Google Play: Google's ultimate answer to Amazon and Apple

Google Play: Google's ultimate answer to Amazon and Apple

Summary: Google is combining its music, movie, video, e-book services and Android Market to create a do-it-all, on any device entertainment hub: Google Play.


Google Play brings all of Google s entertainment options under one roof.

Google Play brings all of Google's entertainment services under one roof.

What do you get if you take Google Music; Google eBookStore; the Android Market, and the Android movie rental service into one service? You get Google Play and Apple and Amazon get a headache.

According to Google Google Play is "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. Google Play is entirely cloud-based so all your music, movies, books and apps are stored online, always available to you, and you never have to worry about losing them or moving them again."

Specifically, With Google Play you can:

  • 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

The four Google services have already been incorporated into Google Play on PCs. On Android phone or tablet, Google will be upgrading the Android Market app to the Google Play Store app over the coming days. Google promises, "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."

That is indeed the case. I just checked my Google Music and Google eBookstore cloud accounts and all my music and eBooks are still present and accounted for.

Any music you ve uploaded to Google Music is still there and ready to be played in Google Play.

Any music you've uploaded to Google Music will still be there and be ready to be played in Google Play.

Google Music: The start of a beautiful Internet music service (Photo Gallery)

Exactly what services you'll get depends on your location. Google states that "In the U.S., music, movies, books and Android apps are available in Google Play. In Canada and the U.K., we'll offer movies, books and Android apps; in Australia, books and apps; and in Japan, movies and apps. Everywhere else, Google Play will be the new home for Android apps. Our long-term goal is to roll out as many different types of content as possible to people around the world, and we'll keep adding new content to keep it fresh."

The point of Google Play is to combine all your entertainment media into one cloud-based system that you can then access from any computer or any Android device. The idea is to make it mindlessly simple to read, play, watch, or listen to any of your content no matter where you are.

Google Play seems to work with all mainstream Web browsers. I've tried it now with Firefox 10, IE 9 and Chrome 17. Videos are shown via YouTube and require Adobe Flash.

It's a promising idea and one that might worry Amazon and Apple. Both have their own cloud-based entertainment plans but nothing quite as comprehensive as Google's do-it-all Google Play. For example, Apple doesn't have a version of iBooks for the Mac desktop.

It's also possible that, as some have suggested, that Google Play will be entertainment hub for the rumored Google 7-inch tablet. I'm still not sure we'll see a Google-branded Android-powered tablet. I am sure, however that Apple, Amazon and anyone else in the digital entertainment business is going to have to pay close attention to Google Play and where Google takes it from here.

Related Stories:

Google's alleged tablet: Four huge hurdles ahead

Google Music: Your Great Music Locker in the Cloud (Review)

Google beats Amazon to the Android movie space

Google launches eBooks; Can the Kindle, Nook survive this eBook battle?

Topics: Amazon, Android, Apple, Google, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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  • I'm sure Amazon and Apple aren't all that worried.

    I remember someone saying basiclly "FaceBook is going to have to pay close attention to Google+ and where Google takes it from here".

    Will Google Play even be talked about after 4 weeks?
    William Farrel
    • Yes it will be talked about.

      You know, when it's scrapped.
      • *sigh*

        so all the Android users are no longer going to use their own Market? Spoke like a true Apple iPhanboy who know's as much about tech as the next Justin Bieber tweener, the other typical Apple consumer.

        Do you even know what iOS is?
      • Huh?

        Scrapped? They won't scrap the Android Market.... As another comment below states; "This is just a re-branding of the Market". So it won't be scrapped.
    • Hit the nail on the head, or in this case the coffin

      Centralised music, movies, apps, and ebook all on the cloud sound like a good idea untill your in an area where you have no coverage. What about storage? Music is one thing but movies are many time the size of a music how will they keep up when per user usage pushes into the hundreds of gigabytes? If you wan't millions of users to be on cloud sufficent bandwith, data storage, redunancy, and security are nessary. All this does not come cheap. This price will eventually be passed on to android users world wide.
      • They only need to link.

        They only have 1 "file" for the movie/song/etc. They "link" it to your account and deliver it to you as needed. If they DO make "copies" of a song/movie/whatever for each user, they need to fire whoever. So far they have handled it well so I don't think you need to worry about this.
  • flop.

