Introduction to Google play

Google Play, originally Android Market, is an online store housing music, movies, books, magazines, applications(specifically Android applications), operated by Google. The latest release version of Google Play is 3.8.17, released on 21 September 2012.

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Started on 23 October 2008, it now has more than 675,000 applications and over 25 billion downloads as of September, 2012. Google Play sells applications in over 132 countries and provides free apps in 190 countries.

Google Play also sells Galaxy Nexus and Nexus Q smartphone in its store.

 Most popular applications on Google Play*:

  1. Facebook for Android
  2. Google Maps
  3. Angry Birds
  4. Youtube
  5. Adobe Flash Player 11
  6. Gmail
  7. Street view on Google Maps
  8. Voice search
  9. Google search
  10. Google Play services

*All these have more than 10 crore downloads/installs

Google Play is not open-source. It was rebranded as Google Play from Android Market on 6 March 2012.

An application that needs to be installed needs an APK file to be downloaded from the store. The store is a repository of such files.

To prevent malicious applications from being uploaded to the store, Google has deployed an automated anti-virus system, Google Bouncer, which reportedly reduced malware by 40 percent from the quarter of 2011.

Recently, Google announced the release of Smart App Update, which would help mobile users to update their applications without having to download the complete updated application. This would not only make the update size smaller but also much faster than previous updates. It also announced measures to improve security in Jelly Bean and future Android versions, including encrypting application downloads, which means a device-specific key would be assigned to the download before they reach the user.

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