Google introduced Google Play to the world yesterday. The new cloud-based “digital entertainment destination” for apps, music, movies, and books merges three Google entities into Google Play: Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore.
This comes as no surprise to the majority of users. Google has been ramping up its direct-to-consumer sales over the past year with its eBookstore launch in December 2010, addition of YouTube movie rentals in May 2011, and Google Music launch in November.
None of these services have specifically focused on the Android Market, but signs have been coming out since the Android Market was given a facelift last July. The new Google Play branding gives focus much like Apple's iTunes Store and Amazon, making it more like a storefront for people that want all their media in the same place.
Now Google Play offers more than 450,000 apps, millions of songs, thousands of movies, and tons of books. Before you decide to buy you can preview the song, book, or movie. This in addition to app ratings, reviews, and several screenshots.
Everything is stored in the cloud. Your downloads can be seen on your mobile device or found online at play.google.com. No special software is required, no wires or syncing needed, and it's free to use.
If you like something on Google Play, you can share posts about your favorite books, music, movies, games or apps to your circles on Google+, email, or text message in a single click. It's not known whether they will be integrating with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other platforms.
With Google Play you can:
- Store up to 20,000 songs for free and buy millions of new tracks.
- Download more than 450,000 Android apps and games.
- Browse the world’s largest selection of eBooks.
- Rent thousands of your favorite movies, including new releases and HD titles.
On your Android phone or tablet, Google will upgrade the Android Market app to the Google Play Store app over the coming days (only in certain countries, see below) All downloads such as your videos, books and music apps will also be upgraded to Google Play Movies, Google Play Books and Google Play Music apps. You should be able to play these just like normal without interruption by logging into your Google account like always.
Google’s new names:
- Android Market = Play Store
- Google Music = Play Music
- Video App = Play Movies
- Google Books = Play Books
Google doesn’t sell content in every country in the world. Here’s what Google Play will initially offer by country:
- U.S.: Apps, Movies, Books, Music
- UK & Canada: Apps, Movies, Books
- Australia: Apps & Books
- Japan: Apps & Movies
- Others: Apps
Google plans to roll out everything around the globe but doesn't give specific timelines when certain things will be released.
Learn more about Google Play by watching the following Google video:
What do you think of the new upgrades/changes? Do you think this is a big slap against Apple iTunes Store and Amazon Marketplace?
I'm a huge Apple fan and download everything through my iPhone 4s and MacPro but I personally don't like how I can't use any of these movies, apps, songs on my PC computer. I'd like to try out an Android Tablet but don't really want to have to buy the apps again.
I haven't messed around with Amazon much, though I know that they don't really care what you do with your movies. Do you think Amazon needs a unified music/movies/app storefront like this? Think Amazon Play or Amazon Plus is in the near future?
How do you think this will affect the overall online marketplace and the way we all buy music, movies, apps?