Google has just rolled out Google Play, an integrated service designed to store all your apps, music, movies and books in the cloud. However, until it starts offering options other than apps or books to Australian accounts, the initiative doesn’t amount to much more than a new look for the browser-based version of the Android market.
In countries like the US where Google also sells music and movies, having a centralised hub to manage and access everything (and ensure your content is available on any device) makes sense. But Google’s own blog post underscores how the service has less relevance in most of the world:
In the U.S., music, movies, books and Android apps are available in Google Play. In Canada and the U.K., we’ll offer movies, books and Android apps; in Australia, books and apps; and in Japan, movies and apps. Everywhere else, Google Play will be the new home for Android apps.
Google does say it intends to extend the range of services in other countries eventually, but doesn’t give a time frame. In countries which support music options, you can store up to 20,000 tracks on the service (Google doesn’t indicate whether music you buy through it is exempt from that total, which is the approach Apple uses with iTunes Match). Google has already begun redirecting the market.android.com page to the new Play page.
The clip below gives a flavour of the service, but I’d rather Google spent less time on marketing and more time on finalising deals with local record companies so Google Music can roll out.
Introducing Google Play: All your entertainment, anywhere you go [Official Google Blog]