Is Google Play the App Store Killer?


Will Google Play unseat the champion?

Google is trying to dethrone Apple for dominance in the app market.

Although Android’s smartphone marketshare far exceeds that of Apple (I think it’s currently approaching 50%), Google’s app store has not seen a commensurate level of success.

The iTunes App Store continues to dwarf the Android App store, and Google is looking to change that.

Yesterday, FierceMobileContent reported that Google is about to scrap the Android app store in favor of Google Play, which is being positioned to compete more effectively with Apple.

Google Play will be a combination of the Android App Market, Google Music and Google’s eBookstore, effectively mirroring Apple’s App Store, iTunes and iBook offerings.

Google Play will give users the ability to access all of their content in the cloud, from any of their connected devices.

Here’s a short video from Google’s blog (obtusely) promoting Google Play.

The video is a well-crafted pitch, but the absence of a real-life demonstration of their offering left me scratching my head.

With iCloud purportedly providing the same level of capability (seamless access to your content across multiple devices, etc.), Google Play is definitely designed to be a head-to-head competitor.

According to Google, current Android App Market customers will be upgraded to Google Play over the course of the next few days.

As an Applephile or Apple purist, I’m simply not convinced that Google Play (or anything Android-related for that matter) can hold a candle to Apple.

Having handled an Android device or two in my day, I can definitively say that the user experience leaves much to be desired.

Perhaps Google Play will create a more seamless experience for Android users –  at least as it relates to accessing and interacting with their content – but I doubt it.

Either way, I’m not sure that this move will really make Google any more competitive in the app market.

As they say, you can lead a horse to water…

…but can you make them download more apps?

Hey, what do I know?

If you’re an Android user, I’d love to hear if this announcement excites you (or not) and how Google Play will (or won’t) impact you.

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5 Comments

Filed under apps, branding, mobile, technology

5 responses to “Is Google Play the App Store Killer?

  1. slushduck

    Having released products on both GooglePlay and the AppStore I can share some feedback.

    I don’t think that GooglePlay is the “AppStore killer” because I think that Google and Apple have 2 very different measurements of “success”

    Google is all about making money via Advertising. Their strategy is to partner up with various hardware and software manufactures so as to support a wide range of devices within a wide range of prices to the most people possible. More people equals more money from advertising.
    My Android devices all came pre-installed with just about every buzz-word app you can think of.

    Apple on the other hand is all about branding simplicity and quality. Their strategy is to control hardware and software so as to provide a consistent, simple, experience. They make money from selling apps and hardware -therefore they control the store.
    My IOS devices came pre-installed with only Apple apps.

    At the end of the day I would hope that the quality of the actual Apps are what defines success. To release quality apps, you need to have quality tools. Apple is already on that wagon, and now we see Google trying to play catch up with things like their native development kit and actually paying developers to make Android games.

    Google has got a whole lot to catch up on tools wise though if they intend to distribute quality apps to customers. Their advantage of supporting such a wide range of devices is also their weakness as it significantly extends development time, cost and complexity, which means less quality apps in the long run.

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    • slushduck

      Here’s another great article on Android’s fragmentation:
      http://mashable.com/2012/05/16/android-fragmentation-graphic/

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    • Slushduck your assessment is spot on (& sorry for the delayed response – I was on another one of my blogging hiatus).

      Google definitely suffers from fragmentation, whereas Apple has a homogeneous family of products.

      Google also hasn’t mastered any one thing, but rather jumped into the fray hoping to convert its massive audience into evangelists.

      And that’s not going to happen, until they have superior products providing an exceptional user experience.

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  2. Chris

    This announcement doesn’t excite me (I’m an Android user). I don’t really care what they call it, and it doesn’t matter to me if Google puts apps, books, music, movies and cloud storage all in the same spot. Android users can get all this from a plethora of stores/sites without voiding warranty or jailbreak/rooting anyway.. I personally think it’s to attract iPhone users and that’s all. Most iPhone users tend to require everything spoon fed to them, and anyway, eventually Apple will roll the itunes/appstore/icloud into one i(place?) if they haven’t already. Play isn’t an app store killer, only apple can be the app store killer. Google has (quantity speaking) 4/5ths of the apps that apple has, but the lack of freedom on what apps can be in the app store, the higher cost and more paid apps, and the extra 1/5th of ‘crapps’ in the app store is something apple will have to fix. It’s almost neck and neck now as to whether an Android or iPhone version of an app is released first, and I’m fine with that. I hope both will co-exist, which will constantly push each vendor to keep delivering. The winners are all of us.

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    • Chris, your assessment is incredibly insightful, and I must admit, I hadn’t considered Google Play as an enticement for Apple users.

      I agree with you that competition fosters innovation, and Google’s latest move will keep Apple on its toes.

      The cloud has been offered as a solution for years, but there are limitations and costs that folks simply aren’t considering. So I’m going to keep my stuff terrestrial.

      Thanks Apple and Google for the offer. But, no thanks!

      Like

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