How to Change Country/Region in Google Play Store

How to Change Country/Region in Google Play Store

Using the Google Play Store is pretty simple: you pop it open, search for the app you want to download, and install it on your device. That’s about all there is to it.

But what happens if you move to a different country? You’ll need access to the proper version of the Play Store for billing information. And Google Play features different apps for various regions, which can sometimes allow or block access to certain apps.

Whether you’ve recently moved or want to try accessing another region’s Play Store (which comes with a big caveat), here’s how to change your country setting in Google Play.

How to Change Country in the Google Play Store

  1. Open the Play Store app on your Android device.
  2. Slide out the left menu and select Account.
  3. If you have access to the country-switching option, you’ll see a Country and profiles entry in this menu.
  4. Tap this Country category, and select your new country. Proceed through the prompts to add a new payment method for your current country, if needed.
  5. Review the warning prompt and accept the change. Once you’ve switched countries, you’re now able to browse the Play Store for that region. The change may take up to 24 hours to go into effect.

This option won’t appear for everyone. It only shows up if you were previously in a different country than you are now (based on IP address). This means you can’t just switch your Play Store to any country that you feel like.

If you use the Google Play Family Library feature, you also won’t see the option to change your Play Store region.

Caveats When You Change Google Play Store Country

When you change your Play Store location, you must be aware of a few important points.

First, you cannot use your old payment method. You’ll have to use the one from your new country. After swapping, you also can’t spend your Google Play balance from the old country. That includes any gift cards you’ve added but not spent yet, as well as credit earned from Google Opinion Rewards.

In addition, you can only change your Play Store country once per year. You can visit the same menu again to change back to your old country after this amount of time.

Because of all this, we recommend changing countries in the Play Store only if you’ve actually moved countries and plan on staying for at least a year. While you could probably trick this by using a VPN, it’s not worth it just to get access to a few different apps. You’ll be locked into a Play Store outside your region for quite some time, which will be a big pain.

Instead, trying using the best Google Play alternatives to find apps that aren’t available on the Play Store. If you run into problems, try our guide to troubleshooting common Google Play Store issues.

Image Credit: bloomua/Depositphotos

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You Can Now Change Your PSN Name

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Sony launched the PlayStation Network way back in 2006. People signed up in droves, and everyone chose a PSN name as their online ID. However, many appear not to have realized that name would be permanent, as Sony refused to let you change your PSN name.

In October 2018, Sony finally announced that it was going to let you change your PSN name. The option was initially launched in beta as part of the PlayStation Preview Program, but it’s now being rolled out to everyone stuck with a name they no longer like.

How to Change Your PSN Name

As detailed on the PlayStation Blog, you can change your PSN name either on your PS4 or via a web browser.

To change your PSN name on your PS4, go to Settings, then select Account Management > Account Information > Profile > Online ID. Enter a new PSN name of your choosing (or one of the suggestions), and then follow the onscreen prompts to complete the change.

To change your PSN name on a web browser, sign into your PlayStation Network account and select PSN Profile. Select the Edit button next to your Online ID, and enter a new PSN name of your choosing. Finally, follow the onscreen prompts to complete the change.

Changing your PSN name doesn’t mean you lose your old one. And you can revert back to an old PSN name by contacting PlayStation Support. You can also display your old PSN name next to your new PSN name for 30 days to help your friends notice the change.

Unfortunately, changing your PSN name comes with some risks. While games released after April 1, 2018 support the feature, older titles do not. And some may cause critical issues. Sony recommends checking this list of tested games before proceeding.

Sony Creates Another Way to Make Money

You can change your PSN name once for free, but after that, all subsequent name changes will cost you cold, hard cash. PlayStation Plus subscribers will pay $ 4.99, while everyone else will pay $ 9.99. So it would be a good idea to get this right the first time.

This is long overdue, as Xbox owners have been able to change their gamertags for a while now. Still, it gives PlayStation 4 owners who chose terrible PSN names when they were young a chance to start over. And then they can enjoy the best PS4 exclusives.

Read the full article: You Can Now Change Your PSN Name

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5 Brain-Hacking Positivity Apps to Manage Depression and Change Your Mood

positivity-apps

When you’re feeling stressed, depressed, and unable to get out of a funk, these free apps can help manage your mood and trick your brain into feeling more positive for the time being.

