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peter

Anyone else think "Google Play" is a dumb name for the Android marketplace?

Look, I totally get changing the name away from "Android Market", since it looks like Google would like to have a common marketplace across different platforms, but I don't see the logic in renaming it "Google Play". "Play" doesn't connote a place to go and buy stuff, and while I could see it making some sense for a marketplace for music, movies, and games, it certainly isn't the right word to describe one that encompasses apps and books as well. (For what it's worth, I thought Apple would have stopped calling it the "iTunes Store" years ago and am surprised they've hung on to it.)

I'm not sure why they didn't just rename it "Google Market" or "Google Shop" or whatever, but the funny thing is that -- at least on my phone -- the icon for "Google Play" says "Market" underneath. Not confusing at all.

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58 replies
c0z

Why can't it be Google Market??? I have been saying this from the beginning!
8 like dislike
ricardomt

Totally agree. Google Market sounds way better than "Play". Play works for games, music and videos, but totally blows when it comes to books and non-games Apps. To me, it sounds like a non-professional approach to content being sold. Just like iTunes. It's all "under" the iTunes franchise, although Apple tries to give other names such as "App Store" or "iBookstore" to other iTunes sections...
2 like dislike
c0z

Play just reminds me of a stage or a sandbox.
0 like dislike
TgD

Maybe Google is pulling a page out of Apple's playbook and "doesn't want to become predictable"
-2 like dislike
mrjetpacks

Unnecessary change [period].
5 like dislike
TgD

I agree with you. It gives a bad feel to all the productivity apps left in the "play". See? "On the market" makes so much more sense than "on Google Play"

However Google has been innovators. They have had success before (Gmail, Goggles) and have had failures (Buzz, Wave)

They are constantly changing their products, and we will have to wait and see if the name will hold.
3 like dislike
mburstiner

Mine has changed on my GNex. It says "Play Store" underneath mine.
0 like dislike
TgD

Yes and mine changed on my Sony X10 and Samsung Galaxy Tab
0 like dislike
davezatz

I'd have preferred the Google Bazaar. And yes, Play, is ridiculous in so many ways.
2 like dislike
agill

Yes... Bazaar would have been an exotic name...
1 like dislike
mburstiner

Yeah, Play is a terrible terrible name. It reminds me of a startup trying to turn their name into a verb for the sake of a blog post series: "How do you [name]?" Anything would have been better. Google Market & Google Shop both work fine for me, but I would have even been ok with something in that same abstract vein. Especially since they're still calling it the Google Play Store anyway, I think Google Tap Store, Go Store or Touch Store would even work. Play just feels awkward.
2 like dislike
agill

I completely do not see the logic in naming it Google ”Play". Market would have certainly been better. In addition the implementation has been far from smooth. Since the change, Google voice suddenly disappeared and I had to reinstall it. And I have been getting an error message saying that Verizon location services has crashed. Not sure whether it is linked to the change to Google play.
2 like dislike
wrlee

Even worse, my dad could not find the "market" when he went to look for it… fortunately I (not being an Android user) knew about the name change and found the Play icon he was looking for. Great way to lose a paying audience.

Hmmm… I just noticed, maybe it was a typo it was supposed to be "Google Pay" … that actually makes a lot more sense than "Play".
2 like dislike
dwx

Agreed. It's a rediculous name. Google Market would have been much better.

But they are probably trying to reflect the fact that the overwhelming majority of apps are games. This plus adding music and video was probably why they choose Google Play. I can at least see the logic behind it.

But, they are dead wrong. They haven't clarified anything by doing this, and in fact they've made things harder. No inexperienced Android user would ever think to use the Play app to get new software. Even expensed users who haven't been following the news will be confused.

I think Google should lock the door to the liquor cabinet, and stop letting the marketing guys drink so much cool aid!
2 like dislike
aaronfg

Google Market would have been perfectly fine. "Play" is an awful name. And yes, like you, I noticed that the icon is still called "Market" on my Galaxy Nexus.

But then again, they still show the back button when you are on the home screen, which makes no sense either.

