Just six months after its launch, Google Play has reached 25 billion-with-a-B downloads.

Play has become the de facto application store for the Android platform, replacing Google’s range of Android app-, game-, and music-purchasing software. Today, the marketplace contains 675,000 total applications, including games.

Before Play launched, Google Music, Google Books, the Android Market, and a few other separate products made up a diverse (and not in a good way) media store for all Google and Android products and devices. The diversity read like fragmentation to frustrated users with app overload.

Play now brings together all the features of those disparate properties under a single banner — great news for Android developers, who got a unified distribution channel and a vastly improved UI out of the deal.

In a recent interview with Play’s team, we called the new store “a high-end shopping mall with a cornucopia of stores” and noted that it was sleeker, sexier, and more expensive-looking than its predecessors.

“We wanted to convey fun, the notion that there’s a lot to entertain here,” said Google Play engineering director Chris Yerga during a private chat at Google I/O this year. “And we wanted to convey that this is a destination for premium content.”

To celebrate the 25 billion download mark, Google Play will be featuring some special deals over the next few days. Developers such as Gameloft, Electronic Arts, Rovio, Runtastic, and Full Fat are offering games at the low, low price of 25¢ each, for example.

“We’ll also be offering some special collections like 25 movies you must own, 25 banned books, 25 albums that changed the world, and our 25 top selling magazines, all at special prices,” writes Google digital content director Jamie Rosenberg today on the company blog.

“Twenty-five billion is more than twice the distance, in miles, that the Voyager 1 spacecraft has travelled since its launch 35 years ago. It’s the amount of time, in minutes, that have passed since some of our earliest ancestors began to set foot in Europe. And now, thanks to all of you, it’s a Google Play milestone.”

Top image courtesy of ra2 studio, Shutterstock