From bots that will talk to you through a funk to long-term projects that help express and manage your mental state through photography, these apps have several approaches to change how you feel. It’s all about mood management and mind hacks, a combination that can help you better understand depression and anxiety, and deal with disorders.

Important: If you have signs of depression, mood disorders, and other mental health issues, these should be addressed by a medical professional. The apps in this article are stop-gap measures or add-ons to actual therapy and advice, they can’t replace medical diagnoses.

The One Project (Web, Android, iOS): Therapeutic Photography for Disorders

The One Project has been around for eight years, but a recent overhaul has put it on a new stage. The project continues its goal of using therapeutic photography, but now puts it into a new mobile app that lets you better connect with the community and the goals of the ideal.

Therapeutic photography is all about taking and analyzing your photos to understand how you see the world. Others in the community can also comment on your pictures to perhaps uncover things about yourself that you didn’t realize. It’s a learning process, done both consciously and subconsciously. You can learn more about it in the TED talk by founder Bryce Evans.

The One Project generally carries a $ 9.99 membership, but the community prides itself on denying nobody. So if you have financial constraints, you can still use the app by requesting a free membership.

Healacrity (Web): Daily Questionnaire to Reduce Stress

Healacrity helps beat stress with a daily questionnaire

When you wake up and start the day, you can approach the challenges and tasks with a clearer mind. Healacrity takes this clarity to prepare your brain for the day, no matter what happens, so that you don’t get stressed.

The web app, which also works on mobile, has a step-by-step questionnaire. You will be asked about big goals and the future, small goals and what’s troubling you, and worst case scenarios too. By writing your deepest desires and fears on a daily basis, it’s a bit like a doing a brain dump that also preps you.

Healacrity will email your responses immediately so that in case things go wrong, you can refer to your inbox which has a plan that you set at the start of the day on how to deal with obstacles. It’s better than having your tired, stressed mind coming up with a new attack.

Youper (Android, iOS): Bot to Track Moods and Rewire Your Brain

Youper is a mobile app that combines an AI-based chatbot with basic features of apps to track mood and progress. Through a series of questions and exercises, it will help you figure out how you’re feeling, why you’re feeling it, and beat it.

The chatbot will ask you a daily question to track your mood, or you can start the app to talk through how you’re feeling. There’s a bunch of presets for common moods, and you can choose the intensity of your feelings too. Over time, Youper will smartly figure out patterns in how you feel, and counter them with exercises.

There are also short-term exercises like guided meditations, for situations when you are feeling bogged down and want an instant boost. The bot understands normal language and has even auto-replies to feel like a natural process.

Download: Youper for Android | iOS (Free)

Moodrise (Android, iOS): Instant Mood-Changing Videos

Our moods are dependent on chemicals in our brain, like dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins, and so on. Some studies have shown that certain types of videos, sounds, or activities release more of these chemicals. For example, watching nature videos can release GABA, which makes you calmer.

Moodrise is an incredible app that puts together a series of 10 video exercises to help change your mood. First, you state how you are feeling, so the app can track your emotions. Then you choose from the recommended chemicals and undertake the exercise. It takes less than five minutes to finish one, but through watching, listening, and interacting with the set, your mind will trick itself into feeling better.

Moodrise is completely free, and you can do multiple chemical exercises in a day too. If you can’t find “Moodrise” on your phone’s app store, try searching for the developer AeBeZe.

Download: Moodrise for Android | iOS (Free)

Pause by Pauseable (Android, iOS): Move On Screen to Meditate

We all know that mindfulness meditation apps help improve your life, but several people find it difficult to sit still in one place without any activity. Pauseable combined the principles of Tai Chi with technology to create Pause, an app that makes you move to meditate.

Start the app, plug in your headphones, and you will be asked to touch the screen. Then you have to slowly trace your finger across the screen. Calming sounds play on your headphones, in sync with the calming animation and movements of your finger. You’ll get prompts if you go too fast or stop, along with prompts to close your eyes.

Ideally, a Pause session should last for 10 minutes, after which you’ll get a notification on your headphones. But you can change the duration in the app’s settings, as well as the difficulty for how slowly you move on screen, how much contact you need, and so on.

