In a bid to better compete with Apple and Amazon.com, Google has launched a single branded service named Google Play, where consumers can buy and download digital books, music, movies and games.
The Internet search giant says users 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 ebooks and rent movies. This is a change in branding and appearance, not functionality. The listings for apps, movies, music and books look nearly the same as they did before, but with a new domain name and logo.
The Android Market will now be known as Google Play.
"Google Play is entirely cloud-based so all your music, movies, books and apps are stored online, always available to you, and you never have to worry about losing them or moving them again," Jamie Rosenberg, Director of Digital Content at Google, wrote in a post on the company's official blog.
With Google Play, the search giant is pushing the idea of cloud computing, available on Android devices or on any desktop Web browser. The cloud is a big part of this strategy, with purchased content automatically available on all devices, no syncing required. It's clearly an answer to Apple's iCloud, the main difference being that on PCs, Google is using a Website instead of a native desktop client.
Google says it will offer a different album, book, video rental and Android app at a reduced price each day for the next week
Google has a huge audience with more than 300 million Android devices in use.With more than 450,000 applications in Google's Android app market, three times the number from a year ago, developers are grateful for anything that can help boost their visibility.
Launched in October 2008, Android Market still lags far behind Apple in revenues, according to numerous studies. Last month, Distimo, a company that tracks data on app stores, reported that Apple's iOS App Store generated four times the total revenue of Android Market.
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