If you’ve tried to visit Market.Android.com in the past week, you may have noticed that you are being redirected to Play.Google.com/Store.
Google Play is what Android Market and Google Music Services used to be – Market.Android.com has been re-branded. Google Play is Google’s unified service for Android apps, ebooks, music, and movies. If you’re an Android user wondering about your apps, genealogy and otherwise, what was available on Market.Android.com is now available through Google Play. Google is claiming over 450,000 apps as of this month (March 2012).
Google has stated that the changes will not affect existing/previous customers and the software/media that they have already purchased or downloaded, however the Android Market app will automatically update and be changed over to the Play Store app. Android 2.2 or higher is required. If you’re on a previous version of Android, I’m not sure what to tell you. Plenty of apps, genealogy and otherwise, support Android 1.6 and 2.1.
Think of it as Google’s effert to provide a more unified user experience, similar to what iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch) users have with iTunes. Contrary to the name, iTunes provides everything from apps to music to movies to books and magazines to podcasts. As the Android Guys mention, it’s part of a larger agenda for Google as well as Google’s future plans for hardware.
As for genealogy – all of the genealogy apps and books that were available before, are still available. Part of Google’s reasoning for unifying the Android experience, as it were, is that it will attract more developers, and that could spill over into the genealogy side.
You can read more about some of the new features that are available or were folded into Google Play through the Google Play Features page.