SOFTWARE FLOGGER Google has renamed Android Market as Google Play, as it seeks to create an Itunes-like online store offering a wider variety of digital goodies.
According to the internet services giant the rebranding is in honour of the addition of content such as books, movies and music.
We are told Android Market is being extended rather than shuttered. "Today we're launching Google Play, an integrated destination for apps, books, movies, and music, accessible to users on Android devices and to anyone on the Web. As part of this launch, Google Play replaces and extends Android Market - users everywhere can now find their favourite apps and games in Google Play, with other digital content, all in one place," Google reported in its Android Developers Blog.
Apparently these plans have been bubbling for more than a year as Google sought to expand the content and "monetization opportunities" of Android Market. The blog post continued, "We started by extending the store to users on the web and then went on to add books, movies, and music. The number of people who have visited, registered, and downloaded from the store has been amazing."
In bid to soothe developer fears that the arrival of all the books and music could sideline their apps, Google insisted that apps and games remain the core of Google Play. "We'll continue investing in new ways to connect users with their favourite apps, and developers with new customers," it said.
Beyond the new name Google Play is built on the same infrastructure as Android Market, so users can sign in to their existing accounts as before and buy content using the same payment methods.
For developers there will be no change to published products, or publishing tools used to post apps.
Google added that it will be rolling out Google Play to devices in a phased OTA update, kicking off today. This will see the Android Market app morph into the Play Store app and the Music, Videos, and Books apps will transmogrify to Play Music, Play Movies, and Play Books.
The update is for devices running Android 2.2 or higher, and users on other devices will continue to have the same access to apps as before. µ