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Google Play

google play, google play store
Google Play is a digital distribution service, including a digital media store, the Google Play Store originally the Android Market, operated and developed by Google It serves as the official app store for the Android operating system, allowing users to browse and download applications developed with the Android SDK and published through Google Google Play also serves as a digital media store, offering music, magazines, books, movies, and television programs It previously offered Google hardware devices for purchase until the introduction of a separate online hardware retailer, Google Store, on March 11, 2015

Applications are available through Google Play either free of charge or at a cost They can be downloaded directly to an Android or Google TV device through the Play Store mobile app, or by deploying the application to a device from the Google Play website Applications exploiting hardware capabilities of a device can be targeted to suitable users by requisite hardware attribute, such as a motion sensor for motion-dependent games or a front-facing camera for online video calling

Google Play was launched on March 6, 2012, bringing together the Android Market, Google Music, and the Google eBookstore under one brand, marking a shift in Google's digital distribution strategy The services operating under the Google Play banner are:Google Play Music, Google Play Books, Google Play Newsstand, Google Play Movies & TV, and Google Play Games The Google Play store has reached over 22 million apps published and over 50 billion downloads


  • 1 Catalog content
    • 11 Android applications
    • 12 Music
    • 13 Books
    • 14 Movies and TV shows
    • 15 News publications and magazines
    • 16 Devices
  • 2 Google Play applications
    • 21 Play Newsstand
    • 22 Play Games
  • 3 History
  • 4 Interface
    • 41 Installation history
    • 42 Advertisements in free apps
  • 5 Play Store on Android
    • 51 Compatibility
    • 52 Version history
  • 6 Best applications
  • 7 Application approval
  • 8 Application security
    • 81 Security issues
  • 9 Patent issues
  • 10 Gift cards
  • 11 Availability
  • 12 See also
  • 13 Notes
  • 14 References
  • 15 External links

Catalog content

Android applications

Google Play makes free-of-charge applications available worldwide except countries under United States embargoes, while paid applications are available in 135 countries Applications can be installed from the device using the Google Play Store app or through the Google Play website on a PC According to AppBrain Stats, there are over 1,400,000 applications available as of November 2014, of which over 1,200,000 are free and over 200,000 are paid Google seems to remove low-quality apps from the store roughly once a quarter, when the number of available apps go down

As of November 2014, developers in 61 countries were able to distribute paid applications on Google Play To distribute apps, developers have to pay $25 as registration fee for a Google Play Developer Console account Google states that this fee is charged to encourage higher quality products on Google Play Application developers can control which countries an app is distributed in, as well as the pricing for the app and in-app purchases in each country Developers receive 70 percent of the application price, while the remaining 30 percent goes to the distribution partner and operating fees Revenue earned from the Google Play is paid to developers via Google Wallet merchant accounts, or via Google AdSense accounts in some countries

Google Play allows developers to release early versions of apps to a select group of users, as alpha- and beta-testing versions This allows the developer to fix any issues before the app is released widely Google Play also allows developers to release updates in stages, first to a subset of users and then progressively to larger portions of the userbase, ensuring that the smallest number of users are affected by any issues missed in testing

Some carriers, such as Sprint, offer direct carrier billing for application purchases Purchases of unwanted applications can be refunded within 48 hours

Applications meeting certain design criteria set by Google can be made compatible for Android Wear and Android TV devices, and for the Google Fit platform

On March 17, 2009, about 2,300 applications were available in Android Market, according to T-Mobile chief technical officer Cole Brodman On May 10, 2011, during the Google I/O, Google announced that Android Market had 200,000 applications listed and 45 billion applications installed In October 2012, Google announced that Google Play had 700,000 apps available to download, matching the number of apps in Apple's App Store On July 24, 2013, Google announced that the Play Store now had one million applications listed and it had over 50 billion downloads

YearMonthApplications availableDownloads to date
August80,0001 billion
2011May200,0003 billion
July250,0006 billion
December380,29710 billion
June600,00020 billion
September675,00025 billion
April850,00040 billion
May48 billion
July1,000,00050 billion


Main article:Google Play MusicAvailability of Google Play Music

Google Play offers an online music store with over 35 million songs, cloud storage of up to 50,000 songs at no cost, and a subscription music streaming service called Google Play Music Songs are priced at US$129, $099, $069, and free Google Play Music is currently available in 58 countries


