What is Google Play?
Google Play was operated and developed by the world famous company Google. It provides digital distribution services via its extremely popular digital media store known as the Google Play Store that was originally created and runs mainly on the Android Market. Launched on March 6 in the year 2012, Google Play was created to bring together Google Music, the Google eBookstore, and the Android Market. This particular step by Google changed their entire market distribution methods. Today, all the popular operating systems have their very own digital stores. Like Apple’s iOS has the App Store that serves as their own digital store. Google Play is the application store for the Android Operating System and it is their official store. All these available downloads on the Play Store are developed using the Android SDK and hence, all the users can browse and download them accordingly and based on their interest.
Apart from just providing basic services, Google Play has become extremely famous for providing downloading services for apps related to music, movies, tv shows, books, magazines, games and so on. Its initial basic services included that it was a hardware store that provided hardware devices to its users to purchase. But on March 11, 2015, Google initiated a separate store known as the Google Store that has been divided by Google to supply just hardware devices to their users and buyers.
Google Play store has two types of applications in it. The first kind is those that are free of cost and can be downloaded directly into a device that has the provisions to support the store. The second kind is the apps that come at a cost price. A user will then have to subscribe to the store and make the purchase of the app accordingly. Even these apps can be downloaded into devices that run on Android OS or Google TV. Google Play Store also notifies that not all apps are functional on all compatible devices of the store. For example, some apps require motion sensor and some devices do not have such facilities. Initially, when Google Play came into the picture, not all phones had front-facing cameras either, so certain apps that can be used for video calling or selfie taking were not useful.
The services Google Play provides are;
- Google Play Music
- Google Play Books
- Google Play Newsstand
- Google Play Movies & TV
- Google Play Games
As of today, Google Play Store has more than 2.5 million applications within it and around 50 billion people across the world have downloaded their applications! It was finally introduced into the Android Market in the year 2008, on October 22. It can be opened in Android and Chrome OS. Also on iOS and the web but these platforms exclude the apps. And on Roku, people can only watch movies. It is widely termed as a Digital Distribution Application Store. Initially, the Google Play didn’t have a lot of support when it came to their paid apps, but in the year 2009, on Feb 13, 29 countries lent their hands to promote the paid apps other than the United States of America and the United Kingdom. This support from the other countries came on September 30 in the year 2010. Earlier the purchase refund window for the Android Market was either 24 hours or 48 hours depending on the app. But today, the window has been reduced much lower to just 15 minutes. This was also the same time when the Android Market began filtering the content.
Google Play Interface
Usually, when a person wants to search something on a digital store, he or she tends to just type in the name of the app they want. But Google Store eases down that process further for them. It categorizes all its apps within separate categories. For example, their Featured Apps section shows apps that cater to the Android design and its quality expectations. Then the Editor’s Picks section allows users to pick really fun apps and games that are selected exclusively by the Google Play’s editorial team. Their other section, known as Top Charts displays the post famous apps that have been popular over the years and are sorted by category. Another section is known as the Trending section that displays apps that are user popular and are trending the most at that particular point in time. This means that users have downloaded or are talking more about these particular apps. Apart from this criteria, apps can also come under the Trending section if they are upgraded quality wise. As of today, the Google Play Store has over 40 categories that help the users browse for apps. They also keep updating their library and keep in mind their user interests before adding new apps.
Google Play Android applications
Like already mentioned earlier, Google Play has been made mainly to compliment the android operating system and hence works mostly on Android based platforms. The store has both free and paid applications that will differ based on the location. 135 countries have the availability of paid apps while the rest are free. All these apps can be downloaded on their digital store known as the Google Play Store. It is an app on smaller devices and a website on a laptop or a personal computer. Google is extremely particular about the quality of the apps and hence, based on user reviews and their own tests, they take out apps or remove them if they have a low-performance chart and are of a low quality. In the year 2014, 61 countries were given the permission to distribute paid apps on Google Play with the help of their developers. This was possible if each developer was willing to pay $25 as a registration fee. This fee was taken for the Google Play developer console account and by charging a fee, Google believes that it is enabling developers to create high-quality apps for their store. These app developers have the full reigns over which locations and countries their apps can be distributed in and if it should be out there at the store for free or if is meant to have a price tag. These developers are paid via Google Merchant based on the revenue generated by the apps on Google Play Store.
An app can be put out there on certain platforms for a select group os users by the developers as a beta version for testing purposes. This way, the developer will understand if his or her app has any flaw, any issues to be solved or if there are any corrections to be made. Developers can also keep upgrading their apps based on its popularity if they please, this way there will always be a sense of nuance to the apps while it keeps getting better and better in the market.
These are the following brands under Google Play:
- Play Games: The mobile app for Google Play Games were initially launched on July 24, 2013. This is basically an online gaming service provider and distributor of gaming apps for Android users. It features multi-player games that happen in real time, it enables cloud saves and public leaderboards and so on. This was first introduced at the Developer Conference in the yer 2013 of the Google I/O.
- Play Music: This is an online music store that provides a cloud storage for 50,000 songs for free! Its library has over 35 million songs and is also a streaming service for music if a user subscribes to it. It is available in more than 60 countries as of 2017.
- Play Books: Google Play Books apps or books are stored in the cloud and they can be downloaded in PDF and EPUB formats by the users. It is by far, the largest online bookstore and has more than 5 million books in its library. To download a book from the store, Google uses the Adobe Content Server 4 as the DRM solution to secure the downloaded copies of the books available online on their store. Today users from more than 60 countries can purchase books from Google Play Books and is a user wants to download a free book, he or she will still have to provide the Bookstore with their payment information. Play Books Partner Center enables writers or authors or publishers to publish their books on Google Play and put them up for sale. Since the end of 2015, Google Play has not accepted any new publishers to sign-up.
- Play Movies and TV Shows: From its inception till today, Google Play Movies and TV is available in more than 100 countries (this is when it comes to movies). And TV Shows are available only in countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Austria, and Switzerland. It is a video on demand service. It basically provides movies and tv shows for purchase or for rent. This depends on the availability.
- Play News and Magazines: News on Google Play is available via the Google Play Newsstand which is basically a news aggregator and also a digital newsstand that offers service and subscriptions to online magazines and news feeds based on genres and categories. Since its inception till date, this particular service is apparently available worldwide. in 35 countries, Paid Google Play Newsstand is available.