Changing Google Play Store Country
Google Fi is Google’s answer to big US telecoms like AT&T, Verizon, etc. It has a lot of nice perks over its US competitors, like pay-as-you-use billing and international roaming in 200+ destinations. I’m traveling quite a bit to destinations outside of europe, where my existing Vodafone plan doesn’t cover me or covers me at some inane cost. As a US citizen with a US address, I decided to give Google Fi a try to pick up the slack from my current plan (As a non-US citizen, you might try this). I have a Pixel 3, so I’m all set with hardware…I just need to get the Google Fi app…which is only available in the US Play Store. I live in Germany and my Play Store country is set unsurprisingly to Germany. Changing this is a real bitch, it turns out. Or I’m just a dumb idiot.
Here are the extremely haphazard steps I took to change my Play Store country to The United States and sometimes what happened after each step:
- Open app page (e.g. Google Fi) and see that it says in red that the app is not available.
- Remove SIM Card
- Restart Phone
- Remove all Play Store payment methods that DON’T have US addresses attached to them
- Purchase a VPN client with one of these payment methods
- Connect the VPN client to a US server
- Clear data and force stop the Play Store app
- Open Play Store, got to “Account” > “Preferences” and see that region is US and no other region is suggested
- Open app page (e.g. Google Fi) and see that it says in green that the app is not available.
- Go to the web version of the Play Store and navigate to the app (e.g. Google Fi)
- It should say that some of your devices are compatible
- Download the app via the web Play Store (selecting the appropriate device, e.g. Pixel 3)
- Open Play Store on phone and go to “My apps & games” > “Installed”
- You should see that the app is installing
Once you have the app, you should be able to switch back to your normal store and the app should continute to receive updates.
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