On the heels of Apple celebrating its 25th billion app download over the weekend, it's clear that all pretenders to the digital dominance of Apple have a long way to go before truly rivaling the Cupertino, California-based tech giant.
Of course, that's not stopping Internet search behemoth Google from trying. On Monday, in fact, Google announced a major makeover for its emerging Android Market. Taking direct aim at iTunes and others in the digital space, Google is turning the Android Market into Google Play
, a new face for an old platform that Google hopes to rejuvenate through a more expansive and comprehensive slate of online offerings (books, apps, movies, etc.)
“Entertainment is supposed to be fun,” Google stated on its official blog today. “But in reality, getting everything to work can be the exact opposite—moving files between your computers, endless syncing across your devices, and wires…lots of wires. Today we’re eliminating all that hassle with Google Play, a digital entertainment destination where you can find, enjoy and share your favorite music, movies, books and apps on the web and on your Android phone or tablet.”
As you might expect, Google Play is all about the cloud. That is, users can pile on and pile together all their beloved digital possessions in one place without having to worry about anything getting lost or accidentally deleted.
“Starting today,” Google confirms, “Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore will become part of Google Play. On your Android phone or tablet, we’ll be upgrading the Android Market app to the Google Play Store app over the coming days. Your videos, books and music apps (in countries where they are available) will also be upgraded to Google Play Movies, Google Play Books and Google Play Music apps. The music, movies, books and apps you’ve purchased will continue to be available to you through Google Play—simply log in with your Google account like always.”
For Google, the move represents another significant effort by the search giant to ramp up the competition with Apple in one part of their tech rivalry where Apple remains significantly more successful. Although the Android mobile OS claims a bigger global market share than iOS, Google's Android Market app storefront still can't compete with Apple's App Store in terms of revenue generated and the number and quality of apps offered.
It will be interesting to see if and how Google Play resonates with the mobile community in the weeks and months ahead. We'll be watching.