As we head towards the halfway point of 2016, Google Play is looking back over the last 6 months to see what hits have cropped up over the year. The results are localised to Australia with other focuses around the globe showing different results. So, what’s been a hit?


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Google Play’s Book focus for 2016 so far is a mix of international and Australian authors. You’ll find the international big names such as James Patterson, J.D. Robb, Danielle Steele and Dean Koontz, as well as local authors like romance writer Rachel Johns, and author of the Remembering Anita Cobby book Mark Morri also in the focus. There’s not really much here in the way of deals, but it’s good to know what’s popular.

If you want to check out what’s been hot in Books on Google Play in Australia so far this year, head over to Google Play and check them out.

Movies & TV


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This isn’t the Oscars, so you won’t find a heap of arthouse movies listed here, nor just movies released in 2016 (2015 was a good year) but the top movies in Google Play so far this year do contain some killer titles.

We don’t care if you’re a fan of comic movies or not, but Deadpool is a fantastic piece of film and you should watch it, rent it, buy it, we don’t care just do it. Also on the list is another great movie: The Martian, and though the book is a little bit better, we still highly recommend the movie as well with Matt Damon putting in a great performance and Sean Bean makes it all the way through without dying.

There’s movies for all ages on the list with the Pixar title The Good Dinosaur, as well as the sequel hit Hotel Transylvania 2 (seems Adam Sandler can only do great movies if they’re animated now) and of course the Chipmunks make an appearance in their fourth (somebody stop them please) movie, Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip.

If you’re a movie buff, you’ll probably already know what you like, but if you want to see what other people have been watching head over to the Top Movies of 2016 So Far focus on Google Play now.

TV Shows

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TV shows come and go, or just peter out to the point that we don’t want to watch them any more, so obviously we change our preferences regularly. Google’s Best of TV so far focus shows a lot of American shows this year, in fact the majority with the exception of Downton Abbey (UK) and Orphan Black (Canadian) they all appear to be from the US.

The usual big shows: Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead make the list as expected, as does the world’s most popular comedy The Big Bang Theory, the big name DC TV Universe shows The Flash and Arrow also make the list, while notably Marvel’s TV offerings Agent Carter and Agents of Shield don’t – guess that’s a plus for DC with their film universe not terribly popular.

My favourite new show for 2015 – Outlander – made the cut, so I highly recommend you check it out. If TV Shows are your thing, head over to Google Play and check out what everyone has been watching on Google Play this year.



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In terms of music focuses, Google has divided their focuses into singles and albums for the look back at 2016 so far. It makes sense to do it this way, we don’t always find a perfect album these days so it’s often a single track on there we want to grab.

In terms of albums, there’s quite a few titles crossing a multitude of genres. There’s also both local and international artists and bands on the list. In terms of local artists, The Hilltop Hoods, Adam Brand and The Living End make an appearance, as does part-time Aussie Keith Urban. The usual suspects in terms of international artists are on the list as well with Rihanna, Drake, Ryan Lewis and Maclemore, Radiohead and Gwen Stefani included.

Again, there’s no huge discounts here but there’s a lot of good music so it’s probably worth checking out. Head over to Google Play and see what you think.


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Singles are a great way to get some music but sometimes a band steps out of their genre a bit and the rest of the album isn’t quite to your liking, or something just strikes a chord (hah). The singles so far this year on Google Play Music in Australia, like the previous ‘best of so far’ focuses show a good mix of international and local artists.

Keith Urban, Delta Goodrem, Nicole Millar and Eurovision contestant Dani Im are included in the focus. The Sound of Silence by Dani Im is a fairly obvious choice for the list, as are some of the other tracks, but the lack of Disturbed’s remake of the Simon & Garfunkel classic ‘The Sound of Silence’ is a travesty IMHO, but then my lack of musical taste is fairly well known (their single The Light is also pretty good).

If you’re a music fan, head over to the Google Play Single focus which is live now on Google Play.


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If you’re a news buff, you’ll be all up on local and international news sources, but one app that almost never makes an appearance on my devices is Google Play Newsstand. If you’re a Newstand user you’ll want to head over and see what’s popular in Australia to make sure you’re getting the broadest local coverage.

These are a fun look to see what everyone else is looking at, but so far while some of my personal picks for what would be popular this year have made the list, a lot more haven’t. How good are you at picking what’s been big this year? Head over and check out the features and see how well you did.

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    Under top movies the link is actually for top books.