Posted March 26, 2012 11:59 pm by with 0 comments

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Google Play was officially released earlier this month but I only just got my first look at it thanks to the bright red NEW logo in my Google Gmail bar.

I had forgotten about the new initiative, so I clicked the button and was promptly confused.

Is this an entertainment magazine? An online store? A review site? And look, it says Android Apps! I’m an iPhone users so does that mean none of this is for me?

If I was your average consumer, I might have closed the page and moved on. But I’m a journalist, so I decided to research this whole colorful mess. Turns out, this is Google’s new one-stop entertainment shop / cloud service / social sharing site.

So it’s. . . dare I say it. . . iTunes for Android.

If you don’t worship at that church, you can still visit as long as you don’t mind watching movies or reading books on your computer. I’m not fond of that concept, so I won’t be spending much time here.

Still, I can see where it Android folks might rejoice over this unification of their entertainment choices. Apps, ebooks, streaming movies and music, all in one place.

But wait.  . . do I hear some grumbling from the pews in the back?

ZDNet says that some Android app developers have been told to take their contributions and go elsewhere. “Reddit is Fun,” the app with 300,000 users was banned because the content didn’t comply with Google’s decency rules.

People over at Reddit like their Not-Safe-for-Work links and that’s not okay with Play. ZDNet says an adult app has also been banned. The phrase in the policy is no “pornography, obscenity, nudity, or sexual activity.” Does that mean they won’t be streaming raunchy comedies like American Pie or sexy thrillers like Basic Instinct?

And where does that leave hot, erotic romance novels?

Not worried about censorship? How about battery life? Check out Verge’s article on how the Google Play’s “Angry Birds in Space” download is sucking the energy out of Android phones.  Seems the free version that Google Play offers has ads that are killing the batteries. So there is a premium paid choice, but since most people don’t want to pay for apps, that won’t always be an option.

Then there’s the payment system. Google Wallet is the preferred choice. How many people are using that? Let’s see a show of hands.

I may sound cynical (imagine that) but I do believe that Google Play is a step in the right direction. For marketers selling digital goods, it’s an excellent way to have your app hanging out right next to a blockbuster movie.

The best thing about Google Play? The fact that books are right in there with movies, music and apps. Yes indeedy. Google Play makes reading sound cool. For that, I love them.

What do you think of Google Play?