Google Play: Android's new home for apps, video, and music

Google Play replaces the Android Marketplace with a single clearinghouse for Google purchases.

Google Play launched Wednesday.

The app store formerly known as the Android Marketplace was transformed today into Google Play. Play is a high-design site that offers not just apps, as the marketplace of yore did, but also folds in Google's eBookstore and Google Music to offer movies, books, and songs.

Taking a page from the Amazon playbook, Google has grown out its specialty shops into a digital mall. And taking another page, this one from Apple’s iCloud, Play will allow for synching across multiple devices, as the store and your files reside in the cloud.

Play will allow you to store up to 20,000 music files, including songs that you did not purchase through Play – the same limit set by Google Music. It does not allow you to store movies, however.

“Entertainment is supposed to be fun," writes Jamie Rosenberg, Director of Digital Content, on Google’s blog. "But in reality, getting everything to work can be the exact opposite… Today we’re eliminating all that hassle with Google 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.” 

The Android Marketplace website changes over today. But it will take some time for Google to change the Marketplace app on phones and tablets running the Android OS into the Google Play store app. Movies, books, and other media customers have purchased will be available via the new app.

This move parallels Google’s recent attempts to bring their kingdom of bits and bytes together into a co-ordinated whole. Their privacy policy, for instance, recently changed to acknowledge that Google+, Gmail, and Google search, among others, were just different pseudopods of the same Google organism.

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