Google Play Store set to get gift cards, wish lists

Hackers uncovered code supporting the features in a new update of the store’s application package.

Gift cards and wish lists are coming to the Google Play store, according to the Android Police website, whose hackers uncovered code supporting the features in a new update of the stores application package.

Blogger Artem Russakovskii says he discovered the new features in the app by comparing the code in Google Play version 3.7.15 and 3.8.15.

"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," he wrote.

Two of Russakovskii's fellow hackers subsequently created an app to pry the screens for the gift card redemption and wish list features from the Google Play software. One screen shows a Google Play menu that includes the options "My Wish List" and "Redeem." Another screen displays the Redeem screen for keeping tabs on your Google Play balance and for inserting a gift card code.

Other shots show an Apps screen with a new "include in wish list" checkbox above the description of an app and a My Wish List screen with an app listed in it.

"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)," Russakovskii reasoned.

The gift card feature could be handy for denizens of the online mart who don't have credit cards or access to Google Wallet.

While gift cards will be new to Google Play, gift credits aren't. When Google introduced its Nexus 7 tablet, buyers received a $25 credit at the Google Play store.

Google was not immediately available for comment on the findings by Android Police.

Follow freelance technology writer John P. Mello Jr. and Today@PCWorld on Twitter.

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John P. Mello Jr.

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