Main article:Google Play BooksAvailability of Google Play Books

Google Play is the world's largest eBook store with over 5 million titles Purchased books are stored in the cloud and can be downloaded in the PDF and EPUB formats Google adopts Adobe Content Server 4 as the digital rights management DRM solution to protect downloaded copies of ebooks Books can be transferred to and read on a number of e-readers and other devices and applications that support the Adobe eBook DRM Books can also be read online on any web browser with JavaScript enabled, through the Google Play Books app for Android and iOS devices, and on the Google Chrome browser on desktops through an HTML 5-based web app available from the Chrome Web Store

Purchase of books is currently supported in 65 countries Google requires users to provide payment information even for downloading free ebooks In addition to downloading books from Google Play, users can upload books in the PDF or EPUB formats, which are stored in the cloud free of charge for up to 1,000 books

Publishers and authors can publish their books for sale on Google Play through the Play Books Partner Centre Google mandates publishers selling their ebooks on Google Play to also make the book available for a limited preview on Google Books The publisher can set the percentage of the book to be made available for preview

Google first began selling ebooks online through the Google eBookstore, which was launched on December 6, 2010, in the United States with over 3 million titles It became a part of Google Play when the latter was launched

As of September 2015, Google Play was not accepting new sign-ups for publishing

Movies and TV shows

Main article:Google Play Movies & TVAvailability of Google Play Movies & TV

There are thousands of movies and television shows available on Google Play Movies & TV, some in HD, including comedy, drama, animation, action and documentary Movies can be rented or purchased and watched on the Google Play website or via an application on an Android device Some titles are only available for rental, some only for purchase, and others for both rental and purchase TV shows can be purchased by episode or season but cannot be rented Alternatively, users can download movies and TV shows for offline viewing and view them later using the Google Play Movie app

Movies are available in 70 countries TV shows are available only in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the US and the UK

News publications and magazines

Further information:Google Play NewsstandAvailability of Google Play Newsstand

Google Play serves subscriptions to free and paid news publications, and magazines for reading on Play Newsstand At the time of the launch of Play Newsstand, about 1,900 free and paid news publications were available All magazines must offer at least a 14-day trial, while the free trial period offered for news sources news editions varies and is not mandatory Subscriptions to paid content is currently supported in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States


Google Play, before March 2015, had a Devices section for users to purchase Google Nexus devices, Chromebooks, other Google-branded hardware, and accessories At the Google I/O in June 2012, Google announced that Nexus 7 tablets would be made available for purchase through Google Play At Google I/O 2013, it was announced that a special edition of the Samsung Galaxy S4 with stock Android 42 would be made available on Google Play on June 26, 2013 Likewise, on May 30, 2013, HTC announced that a similar stock Android version of the HTC One would also be released the same day Android Wear devices, Chromecast and Chromebooks were other hardware devices listed for sale

A separate online hardware retailer called the Google Store was introduced on March 11, 2015, replacing the Devices section of Google Play

Google Play applications

Play Newsstand

Main article:Google Play Newsstand

On November 20, 2013, Google launched Google Play Newsstand, which combined the features of Google Play Magazines and Google Currents into a single product, which serves subscriptions to magazines, web feeds and server-generated topical feeds Priced news sources and magazines can be subscribed from the Google Play Store app on Android or the Google Play website on any device, while free news sources can be subscribed from both within the app or from Google Play All topical news feeds are free and can be subscribed only from within the app Reviews and ratings can be submitted for all Newsstand content distributed through Google Play All subscribed topics, feeds, sources and magazines are synced across devices signed in with the same Google account

Play Newsstand featured about 1,900 free and paid publications at the time of its launch The app automatically formats articles for reading on a phone or tablet, complete with images, audio and video inline Articles are cached on the device for offline reading

Play Newsstand was released for iOS in September 2014, as an update to the Google Currents app The Verge noted that the user experience across Android and iOS was nearly the same

Play Newsstand incorporates Google's Material Design language The app's home screen the Read now view displays articles on the basis of the user's interests which, according to Google, the app learns quickly Subscribed topics show up as tabs on the home screen Play Newsstand also supports RSS feeds Many formats of RSS content, however, are not supported Play Newsstand also allows users to bookmark articles for later reading

Play Games

Main article:Google Play Games

Google Play Games is a service designed for Android which features real-time multiplayer gaming capabilities, cloud saves, social and public leaderboards, and achievements The service was introduced at Google's I/O 2013 Developer Conference along with many other new services, and the standalone app was launched on July 24 at an event called "Breakfast with Sundar Pichai" together with the new Nexus 7, Android 43 and the Chromecast It lists both games and Google+ friends' games on its home screen and lets users see highlights from both categories This service is similar to Apple's Game Center It started out only available in a limited selection of games such as Super Stickman Golf 2, PBA Bowling, World of Goo, Osmos HD, and a few others but has since been added to thousands of games According to Google, Google Play Games received over 100 million new users between January 2014 and June 2014, making it the fastest growing mobile gaming network of all time


