Google Search, Google Maps