The Google Play Dream


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So we've had a few posts on Google Play. Graham seems to like it and Oliur hates it. Well, I'm going offer a third opinion.

I think Google Play is good. OK, yes, the name could have been better (my personal choice would have been Google Store) but hey, you can't please everyone. The name isn't important to me, on the whole. What's important to me is the function. Google Play, while a good collection of all of Google's services, is nowhere near perfect. Why? Because Google haven't touched a lot of the services. Look at the Google Play Store, formerly the Android Market. It is my opinion that Google missed a trick, or quite a few tricks, here. Firstly: if you're a Chrome user, you'll realise the Chrome Web Store is still active. Why, Google? This is only going to confuse users even more. Secondly, Google haven't changed the much slated Android Market's function. The malware and rubbish Temple Run fakes can still get into the Play Store without much, or any, effort at all. I really hope Google do something about this, because it is my biggest criticism of the Play Store, and therefore Android (because let's face it, whoever uses the Play Store is going to have Android, at least at this point).

The second way Google could improve Play is by introducing Games.  Ha, I hear you say. Play=Games. It fits! But no, that isn't the reason I say this. I say this because Google needs a games system that works. GameCenter on iOS, while very good, still has big shortcomings. Google could storm into this area and steal the limelight. Imagine if Google made Google+ Games (does anyone actually use them?), Chrome Web Store games, and Android games together. Any Chrome Web Store game (let's take Monster Dash as an example) becomes a Google+ Game, and then your progress on that version is synced through the cloud to your Android device. (Interestingly, why isn't Monster Dash on Android?). That would really make gaming amazing on any Google system.

The last thing Google Play needs to do is the big one. It's...a social network. Yes. You heard me. A social network. Now, I know they have Google+. But Google Play SN (Social Network) will merge seamlessly with Google+. Let me explain.

Google Play is made up mainly of Android users, right? I mean, right now, to buy any app from the Google Play Store, you must have Android, otherwise you can't use it. Why don't Google take advantage of this plethora of Android users, and let us see what everyone else using the Store is doing? Everyone has a profile, and you can see what devices everyone has (Phil has a HTC Sensation and an ASUS Transformer Prime, for example), what apps they use regularly (Phil plays Osmos HD, uses Boid for Android, and likes Box) and what music I buy or listen to. I think that would be really amazing. Of course, it'd have to go well with Google+. But I think Google could do it.

So overall, Google Play has a lot further to go before it reaches its final destination. Apps, Games, and Social. Three improvements to make it a better experience for everyone.