Smartphones

Google shuns Apps-based businesses for the sake of "Play"

Google hopes that the Play transition speaks to consumers, but it also speaks to a lack of interest in helping enterprises manage their own set of Google apps.

If you have an Android phone or tablet, you’ve already seen that Google has re-branded its Android Market as "Google Play." You know this because your alphabetical list of apps was suddenly shaken up and salted with a whole bunch of newly named stuff. There’s "Play Music" (hey, that works), "Play Books" (weird, but, okay), and, most significantly, "Play Store." The Market is gone; now you must Play.

It’s a deliberate shake-up aimed at consumers which doesn’t say much about Google’s recognition of its Apps and enterprise customers.

Market versus Store

You could have a dorm-room argument about the implications of a "Market" versus a "Store," and all the freshman Psychology, Sociology, and Marketing Communications students would all argue right and wrong until they got bored.

But it’s obvious that Google wants to get people away from thinking of their books, music, and movies as something that’s only available for Android owners, and to tie their Android apps into their larger offerings. Which is fair, especially because the Play Store isn’t just an iTunes Store under a different banner. In Google fashion, you can read books, listen to music, and watch movies right in your browser, or download them for offline access onto your devices.

So Google hopes that the Play transition speaks to people looking to entertain themselves, but it also speaks to a certain lack of interest in helping enterprises manage their own set of enterprise-wide apps.

Enterprise

As previously noted in this space, Microsoft is promising full support for customized, intra-company Windows Store, and Apple offers at least a way of distributing apps to corporate iPhones and iPads, even if it’s mostly up to the company to maintain the server and software. In the case of Apple-based enterprises, CIOs at medium to big firms not only have to set up their own server, but they also have to get their employees to install customized “non-Market apps,” or at least figure out a security certificate policy that makes phones and tablets feel a bit less magical.

However, there’s nothing said in the Google Play explanation site about Google Apps users at all, let alone about new ways of managing apps across company devices.

Maybe a business-side upgrade or augmentation of the Play system is on its way. Perhaps Google is all-in on the “Bring Your Own Device” trend, and believes the open web and a mostly open store are the best ways to make both companies and customers happy. But it looks more like Google is more interested in getting folks to Play than in pleasing the enterprise market.

About

Kevin Purdy is a freelance writer, a former editor at Lifehacker.com, and the author of The Complete Android Guide.

6 comments
n2iph
n2iph

Google Play ? Sorry but that makes not sense to me. I have no space on my phone nor time to 'play'. I come to Google Market for apps that help me with everyday activities at work and in my off time. I resent that few bloated space hog game apps that I am forced to have reside on my phone though I will never use them. Junk like facebook, footprints, friend stream, nova, peep, teeter; they're all useless to me though I realize that's not the case for others. Changing the name or Google Market to Google Play is NOT going to get me to view some video or read a book or do any of the other things that are more profitable to Google than distributing apps. And THAT is the bottom line, they are looking to make more money by selling you that book or downloadable or streaming video AND by capturing your viewing and other data related to you and leveraging that into targeted ads. Targeted ads make more money per impression than ads that are not directed at a specific audience.

daboochmeister
daboochmeister like.author.displayName 1 Like

There's multiple options for enterprise deployment of Android apps to corporate devices. Choosing to put our corporate apps out on the public market - where they can be downloaded and dissected for security vulnerabilities etc. - is probably the LAST one we would choose, for ANY flavor of device. Seriously, dude, that arrow didn't even leave the bow.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

And, lo and behold, by around the end of Q3 2012, we'll have also Google Werk to "play" with, or should I say "werk" with. It'll be a simple yet elegant way to keep all the business odds and ends in one place. Srsly! Ok, so I don't really need a crystal ball to see that Google will be looking to keep "work" and "play" together, yet apart. Creating a works suite wouldn't be anything new, so they must have figured that starting with the play suite is the smarter way to go. Only after "Play" is entrenched will "Werk" seem like a clever thing, and a new thing, to boot - despite works suites having been around since forever. Say what you want, but Google gives a good mindjob!

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin like.author.displayName 1 Like

Do you buy apps via the Google ecosystem? Apple ecosystem? Microsoft's ecosystem. Is the idea of an enterprise-sanctioned app store really a viable way to conduct IT?

Rob IA
Rob IA

Mark, how is the idea of an enterprise-sanctioned app store different than the self-service portals available for virtual apps for traditional desktops and laptops?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I've never looked at Apple or MS's store. I was one of those who thought Google's apps were only for Android users. I'm no more inclined to look at their store than I was before, but I'm now aware I have the capability.