Google Play gets an official introduction

The Android Market is no more. Instead, it is becoming a part of a larger entity, going by the name of Google Play.

Google describes the new store as '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'. It's also entirely cloud-based, so all your music, movies, books and apps are stored online – which means they're always there, connection permitting. Not unlike Apple's iCloud in fact.

With the new Google Play portal you can store up to 20,000 songs for free (and buy millions more), download from the selection of 450,000+ Android apps and games, browse the extensive ebooks range and rent movies. All of that in one place, replacing Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore as of this week. Look out for the app for the old Market changing (if it hasn't already). It's worth noting that the music part isn't yet available in the UK, but it's almost certainly coming here at some point this year.

Why has the company done this? Well, aside from the convenience of a one-stop shop, Google has probably realised that the name 'Google' carries as much weight as anything in the world of technology. It is instantly recognisable and probably works better with the average man or woman in the street than Android.

Android's hardcore fans might not like the name change, but give it six months and the words 'Android Market' will be nothing more than a fond memory. That's the world of technology for you.

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