    Google play - some google guy's idea while having No. 2. Another spyware tool and will be a flop.
  • Browse the world???s largest selection of eBooks

    Is that true. I thought Amazon had the largest.
  • Ultimate or DESPERATE?

    I see it as a DESPERATE answer to Amazon and Apple, not as an "ultimate" anything.

    An the desperation probably has more to do with Amazon than Apple. Amazon is positioned to dethrone Google with their own version of Android .... and if Amazon can manage to fix the sluggishness in Android, Google will probably lose control over the brand.
    • ...

      All Kindle Fire services don't work here. (only the book store)

      And "Everywhere else, Google Play will be the new home for Android apps."

      Since we fall in the "Everywhere else" we will only get the app store anyway, so it doesn't affect me at all. To the lucky people that have access to everything please stop complaining. At least you can choose your device/OS you want to use your services on. We don't even have THAT choice.
  • kanank

    I think it is time for Google to change it slogan to 'Don't be too dumb'.
  • Play?

    A silly name for such a general store...

    The Google Market, fine, but Google Play? You read a book, use an app, watch a film. Play only works for music and games, for the rest, it doesn't make any sense.
    • It works for movies too.

      It works for movies too. You play a movie. App is a general word, you may play it. It doesn't work with books though.

      I guess Google decided Market wasn't sexy enough.
      • I guess...

        it is a mid-Atlantic thing. This side of the Pond, we watch a film and use an app... We would play game apps, but you can't "play" Twitter or LinkedIn, for example - well you can try and play them, but they'll ban your arse in the process! :-D
  • Wait what?

    Didn't they try the same thing with Google ChromeOS? You can only use it if you have internet.
    • Wow

      you people are just not that bright are you?

      1. this is just a rebranding Android Market
      2. All cloud usage wheter it's Android, Apple, Amazon etc all depends on connection, And you know what SO DOES YOUR PHONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And if you are in an area with no connection you can "Pin" your media IOW's store it locally on your device. Learn and read before speaking out.

      I don't know why I keep coming back to Zdnet, the average commentator has no clue of what they are even criticizing.

      this site makes my head hurt.
  • Google: The new copycat kid of the block

    "It???s a promising idea and one that might worry Amazon and Apple."

    This sentence says it all. An idea, that might worry someone.

    By the way, I believe the most suitable slogan for Google would be "invent something and we will copy it over!"

    Anyway, a lot of people will spend their money with Google. They will also happily share their music, video etc collections. With the woken up dreams about ACTA etc.. who know who will knock on your door next.
  • Always available...

    You state: ??????so all your music, movies, books and apps are stored online, always available to you, and you never have to worry about losing them or moving them again.???

    Tell that to those people who lost data files to the FBI when Megaupload was shut down. Tell that to any website that has been hacked. Tell that to anyone who???s Internet provider has gone down. What about when you are in an area where you can???t lock onto the Internet? In another country? On an airplane? No, saying your files will ALWAYS be available to you is nothing short of a lie. The cloud is not as safe as Google and others want you to believe.

    Side note: have you ever wondered what will happen to speed of connection and downloading when everything is converted to the cloud? When masses of people and businesses are doing everything in the cloud that used to be done on desktops? Data traffic jams just like on the freeways.
  • Comprehensive? I don't think so.

    My biggest store of on-line media I own is my Audible library. About 40 GB and growing.

    Amazon stores this today (Audible being a subsidiary). Why would I download it from Amazon and upload it to Google when I can redownload from Amazon anytime I like?

    The big stores of media I stream are Rhapsody, Amazon on Demand and Netflix. Transferring that to Google isn't even meaningful.

    So, whether it is media you own or media you stream, having a "comprehensive" solution means selling your soul to one supplier. Of course, a few million people have done just that with Apple. But that doesn't make it a good idea. Unless paying $1.29 for a track instead of paying $0.89 for the identical track is a good idea. Or waiting for your comprehensive supplier to give you a streaming music solution is a good idea compared to enjoying streaming music starting a decade earlier.
  • Since when did you play a book?

    Since when did you play a book?

    This is as bad as the motto for HD-DVD: "The look and sound of perfect", another case of sloppy English.