How to Access the Google Play Store - dummies

How to Access the Google Play Store

By Dan Gookin

The Google Play Store is one of the things that make owning an Android phone rewarding. You can visit the Play Store not only to obtain more apps for your phone but also to go shopping for music, books, and videos (films and TV shows). Someday, Google might even sell robots at the Play Store. Until then, the selection seems adequate and satisfying.

You access the Google Play Store by opening the Play Store app, found in the apps drawer. You may also find a launcher on the Home screen.

After opening the Play Store app, you see the main screen, similar to the one shown. Categories appear that help you browse for apps, games, books, and so on. The rest of the screen highlights popular or recommended items.


Find apps by choosing the Apps category from the main screen, also known as Store Home. The next screen lists popular and featured items plus categories you can browse by swiping the screen right to left. The category tabs appear toward the top of the screen.

When you have an idea of what you want, such as an app’s name or even what it does, searching works fastest: Touch the Search icon at the top of the Play Store screen. Type all or part of the app’s name or perhaps a description.

To see more information about an item, touch it. Touching something doesn’t buy it but instead displays a more detailed description, screen shots, a video preview, comments, plus links to similar items, as shown.


Return to the main Google Play Store screen at any time by touching the Google Play app icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.

  • The first time you open the Play Store app, you have to accept the terms of service; touch the Accept or OK button.

  • You can be assured that all apps that appear in the Play Store can be used with your phone. There’s no way to download or buy something that’s incompatible.

  • Pay attention to an app’s ratings. Ratings are added by people who use the apps — people like you and me. Having more stars is better. You can see additional information, including individual user reviews, by choosing the app.

  • Another good indicator of an app’s success is how many times it’s been downloaded. Some apps have been downloaded tens of millions of times. That’s a good sign.