Android smartphones are experiencing a trend where developers who once distributed their apps as part of larger system-level updates are instead breaking things up piecemeal, and gradually introducing those apps as stand-alone programs in the Google Play Store. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re being made available to wider audiences, but the Play Store distribution makes updating individual apps a whole lot easier – and hopefully faster. While we normally see this kind of thing from OEMs like HTC, today it’s Google breaking off some of its apps into bite-sized Play Store morsels, releasing both Phone and Contacts – temporarily, at least.
Earlier today both the Phone dialer app and Google’s Contacts app turned up in Google Play, complete with fresh updates. The changes in Contacts were relatively minor, but the dialer found itself getting a new UI for incoming calls from businesses, as well as the oh-so-useful ability to block calls from unwanted numbers.
But now, Google seems to have pulled both apps from the Play Store, and links to their respective pages (preserved below) don’t take us anywhere.
This may mean that someone just jumped the gun on pushing them live, and we’ll see both return in a short while. If you can’t wait that long, links to the APKs for both new apps are available through the via link below. Just keep in mind that the new releases appear to only work for Marshmallow devices like Google’s own Nexus handsets.