Google just announced the launch of a new all-encompassing cloud service named Google Play, which will include the former Android Market, Google Music, and Google Ebookstore. From what we’ve seen Google Play is similar to iTunes, as it’s designed to be a central depository for all your media and apps. However, you’ll be able to access your Google Play content from any device.
For example, you’ll be able to read books on your tablet and switch to your smartphone at any time. You will be able to watch streaming movies, or download them locally for offline viewing. The same goes for music.
Google calls 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”. In other words, Google Play is meant to be a unified media destination that gives you universal access to your music, videos, ebooks, or apps, no matter if you’re accessing them from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or smart TV.
Here’s what you’ll be able to do with Google Play, according to the official Google Blog:
- Store up to 20,000 songs for free and buy millions of new tracks
- Download more than 450,000 Android apps and games
- Browse the world’s largest selection of eBooks
- Rent thousands of your favorite movies, including new releases and HD titles
Say Hello to Google Play Store (depending on where you live)
In the coming weeks, Google will roll out major changes: Android Market will become Google Play Store, while Google’s other services/apps will become respectively Google Play Movies, Google Play Books, and Google Play Music.
All your previously acquired media and apps will remain available in Google Play.
A big caveat: the type of media you will find in Google Play depends on your location:
- In the US: music, movies, books and Android apps
- In Canada and UK: movies, books and Android apps
- in Australia, books, and Android apps
- in Japan, movies, and Android apps
- Everywhere else: just Android apps
Google Play Launches with “7 Days to Play” Sale
Google is decided to make a splash with the new Google Play service, so they’ll offer some goodies to draw users. The promotion is called “7 Days to Play” and will last (you guessed it) a week. In the U.S., the sale comes with full albums, movies, ebooks, and apps, each for just 25 cents.
In addition, Google promised that other sales will run all week, giving you access to content at a reduced price.
For more information, head over to http://play.google.com/about/.
We’ll keep you updated as we get more juicy details about the new Google Play service.[Update]
The new Google Play is available from the Web, although the changes (except the Google Play logo) are minimal. Now, market.android.com redirects to https://play.google.com Changes to apps will come over the next week to devices running Android 2.2 or later.