What is Google Play Store
Initially released on 22 October 2008, Google Play Store has become the quintessential home of available apps for the Android Operating System. Publishers release their apps here for distribution to the Android community. You can find both paid for apps as well as a large variety of free apps which are usually supported by advertising inserts. (But not all)
It has reached 1.5 million available apps (as of May 2015) and 55 billion downloads. Not bad stats at all.
Services offered under this banner include
- News publications
- TV shows
- and of course, Games, what started it all.
What is Android
I'm glad you asked. Android is a custom built operating system that powers mobile devices including phones, pads & other portable devices. Developed by Google, it is a compact, powerful and versatile operating system for the general mobile consumer market.
What is an app
An app is a small program or piece of software that runs on Android and does a specific task or operation on your Android device. This can range from checking your email to getting the latest traffic conditions. (Something I do regularly) When Google first developed and released Android, reviewers questioned why Google was even going down this path. "Phones are to small to be any sort of good internet device". Today over 60% of queries to Google come from mobile devices. Guess that's why!
Google Play's main competition, arguably only competition, is Apples iTunes store. Essentially the same concept as Google Play but for Apple mobile devices. (IOS) Microsoft also have a position in the market but are a distant 3rd behind these other 2. Based off the stats provided by w3schools, Android devices out number IOS devices 2 to 1, owning a large segment of the market.
What can I download from Play Store.
The short answer is "anything you want". If you need a bible, it's there. If you need a street guide, a cookbook, a star map, a tides chart, it is all there and more. With 1.5 million apps available, chances are it is there. If it isn't, well there maybe there's an opportunity there for you. 🙂
You mentioned other services.
Yes, Google play has the latest Music, Movies, Books, News & TV shows available for listening or viewing on your device. These are usually paid for services.
Some of these services may not be available in your region of the world due to copyright and distribution legalities. This is changing day by day as companies like Google try make their content available to the whole world.
How do I access Google Play
All Android devices come with Google play pre-installed, just look for the Google Play icon in your Apps page. If you can't find it you can always go to play.google.com.
In summing up, I have found Google Play to contain the most diverse range of applications available. Most of them are free due to Google's advertiser program that pays for a lot of apps based off advertising that is shown to you while using the app. Personally I don't mind a bit of advertising if it is for free. Because of Google's foresight when originally developing Android, it leads the market in mobile devices and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.