Google Play originated from three distinct products:Android Market, Google Music and Google eBookstore

The Android Market was announced by Google on August 28, 2008, and was made available to users on October 22 Support for paid applications was introduced on February 13, 2009 for developers in the United States and the United Kingdom, with support expanded to an additional 29 countries on September 30, 2010 In December 2010, content filtering was added to the Android Market and reduced the purchase refund window from 24–48 hours to fifteen minutes

Google eBookstore was launched on December 6, 2010, in the United States after extensive speculations regarding its release It debuted with over 3 million ebooks, making it the world's largest ebookstore overnight The international editions were to roll out beginning in early 2011

In February 2011, Google introduced a web client for Android Market that provides access to it via a PC Applications requested through the Android Market web page are downloaded and installed on a registered Android device In March 2011, Google added in-app billing to Android Market, allowing apps to sell in-app products In May 2011, Google added new application lists to Android Market, including "Top Grossing" applications, "Top Developers", "Trending" applications, and "Editors Recommendations" Google's Eric Chu said the goal of this change was to expose users to as many applications as possible In July 2011, Google introduced a redesigned interface with a focus on featured content, more search filters, and in the US book sales and movie rentals In September 2011, the Motorola Xoom tablet received an update that brought the redesigned Android Market to an Android 3x Honeycomb-based device In November 2011, Google added a music store to the Android Market

In March 2012, the maximum allowed size of an application's APK file was also increased from 50 MB to allow two additional files for a maximum of 50 MB for the APK and two additional files of 2 GB each, totaling 4 GB On March 6, 2012, the Android Market was re-branded as Google Play On May 2, 2012, Google rolled out direct carrier billing for music, movies and books On May 24, 2012, Google introduced in-app subscriptions to Google Play On July 12, 2012, Google released update 3815 which added Application Encryption functionality to help reduce application piracy Since this update, many developers have noted compatibility issues causing various third-party widgets and keyboards to disappear after phone reboots or connecting to USB storage Currently, a fix is planned for a future release of Android OS

In July 2014, Google expanded its All Access Music service now Google Play Music to Ukraine among five other countries Ukraine thus joined Russia as the only former Soviet republics with access to the service

On April 4, 2016, Android's official blog announced a redesign of the icons used for the suite of Play apps, including Play Store, Play Movies & TV, Play Music, Play Games, Play Books, and Play Newsstand The new icons have a similar style, and are meant to provide a consistent look across all devices and web


Apart from searching for content by name, apps can also be searched through keywords provided by the developer For the discoverability of apps, Play Store consists of sections such as Featured apps – showing apps meeting the Android design and quality criteria, Editor's Picks – exceptional apps and games picked by the Google Play editorial team, Top Charts – the most popular apps and games overall and by category, and Trending – apps that are trending with other users Existing apps that raise their quality can trend too Play Store also features over 40 categories for browsing apps and regularly updated collections based on events and other interests

Google Play enables users to know the popularity of apps and other content by displaying the immediate round figure less than the number of times the application has been downloaded The numbers shown are the products of multiplying 1 or 5 by powers of 10, ie 1 billion, 500 million, 100 million, 50 million, 10 million, 5 million, 1 million, 500 thousand, 100 thousand, 50 thousand and so on This is stylised as a large number with a smaller word showing the unit, hence "500 thousand" is written thus, and not as "5 hundred thousand" or "500,000" These units are localised:the Chinese version of the Play Store represents 5 million as 500 万, where 万 wàn means 10,000, instead of writing 5 followed by the compound unit 百万 100 x 10,000

The 'number of downloads' actually refers to the number of Google accounts associated with an app The number is not affected by the uninstallation of apps, neither is it affected if the app is later reinstalled using the same Google account

Users can submit reviews and ratings for apps and digital content distributed through Google Play, which are displayed publicly Ratings are based on a 5-point scale App developers can respond to reviews using the Google Play Developer Console

Installation history

Google Play features a download history that allows users to view apps installed earlier without having to search manually Purchased apps can be re-installed at a later date without having to re-buy it Currently, however, there is no way to permanently delete or remove apps downloaded from the Google Play website My Orders/My Android Apps Since version 3916, users are able to remove apps from the "All Apps" list on devices only

Advertisements in free apps

Many of the free apps on the store use advertisements and are freemium –free apps with in-app purchases used as the sources of revenue

