Google releases updated Phone and Contacts apps to the Play Store then takes them down, get them here
Guess what, Google uploaded two stock Android apps — Phone and Contacts — to the Google Play Store for a brief time, but sadly, changed its mind later on and took both apps down.
We don't know what caused this abrupt removal of the two essential Android apps from the Store. It seems that the tech giant has been entertaining the idea of decoupling the two apps from stock Android for some time now, as it has already done so with a great number of core apps, like Camera, Keyboard, Calendar, the Google Now Launcher, and others. Initially, these were not available on the Play Store - they were indivisible part of the Android OS.
The reason why Google decouples its apps to the Play Store is to push updates more easily and in a more timely manner. It seems that this is the case with Contacts and Phone. In particular, Google's Phone scores a call blocking feature, as well as an improved Caller ID interface feature that shows more tidbits of info for businesses. A visual voicemail counter is also on board, but it's currently available only to users of Google's Project Fi, T-Mobile, or Orange. Contacts, on the other hand, has only scored streamlined contact editing, possibly a revamped contact linking interface, as well as some bug fixes and improvements.
Have in mind that you can only install the two apps on devices that have their previous versions preinstalled, which kind of limits the pool to Nexus, Android One, and Google Play Edition devices. What's more, you need to have Android 6.0 Marshmallow running the show.
Nothing is ever lost on the interwebs - despite the fact that Google pulled them down, willing adopters that meet the above-mentioned requirements can sideload the two apps. The APK files are available for download right below, but have in mind that the two apps might be buggy, which is a probable reason for their removal from the store. We will update you if Google re-uploads the two apps to the Play Store again.
source: Android Police