Dev

What Google Play means for Android developers

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In this morning’s huge Google Play announcement, we learned that the company was drastically restructuring how consumers access content across devices.

The Google Play app is giving users access to apps, games, music, books, and movies all from a single dashboard that can be accessed from just about any web-connected device, including phones and tablets.

But in the process, the company is scrapping the Android Market, a move that’s sure to raise questions for Android developers. As Android-side Googler Kenneth Lui pointed out in this morning’s blog post on the Android Developer site, the company and its army of third-party devs have already put a ton of time and effort into making the Market useful for consumers and profitable for devs.

What’s changing with Play?

While the familiarity of the Android Market is disappearing for all Android users within the next seven days, to be replaced by the Google Play store and cloud-based storage system, Lui wrote, “Apps and games remain the core of Google Play, so we’ll continue investing in new ways to connect users with their favorite apps, and developers with new customers.”

Google is hoping to drive even more eyeballs (and revenue) to developers by integrating the same store across all devices, all platforms, and all media types. For example, consumers can download an app or game on the web and send it to a mobile device, all rather seamlessly. Here’s a consumer-focused demo on how Google Play will work for Android apps:

Android Market login credentials will be identical to those for Google Play, and the infrastructure of the Market won’t change. For developers, this is a UI change, not something that will require any heavy lifting. You don’t have to re-publish apps or change anything about the way you currently publish apps; rather, all your Android Market apps will simply become Google Play apps without your lifting a finger.

Devices running Android 2.2 or higher will get OTA upgrades over the next week.

“As we grow and promote Google Play around the world, we’ll be marketing your apps and games at the same time,” Lui concluded. “Our policies have not changed and our goal is still the same: to create a great, open marketplace for distributing Android apps.”

Image courtesy of laihiu, Flickr


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