Play Store on Android

Play Store
DevelopersGoogle Inc
Initial releaseOctober 22, 2008; 8 years ago 2008-10-22
Stable release7025H-all/ October 5, 2016; 2 months ago 2016-10-05
Preview release7307K-all 139935798 / December 3, 2016; 11 days ago 2016-12-03
Development statusActive
Operating systemAndroid
TypeDigital distribution
Get it on Google Play badgeAndroid App on Google Play badge

Play Store is Google's official pre-installed app on Android-trademarked devices which provides access to content on the Google Play Store It allows users to browse and download music, books, magazines, movies, television programs, and applications With the introduction of Google Play on March 6, 2012, the Android Market app on old devices was upgraded to the Play Store app

Play Store filters the list of applications to those compatible with the user's device In addition, users may face further restrictions to choice of applications where developers have tied-in their applications to particular carriers or countries for business reasons Carriers can also ban certain applications, for example tethering applications

There is no requirement that Android applications be acquired using Play Store Users may download Android applications from a developer's website or through a third-party alternative Play Store applications are self-contained Android Package files APK Play Store does not install applications; it asks the device's PackageManagerService to install them The package manager becomes visible if the user downloads an APK file directly into their device Applications are installed to the phone's internal storage, and under certain conditions may be installed to the device's external storage card


The Play Store application is not open source Only Android devices that comply with Google's compatibility requirements may install and access Google's closed-source Play Store application, subject to entering into a free-of-charge licensing agreement with Google In the past, these requirements had included 3G or 4G cellular data connectivity, ruling out Android-powered devices comparable to Apple's iPod Touch, but this requirement had been loosened by the 2011 release of the Samsung Galaxy Player

Some tablet computers such as Amazon Kindle Fire, do not provide access to Google Play, and instead use their manufacturer's own mobile content distribution service Some owners use Android rooting to access Google Play, or use sideloading to load applications As of July 2013, Barnes & Noble released an update to the Nook HD adding Google Play Some applications, upon downloading from Google Play, elicit a warning that they are about to overlay the previously loaded Nook version of the same application BlackBerry 10 devices OS 1021 and higher can sideload an app called SNAP which allows direct downloads of apps from Google Play

Version history

Best applications

Google gives out a yearly list of its 25 best apps on the Google Play Store that are believed to be a "must-have" In 2015, the following apps have found their place on the list:Colorfy, Jet, Khan Academy, Flipagram, Robinhood, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, B&H Photo, Ginger Keyboard Emoji, Language Learning, Cute, theScore, HBO Now, WPS Office + PDF, Dashlane Password Manager, Backgrounds HD, Kitchen Stories, Toca Nature, YouTube Kids, Showtime, Peak, Retrica, Memrise Learn Languages Trulia Real Estate & Rentals,Wishbone, We Heart it

Application approval

Google places some restrictions on the types of apps that can be published, in particular not allowing "sexually explicit material", "Violence and Bullying", "Hate Speech", "Impersonation or Deceptive Behavior", copyrighted material without permission, and a few other activities Nevertheless, developers can still distribute the apps in apk format and they can then be installed by users on their Android devices

On March 31, 2009, Google removed all tethering applications from Android Market because they supposedly violated terms of service of certain carriers Google later restored tethering applications to Android Market, except those for the T-Mobile USA network, which was specifically the subject of the violation:

As of May 20, 2010, PDAnet, Easy Tether and Proxoid were all available in the US market for T-Mobile users On April 5, 2011, Google withdrew the Grooveshark app from Android Market due to unspecified policy violations However, the app remained available for direct download via Grooveshark's website for those users who had enabled non-market application downloads

On May 27, 2011, Google banned SpoofApp, a Caller ID spoofing application typically used for prank calling which had been available in Android Market since December 18, 2008 On May 29, 2011, Google banned the account of the developer of several video game emulators, including Nesoid, Snesoid, and N64oid and neither Google nor the developer publicly revealed the reason for the ban

In March 2013, Google began to pull ad blocking apps from Play Store such as Adblock Plus per section 44 of the developers' agreement, which prohibits apps that interfere with third-party servers and services

In March 2015, Google disclosed that over the past few months, it had been begun using a combination of automated tools and human reviewers to check apps for malware and terms of service violations before they are published in Play Store

Application security

Google uses an in-house automated antivirus system, called Google Bouncer, to remove malicious applications uploaded on to the marketplace This is meant to prevent repeat-offender developers, as well as check for anomalies in uploaded apps

