Google at the beginning of this month renamed it’s Android application store to Google Play (formerly known as Android Market). From its blogpost, it says that with Google Play you can:
- Store up to 20,000 songs for free and buy millions of new tracks
- Download more than 450,000 Android apps and games
- Browse the world’s largest selection of eBooks
- Rent thousands of your favorite movies, including new releases and HD titles
Clearly there is isn’t much change or addition of features so it should have just been marketed as a name change. A name change that could hurt business and utilities apps. I am a mobile developer and a keen Android evangelist but I have met this name change with a bit of friction.
Let’s look at a few items or solutions with the name ‘play’ with it;
- P. Diddy’s album - “Press Play”. A review on BBC:
So when the automated voice on the album wants to know “are you ready to press ‘play’ “? Sorry honey - I’ve just got to say “no”!
- Black Berry Playbook: I wouldn’t need to say more for this but just so everyone knows, that ship has sailed! From giving away free Playbooks to slashing prices by over half the amount, RIM has been fighting a losing battle with it’s own product.
Now to trademarks.. Take a look at this logo:
If I told you this was the original look of Google Play’s logo would you believe me? Yes? No? Well it isn’t. It’s Actually for an awesome framework called Play Framework. A Google Search for the word “Play” actually has them ranked third under Google Play and Play.com(1st). Won’t be surprised if they get slapped a few lawsuits.
But onto my point. My own mother discarded her BB Playbook because it sounded too much of “play” and thus not what she wanted, and bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab. This “Play” Will work great for Entertainment apps (games, music etc.) but a killer for business and utilities apps. How am I in all fairness supposed to go up to a business executive having an iPhone or (forbid) a BlackBerry and tell him\her that:
“Sir, moving to an Android phone will tripple your productivity with this application I have created. These features are only available on the Android platform so you simply have to get one.
All you have to do is download it off the Google PLAY Store.”
Until that very last sentence, the executive was hooked and ready to cash into the idea. Then the very name..! “Google PLAY”. He\She would take another look at me, pat me on the back and tell me how I’m doing a great job as a young person in IT. The conversation has quickly moved from leveraging the Android platform in their daily business operations to “young people and their many fancy gadgets and tools”. In their eyes they have belittled me to nothing more than a kid with a computer who loves “playing”.
So how does Google expect us business and utilities developers to flourish in a world of “No Play just Work” executives? How?