Download: Pause for Android | iOS (Free)

To Fight Depression, Move Away From Screens

This set of apps offer various ways to change your mood and feel better. But don’t over-rely on them. In fact, technology can be the source of your depression without you even knowing it.

The internet, smartphones, social media, and other such digital factors can affect your mood. Learn about how technology feeds depression, and take steps to counter it.

Read the full article: 5 Brain-Hacking Positivity Apps to Manage Depression and Change Your Mood

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Tom Cruise Wants You to Change Your TV Settings

Tom Cruise is worried about the settings on your TV. And he’s worried that a particular setting is robbing you of seeing him at his best in those movies where he does all of his stunts for no reason other than the fact he’s Tom Cruise. And he’s right.

What Is Motion Smoothing?

Cruise has made a PSA with Mission Impossible: Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie drawing attention to motion smoothing. Motion smoothing is an effect technically referred to as video interpolation and more commonly known as “the soap opera effect”.

Whatever you call it, the result is the same. Motion smoothing means your TV will literally fill in the gaps between frames, resulting in smoother video and less motion blur. Unfortunately, while motion smoothing is great for sports, it makes movies look worse.

Tom Cruise Hates the Soap Opera Effect

Cruise and McQuarrie deliver their PSA against motion smoothing on the set of Top Gun: Maverick. And while it starts out light-hearted, Cruise soon puts on his serious face to really drive home how you’re ruining his movies by using motion smoothing.

After explaining what interpolation is and does, Cruise explains how most new TVs come with motion smoothing turned on by default. McQuarrie then literally tells you how to Google “Turn off motion smoothing” on your television set. Which is rather good advice.

Making Films Look Like Liquid Diarrhea

Cruise and McQuarrie aren’t alone. Rian Johnson, Edgar Wright, and Chris Nolan have all previously criticized the effect. Johnson suggested motion smoothing makes movies “look like liquid diarrhea”. And as the director of The Last Jedi, he should know.

While this isn’t the most serious issue facing the world right now, motion smoothing is a crime against movies. And not just because Tom Cruise said so. If you’re in the market for a new TV, here’s how to pick the right TV for your living room.

Read the full article: Tom Cruise Wants You to Change Your TV Settings

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Sony Finally Lets You Change Your PSN ID

Sony is finally going to let PlayStation owners change their PSN IDs, and it has only taken 12 years of begging to make it happen. This means people stuck with the same PSN ID they chose in 2006 will finally be able to change it to something more mature.

Creating a PSN ID to Last a Lifetime

When Sony launched the PlayStation Network in 2006, it asked users to create an online ID. People did just that, but many didn’t take it as seriously as they should have. Cue 30-somethings with dumb names they grew out of a decade ago.

Sony has always insisted that allowing people to change their PlayStation Network Online ID was a bad idea. Because PlayStation Trophies and other essential elements are tied to those IDs. However, the company has now decided to lift those restrictions.

Sony Finally Offers PSN ID Changes

On the PlayStation Blog, Sony announced that PSN ID changes are coming. The feature will first be tested as part of the PlayStation Preview Program before being rolled out to everyone. The beta will run until November, with a full rollout in early 2019.

As with Microsoft’s Xbox Live name changes, the first change will be free, but all subsequent changes will cost you cold hard cash. Sony will charge PlayStation Plus members $ 4.99 per name change, with everyone else charged $ 9.99 per name change.

When you change your PSN ID you’ll be able to display your old name alongside it. You can also revert back to your original ID for free at any time. Which may be necessary, as Sony is warning that “users may occasionally encounter issues or errors in certain games.”

There May Be Trouble Ahead…

It’s ridiculous that it has taken Sony this long to offer such a feature. Sure, it may cause issues, and if so, we’re sure the PlayStation forums will be full of complaints saying as much. But forcing people to stick with names chosen 12 years ago was bizarre.

Now might be a good time to buy a PlayStation 4 Pro, but not before reading our PS4 Pro review. And if you already own one you should check out our list of the best PlayStation 4 exclusives. However, do bear in mind that the PlayStation 5 is on the way.

Image Credit: Michael Nugent/Flickr

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