According to a 2014 research study released by RiskIQ, malicious apps introduced through Google Play store have increased 388% between 2011 and 2013 The study also revealed that the number of malicious apps removed annually by Google has dropped drastically, from 60% in 2011 to 23% in 2013 Apps for personalizing Android phones led all categories as most likely to be malicious

Hackers at Black Hat in 2012 claimed to have found a way to circumvent the blocker system by creating a seemingly benign application that used a JavaScript exploit to steal contacts, SMS messages, and photos

Before installing an application, Google Play displays all the permissions that an app requires A game may need to enable vibration, for example, but should not need to read messages or access the user's address book data After reviewing these permissions, the user can decide whether to install the application

Possible app permissions include functionality like:

  • Accessing the Internet
  • Making phone calls
  • Sending SMS messages
  • Reading from and writing to the installed memory card
  • Accessing a user's address book data

Security software companies have been developing applications to ensure the security of Android devices SMobile Systems, one such manufacturer, claims that 20% of apps in Android Market request permissions that could be used for malicious purposes, and 5% of apps can make phone calls without the user's intervention This is not a claim that the apps are actually malicious, but rather highlight the potential for malicious activity

In October 2016, Engadget reported about a blog post named "Password Storage in Sensitive Apps" from freelance Android hacker Jon Sawyer, who decided to test the top privacy apps on the Google Play Store Testing two applications, one named "Hide Pictures Keep Safe Vault" and the other named "Private Photo Vault", Sawyer found significant errors in password handling in both, and commented, "These companies are selling products that claim to securely store your most intimate pieces of data, yet are at most snake oil You would have near equal protection just by changing the file extension and renaming the photos"

Security issues

In some cases applications which contained Trojans were hidden in pirated versions of legitimate apps In early March 2011, DroidDream, a trojan rootkit exploit, was released to the Android Market in the form of several free applications that were, in many cases, pirated versions of existing priced apps This exploit allowed hackers to steal information such as IMEI and IMSI numbers, phone model, user ID, and service provider The exploit also installed a backdoor that allowed the hackers to download more code to the infected device These apps were downloaded more than 50,000 times before Google took action and removed them from the Market The exploit only affected devices running Android versions earlier than 23 "Gingerbread" In many cases, the only guaranteed method of removing the exploit from an infected device was to reset it to factory state, although community-developed solutions for blocking some aspects of the exploit were created Google started remotely removing the malicious apps from infected devices on March 5, and also released its own app, the "Android Market Security Tool March 2011", which automatically removed the exploit This app was automatically installed to all infected devices, and users with infected devices were notified via e-mail

Patent issues

Some developers publishing on Google Play have been sued for patent infringement of US Patent 6,857,067, which is not owned by Google

Gift cards

The rumor of Play Store gift cards started after references to it was seen in the version 3815 update to the Play Store app Soon after images of the gift cards started to leak, and on August 21, 2012 they were made official by Google and rolled out over the next few weeks

Google Play gift cards are currently available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States

Gift cards in a Target store in the US


Users outside the countries/regions listed below only have access to free apps and games through Google Play

Country/RegionPaid apps and gamesDevicesMagazinesBooksMovies & TVMusic
Customers can purchaseDevelopers can sellMoviesTV showsStandardAll Access
 Antigua and BarbudaYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNo
 Bosnia and HerzegovinaYesNoNoNoNoYesNoYesYes
 Burkina FasoYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNo
 Cape VerdeYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNo
 Costa RicaYesYesNoNoYesYesNoYesYes
 Czech RepublicYesYesNoNoYesYesNoYesYes
 Dominican RepublicYesYesNoNoYesYesNoYesYes
 El SalvadorYesNoNoNoYesYesNoYesYes
 Hong KongYesYesYesNoYesYesNoNoNo
 Ivory CoastYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNo
 Netherlands AntillesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
 New ZealandYesYesYesNoYesYesNoYesYes
 Papua New GuineaYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNo
 Saudi ArabiaYesYesNoYesYesYesNoNoNo
 South AfricaYesNoNoNoYesYesNoYesYes
 South KoreaYesYesYesYesYesYesNoNoNo
 Sri LankaYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNo
 Trinidad and TobagoYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNo
 United Arab EmiratesYesYesNoYesYesYesNoNoNo
 United KingdomYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
 United StatesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes

See also

  • List of mobile software distribution platforms
  • List of most downloaded Android applications
  • App Store iOS
  • F-Droid


  1. ^ including Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Marshall Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, and the US Virgin Islands for paid apps only


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External links

  • Official website
  • Android markets at DMOZ

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