Google Play unveiled

By Rachel Hand topicIcon Internet News

Android Market gets a new look

Google has launched a new cloud-based entertainment service named Google Play, combining several existing products in one place.

According to the official blog post last night, Google Play is "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 site boasts that there is no need for wires or synching, as all purchases from Play will be automatically stored in the cloud.

Cloud aside, Google Play is actually a rebranded combination of several existing products - mainly the Android Market. This official app store has been integrated with Google eBookstore and Google Music (where available), effectively streamlining Google's entertainment resources. In countries where books, movies or music is unavailable, users will simply notice the Android Market has been rebranded.

When will Google Play be available in the UK?

The official blog post states that users with existing entertainment apps will see them automatically updated. Meanwhile, the search engine result for Android Market already redirects to the Google Play homepage. However, the About page section entitled "When will I get Google Play?" directs users to a broken link.

The understated announcement of Google Play comes just 24 hours before Apple is expected to launch the iPad 3. With Google widely expected to launch its own Android tablet or a Google TV in the future, the cloud service could facilitate and encourage cross-platform usage.

Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, said: "The availability of Android apps on Amazon and elsewhere means Google could be missing out on revenue. Many criticise Apple's closed nature, but clearly Google would love to emulate that model; it seems Google Play is just a combination of iTunes, the App Store and iCloud, so Google could be trying to achieve a similar content monopoly."