Google Introduces Google Play, Puts Amazon and Apple On Their Heels

Posted by · March 6, 2012 4:10 pm

GoogleWatch out, Amazon and Apple! Google is tapping into the cloud. Taking to its official blog on Tuesday, Google introduced its latest service: Google Play. Combining its music, movie, video, e-book, and Android app services into a cloud-based, all-in-one service that can be accessed by any device, Google Play seems poised to chip away at the once unquestioned hegemony of Apple and Amazon in the cloud-based services market.

“Entertainment is supposed to be fun,” the blog post began. “But in reality, getting everything to work can be the exact opposite—moving files between your computers, endless syncing across your devices, and wires…lots of wires.”

By combining the once separate services of Android Market, Google Music, and the Google eBookstore, Google Play promises to enable users to access their content from all of their devices without the hassle of constantly moving files and syncing devices.

Here’s the list of what Google says users will be able to do with Google Play:

  • Store up to 20,000 songs for free and buy millions of new tracks
  • Download more than 450,000 Android apps and games
  • Browse the world’s largest selection of eBooks
  • Rent thousands of your favorite movies, including new releases and HD titles

While Google has already made the new service available on PCs, the company remains in the process of upgrading its Android Market app to the Google Play Store app, which will make the new service available on Android phones and tablets.

“Your videos, books and music apps (in countries where they are available) will also be upgraded to Google Play Movies, Google Play Books and Google Play Music apps,” Google continued. “The music, movies, books and apps you’ve purchased will continue to be available to you through Google Play—simply log in with your Google account like always.”

According to ZDNet’s Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Google Play is already working with all “mainstream” browsers—Firefox 10, IE 9 and Chrome 17, to be precise.

What does this spell for Cloud Kings like Amazon and Apple? If you ask Vaughan-Nichols, they’re in for one big headache. And as much as it pains me to admit it, he’s probably right in this case. Given the less integrated versions of their respective cloud-based services, Apple and Amazon may likely find themselves falling from a tie for first to fighting with each other for the No. 2 spot.

If that wasn’t enough to keep Apple and Amazon on their toes, rumor has it that Google Play is going to be the entertainment center for the highly anticipated—but yet to be officially acknowledged by Google—Google 7-inch tablet. Regardless of that rumor’s validity, however, it is undeniable that these two companies will have their work cut out for them.