Google shocked the tech world yesterday with an extremely short but game changing announcement: The Android Market is no more, and will now be referred to as Google Play. Google Play is not just a new market, but a game changer for Google, as it is a true digital entertainment hub that allows easy movement of files between computers, syncing across devices, books, movies, music, cloud based storage, and so much more. To celebrate, Google is having a sale on apps, games, and books, and although it will take a few days for all services and apps to change over to the new Google Play name, you can already see the new marketplace when viewing the Android Market from your PC. For anyone who is like me and can't resist waiting for the new market to show up on your phone or tablet, I have provided the new market and instructions on how to install it at the bottom of this article. But first, here are a few screenshots of the Play Store running on my phone and tablet:
Here it is running on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1:
And here on the HTC Sensation:
As you can see, there aren't any massive changes here...yet. The logo at the top right now reads Google Play, and towards the bottom you can see the promotion for the new Play Apps sale, which has some GREAT apps and games being sold for 49 cents (Euro cents). I went crazy and bought like 10 new games for my tablet last night, including Dead Space, Shadow Gun, and Osmos HD for 49 cents (Euro cents) a pop, so get em while they last, as this is a limited time sale only! (According to reports, more titles will be available for this price starting this Friday. More details as we receive them). They also are offering an "App of the Day" for 20 cents (in German..sorry), which is also a nice touch. Would have been nice to see it free, ala Amazon App Store, but at 20 cents, I can't really complain can I?
If you can't wait for Google to install the new market, you can download and install it here. It's really easy and doesn't require root access. All you need to do is make sure unknown sources are allowed on your phone, then:
- Download the Googe Play app to your SD card. You can get it here
- Use a file manager to navigate to it after downloading it
- Press on the app
- It will ask permission to install. Press yes (We ran logcats and tests with our developers to make sure the app is secure, so no worries :-D )
- Finished :-D (You will then see that your Market App has dissappeared from your app drawer, and has been replaced by "Play Store").
What blows my mind is that the entire name change occured without ANYONE hearing anything about it. No leaks, no rumors, no nothing..just BAM..name change. I really like the direction Google is going with this, and it's pretty obvious that they have iTunes and Amazon's app store in mind in the way that they suddenly changed their platform. While most of the features will only be available to US and UK users, we hope to see all functionality for books, music, and movies rolled out soon to the rest of the world.
All this the day before the iPad 3 was released. Strange coincidence......