Rating: Move may backfire as sounds more like games store
It’s right up there with Microsoft getting Windows users to click on the Start button when they need to switch the computer off. Renaming the Android Market to Google Play doesn’t seem to have been thought through properly. When GoMo News‘ loan Motorola Razr volunteered to download the new client ‘Play Shop’ yesterday [March 12th 2012], we were quite astonished. Market is such an obvious place to look for suitable apps. Why would anyone searching for mobile security software think to look in the Play Shop? It just sounds as if Google wants to flog more games software. Until you notice that your Google Music icon has now mutated to Play Music as well. Calling that Play as well makes slightly more sense but then Google seems to have done Motorola a favour.
The Motocast icon is named My Music – a far more logical place to look for your tunes than Play Music.
The intention behind Google Play is obviously to unite all digital content under a single location. So in addition to apps, Play offers music, films and e-books, too.
They had actually been available from Market already but this move is supposed to highlight their existence to Android users.
There’s another catch. What was previously known as Google Music has mutated into Google Play, too. However, if you’re British – like us – you still cannot access the Music Store.
Click on Shop Music and you’ll see what we mean. Don’t bother to try to download the Music Manager software if you’re outside North America, either. It will just report that the system cannot identify your computer.
Luckily this rebranding exercise has thrown up some interesting stats. Since it opened in October 2008, the Android Market has accumulated over 450,000 mobile apps.
By comparison Apple’s iTunes App Store offers over 550,000 applications, but then it started back in 2003 so it had a five year head start.
The market for Google Play is huge as there are some 300 million Android devices currently in use worldwide. Another 6 million are activated each week.
What has Google got in terms of non-app digital content? The answer is four million books, including free titles, plus over 13 million songs and movies.
But as we say, if you’re a Brit you won’t see any of that music from your Android handset.
The motivation for this move is obvious. Currently around 96 per cent of Google’s revenues are derived from advertising. If Google can sell more digital content, it won’t be so reliant on the advertising market.
Anyway, take a look at Google Play here and see what happens when you sign in with your Google ID (Gmail address) and password.