The 411 On Google Play

Google Play is the online store for Android users to purchase apps, music, e-books, e-magazines, as well as movies and tv episodes. Created in March 2012, the Google Play store combined what were previously the Android app store, Google Music, and Google eBookstore into one cohesive marketplace. Google Play is essentially Google’s answer to the iTunes store. The Google Play store can be accessed through applications available standard on all Android devices as well as through the web on Macs or PCs. You will need a google account to access the store, but all Android mobile devices will prompt you to create one when you start using them for the first time. Here is an overview of the different features and services available on Google Play.

Android Apps

First and foremost the Google Play store is the main android application market. Currently, there are about 500,000 android apps available on the Android market. The home screen of the Apps section of the Google Play store highlights some of the featured apps and also contains links to the “Staff Picks” and “Editors’ Choice” applications. Apps found in this featured area or under the associated links are usually the best in their category and normally very well rated. There are also options to search for specific apps, to view the apps by category, or to view lists of the top apps in specific time or cost categories, such as “Top Free” or “Top New Paid.” Overall the App store within Google Play is easy to navigate and the featured apps are often incredibly useful.

Music

Probably the second most popular function of Google Play is the music store. Google Music is basically Android’s answer to iTunes, and allows for users to purchase music from a vast collection and to upload their own music to their library in the cloud. Google Music applications are available for Mac, PC, and Linux machines. There is also a native android app, however no native ios app. The music section of Google Play has a similar home screen to the applications section with some highlights of featured songs and albums. Users also have the option to look at the “top songs” and “top albums,” as well as an option to search for music by category. The usual cost of a new song on the Google Music store is $1.29.

Books

Books on Google Play is a large marketplace to purchase e-books. Google e-books are viewable through Google Books apps on android and ios as well as through a chrome web app. The Play store boasts a large collection of about 3 million books, however it is not as well reviewed as Amazon’s Kindle store. As for the actual online marketplace, Books on Google Play highlights many featured books, as well as a “Deal of the Week” book. Users can search for books through various categories or browse through the top selling books and new arrivals.

Magazines

The newest addition to the Google Play store is the magazines section. This is also coupled with an android app for reading. The magazines section of the Google Play store highlights featured magazines, as well as some 30 day free trials and some new issues for $.99. One can purchase magazine subscriptions or purchase the newest issue. The selection is somewhat small at the moment but growing. The store allows users to search by category or browse top selling and new arrivals.

Movies and TV

Also available in the Google Play store is a large collection of movies and tv episodes. Many movies and episodes are available for purchase or to rent for 24 hours. Videos bought on Google Play will have to be streamed through the Google Movies & TV app. Videos can also be downloaded to your device and viewed while offline. The Movies & TV section works similar to every section on the Google Play store, highlighting some featured videos and deals on the home screen and also allowing for search by category or to browse through top selling and new releases.

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