The Android Market is quite the online superstore these days, dishing up everything from books to music and movies alongside traditional apps – and not just for Android devices either.
And so Google has decided a name change is in order to more accurately reflect the full range of treats waiting behind its digital doors. We give you Google Play.
Android has become a hugely powerful force in the mobile industry, but as a platform its days of massive gains are in the past, as it starts to approach critical mass – at least in the smartphone game anyway.
But Google is clearly thinking beyond that. We recently heard from chairman Eric Schmidt that he expects to see Android devices in every pocket by 2024 – all clothing will have pockets by then apparently – and the Google Play rebranding gives further pointers to the direction the company is looking to move in over the next few years.
It's all about the cloud. And umbrellas. Google sees us needing plenty of those too in the future, and doesn't want to leave anyone behind just because they're not using an Android device.
In terms of specifics, the original Android Market app store has been renamed the Play Store, while Books becomes Play Books, Music becomes Play Music and Movies... you get where this is going.
Beyond the overall makeover things are largely unchanged. Google announced yesterday that it had upped the app size limit from 50MB to upwards of 4GB, even though no current-generation devices can actually download files that big.
To help promote the change, Google has announced a “Seven Days to Play” promotion, which will deliver discounted apps, books, movies and music over a period of – funnily enough – seven days.
Google Play will be landing via an update for users running Android 2.2 or newer over the next few days. For more details, there's plenty of info on the Google Play site itself.