Launched across smartphones this month, the Google Play Store has finally reached Android users across the UK. Distancing themselves from the old branded Android Market, is this Google’s answer to compete with Apple’s App Store and iTunes range?
Before researching for this article, my first guess was that Google had probably made these changes in preparation for the launch of their Google Nexus Tablet; their debut tablet that’s expected for release in the next few months. Probably not a bad shout really as this would mean that they’d be releasing an exciting new product that has its very own branded digital content service.
What is Google Play?
The new name Google Play certainly places more emphasis upon the fun and multimedia that can be had on an Android device such as the Samsung Galaxy S2. Offering a more connected, powerful experience, Google Play provides a handsome 450,000 Android Market apps; perfect for a spare 10 minutes. Beyond apps, the millions of songs, over 3 million books and thousands of films makes Google Play a great one stop shop for downloadable content.
Though books and music were already available for Android Market users, the new navigation of the Google Play Store makes downloading your favourite content, simple and streamlined. Google Play not only allows Android users to stream high definition movies straight from the web, but also download movies to view at a later date; perfect for when you’re travelling and may be offline.
Google Play Cloud Storage
Seamless interaction between your purchases from your smartphone, tablet or desktop ensures you can read, listen or play your favourite content anywhere you want. Download content on your desktop, ready for your smartphone when you’re on the go. With the ability to store up to 20,000 music tracks within a cloud library, this puts Google Play right up there with Apple.
Google + integration
With Google + integrated into the Google Play Store, you can enjoy a platform that promotes sharing. If you buy a music track from Google Play, you can share onto your mates Google + account, giving them access to a free full listen of your new favourite sounds. In fact, any content available through the Google Play Store can be sent to friends via Google +, email or text message in a single click.
Upon even closer inspection it looks like Google may have renamed the Android Market as Google Play in order to showcase Google Wallet; a payment facility that is going to make both online and offline purchases easier and safer. Currently this service is only available across the SPRINT network in the US but expect Google Wallet to reach the UK before the end of the year.
The Future for Google
I can just about predict the future using my Google Crystal ball (other crystal balls are available) and it says that we’re not going to be able to go anywhere soon without Google having had a hand in it. Here’s an example of how Google could assist you for an entire evening…
To kick start the evening, you use your Google Nexus tablet to search for a place to eat, funnily enough using the Google search engine. As you plan to travel by public transport, you download the latest train timetable from Google Play. To find the restaurant from the station, Google Maps will give you step by step instructions. A quick check on Google to see what dishes have been recommended and finally after ordering and eating, you pay using Google Wallet. After your meal, Google a taxi number as you don’t want to wait for the train and then it’s back home to watch a HD movie you downloaded onto your new Google Tablet.
The range of Google services available are a great way to make life that little bit easier. I recommend you brush up your Google knowledge as soon as possible, before you’re left in the dark to Google “When did I lose touch?”