What Is Google Play?

Everything you need to know about the Android storefront

Google Play is the official store for Android apps, games, music, movies, and e-books. You can download content directly onto an Android device through the Play Store app or send content to a device from the Google Play website.

The Google Play Store app is on every Android device by default regardless of the manufacturer (Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.).

Google Play Apps

The Google Play Store is home to millions of apps and games. Some apps take advantage of your device's hardware capabilities, such as motion sensors (for motion-dependent games) or a front-facing camera (for online video calling).

Google Play Pass is a subscription service that gives you unlimited access to hundreds of games in the Google Play Store.

Google Play apps home page

Google Play Books

The Books section of Google Play is an e-book distribution service where you can read or listen to e-books and audiobooks on your Android device. There are currently more than five million e-book offerings.

You can also download the Amazon Kindle and Amazon Audible apps from Google Play to access more titles.

Google Play Books website

Google Play's e-books are different from the Google Books online database, which contains a library of scanned books from the collections of public and academic libraries.

Google Play Apps Movies and TV

Movie rentals and purchases are available through the Google Play Movies and TV section. You have access to a range of television episodes from shows that appear on network and premium channels.

Google Play Movies & TV website

Google Play's History

Google Play launched on March 6, 2012, bringing together the previous Android marketplaces (Android Market, Google Music, and Google Books) under one brand. Google used to offer a Devices tab in the Play Store, but as Google's device offerings expanded and required more customer support, the company spun off devices into their storefront called the Google Store. Now, Google Play is for downloadable apps and content.

Google Play used to offer Chrome apps. However, those are now available in the Chrome Web Store. You can still use the Google Play store in Chrome environments.