So there I was, browsing the Android Market, when all of a sudden everything changed. The Android Market was no more! Taking its place is Google Play. The switch was announced at 10:10 this morning, and updates will be rolling out in waves OTA to all Android users. In line with the rebranding, Google’s Books and Music apps are now Google Play Books and Google Play Music, the updates for which are also rolling out OTA. Any desktop trip to the Android Market—Market.Android.com—will now redirect you to the Google Play website.
The immediate practical changes seem very minor. All of the same apps, books, music, etc. are still available just as they were before-you may just need to learn a new path. For instance, access to all of your purchased/downloaded content is now prominently featured in the upper right corner of the main banner.
Introduced—temporarily?—alongside the rebranded apps is the $0.25 Play of the Day. One of the banners for it reads 7 Days of Play, so I would assume that makes this a week-long promotion.
Today’s $0.25 App Play is Where’s My Water by Disney, and there are also $0.25 Plays in Books-Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Movie rentals-Puncture, and Music-Now That’s What I Call Music! 41. None too different from Google’s 10 sale, this should prove to be a good time to pick up great stuff on the cheap.
Also as part of the changeover, there is now a whole section of apps available for $0.49 labeled Play Our Favorites. Many of these apps are steeply discounted, but no word yet as to how long they will stay that way. It remains to be seen whether this is a permanent thing—the final resting place for popular apps—or if this is a limited-time promotion for Google Play.
We believe that with a strong brand, compelling offerings, and a seamless purchasing and consumption experience, Google Play will drive more traffic and revenue to the entire ecosystem.
We’ll be investing in the brand to bring Google Play to as many people as possible, and we’ll also invest in the latest digital content to keep Google Play fresh, relevant, and engaging. Apps and games remain the core of Google Play, so we’ll continue investing in new ways to connect users with their favorite apps, and developers with new customers.
So there you have it. A new look, a new brand, a slight realignment with the goal of making all of your content easier to access, and a few promo discounts to appease us. I’ll withhold final judgment for now, but cheap apps always make me happy. In the limited use I’ve had today, I think the market looks, feels, and flows better now, so I expect to be pleased with this change as time goes on.