Android Market becomes Google Play

Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. Google on Tuesday opened a new online shop stocked with digital music, films, books and "apps" for Android mobile gadgets, ramping up its challenge to rivals such as Apple and Amazon.com

Google on Tuesday opened a new online shop stocked with digital music, films, books and "apps" for Android mobile gadgets, ramping up its challenge to rivals such as Apple and Amazon.com. The California Internet titan combined Android Market, Google Music and Google eBookstore in a Google Play "digital entertainment destination" where people can get content and store it free in the Internet "cloud." "You can find, enjoy and share your favorite music, movies, books and apps on the Web and on your Android phone or tablet," Google director of digital content Jamie Rosenberg said in a blog post. "Google Play is entirely cloud-based so all your music, movies, books and apps are stored online, always available to you, and you never have to worry about losing them or moving them again." People can file away as many as 20,000 songs free of charge at Google Play, where millions of tunes will be available for purchase, according to Rosenberg. Google Play will also be home to more than 450,000 downloadable mini-programs, or "apps," for Android smartphones or tablets. It will also boast movie rentals and the world's largest selection of electronic books. Digital content made available at the online shop will vary depending on distribution rights worked out in various countries, according to Google, which will promote the transformed Android Market with discounts. "Our long-term goal is to roll out as many different types of content as possible to people around the world, and we'll keep adding new content," Rosenberg said. Google Play applications will be "pushed out" to gadgets during the coming days to replace Android Market software. Google's move appeared aimed at consolidating fun, hip or functional software or content for smartphones or tablets running on its Android operating systems. Availability of appealing apps along with music, movies and television programs is essential to the popularity of gadgets such as Apple iPads and iPhones, according to analysts.

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