Recently Google updated their Play Store, not only with a new version for Android devices, but also with the ability to buy credits and also pick up gift cards in select retail locations. Both are features designed to drum up business going into the holiday season, and with the launch of new devices forthcoming on October 29th. While gift cards can't, at this time, be ordered online, store credit can be purchased right from the Play Store. All of this goes perfectly with the Wish List feature in version 3.9.16 of the store, which has begun rolling out this week.
Gift cards can be purchased from Target, Radio Shack and GameStop. This information is available online by scrolling to the bottom of the Store and clicking the "Buy Gift Card" link. The link, however, only displays a bit of information, along with the three stores where they are available. There is not even a link to any of those stores, but there is access to redeem the cards from this page.
As for purchasing store credit, there is also a link to "Buy Google Play Credit" next to Gift Card link at the bottom of the page. Credits are available in increments of $5, $10, $15, $25 and $50. Unfortunately there isn't currently a way to gift this credit to another person, which means you will need to seek out a gift card at a retail location for the upcoming holiday season, unless this is expanded soon.
It seems likely that Google will roll everything together very soon. Gift cards will become available online, users will be able to gift store credits to other users and the Wish List feature in the Play Store will function similarly to it's Amazon counterpart, allowing one person to peruse another's wish list for gift ideas and then make the purchase for them. For now, the mobile platform is moving in the right direction, but hasn't quite reached that level yet. Given the speed with which they are moving though, it's entirely possible that Google may still get there before the holiday shopping season begins in a little over one month.
NOTE: I know that the store credits rolled out this week, but it's possible that gift cards were released sooner and went unnoticed by me. If so, feel free to make fun of me in the comments below.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.