Sometimes Google completely baffles me.
1 like dislike
all4me2be

Indeed. The name "Play" is quite possibly (one of) the most 'makes no sense at all' names to come out of any tech company. How in the world could you Play a book??
If there's a poll to be taken, I'm also voting to have the name changed to just plain and simple 'Google Market', though I saw nothing wrong with the name Android Market.
My 1/50th of a dollar
1 like dislike
redking315

I"m going to guess Google picked it out of a misguided attempt to be "playful" and quirky
0 like dislike
marty

I think "Google Market" would have made much more sense, since down the road it could have umbrella'd the Chrome WebStore as well.
1 like dislike
chazzersize

I think Google is planning a move into console gaming. Its been hugely successful for Microsoft. They have the handheld interface to compete with the WiiU. Sony's price points are borderline oppressive. And the Google TV platform is far from complete i.e. its ripe for adventurous innovation. I am kind of sidestepping your question, but why not change the name to Google Play before the hardware is even announced? What do they have to lose?
1 like dislike
JVChuy

I see nothing wrong with "Google Market". It stay away from limiting the store to Android products and all the categories Google may want to sell, as well as devices.
2 like dislike
jdillingham

Yikes, another game distribution system. I like where your head is at on this, however, and it does make sense.
2 like dislike
ricardomt

Agree. "Play" might work pretty well for games, music and videos, but totally blows when it comes to books and non-gaming apps. Sounds like Google is leaning towards a less professional approach to the marketplace trying to focus on mainstream markets. iTunes is a terrible name for the Apple franchise now that it also carries Books and Apps (Apple tries to rebrand sections of iTunes as "App Store" and "iBookstore" they are really all inside iTunes), but iTunes was born to sell MUSIC and didn't have a chance to change its name now that it is a such well-established brand. Google, by changing the name of the Market when it already has a broad spectrum of medias being offered, could have came up with a better option. As many have already mentioned, "Google Market" seems to be a much better name...
1 like dislike
dlarsen395

Sounds like they are trying to pull a 'Facebook', can't leave well enough alone! Personally my frustrations with all the mainstream tech changes has me enjoying the simplicity of Apple's products even more.
1 like dislike
DulceDeLeche

My icon says Play Shop. I'm more confuse now.
1 like dislike
jdillingham

It is extremely confusing, just the name itself is basically an insult to a customer who doesn't use the marketplace for "playing" anything. It's misleading and overall not a good thing for the average new android user.

Google Market would have been perfect. It's almost as if Google wants to appear as if they aren't selling anything and that all data on their server is free. Perhaps that is their strategy, the old bait and switch. Get people to go to the store under the false pretense it's a place to play and have fun, show them a game they want, and then ask for money.
1 like dislike
internalogic

Given that a tremendous amount of activity and value is associated with audio and video content, as well as a games, it should be a fine position. Shifting emphasis to Google (vs. Android) makes sense in the long run. Associating Google with playfulness and fun is not necessarily a bad thing - and as Peter points out, "iTunes" has not exactly held back Apple. Ultimately, I think the re positioning helps Google address the content side of the equation in terms of public/popular perception of the Android ecosystem - an important move.
1 like dislike
beau

In these situations I imagine handing a phone to my parents and asking myself if they would naturally figure out how to do something on the device. The odds of them figuring out that tapping "Google Play" will allow them to purchase an app is pretty low. It's lower than "Android Market" and much, much lower than "App Store". It's another case where Google doesn't quite get usability.
1 like dislike
ABritishNerd

I agree, Google Play doesn't sound like a place you go to download productive apps.
1 like dislike
indyrev

yes, Google Play is dumb, and I noticed Play Music too, even worse.
1 like dislike
brett

I completely agree. I think that Google Market, Google Shop, or Google Store would have been much more logical. I really hate seeing "Google Play Books". What does that even mean? You don't play a book (unless it's an audio book of course).
1 like dislike
okiwa002

I agree. "Google Market" sounds more like a complete platform name than "play"... one does not "play" a book, for example... and all apps are not games and music as we are clearly aware. Thus the brand name does not engender the same resonance that the Android Market name does... It was not a well thought out name change if you ask me.
1 like dislike
groovechicken

I really think that this name was crafted for marketing purposes... marketing which hasn't been released yet, which would explain why it makes no sense and just sounds horribly amateurish to us all. I would like to think hope that when the commercials roll out, we will at least see where they are going with this branding effort. My guess is that it will revolve around something like, "As simple as pressing play." That might make some rational sense as they are fighting against a perception (rightfully so on the tablet side) that Android is way more complicated than iOS.

Even with a clearer branding reason to choose this name, though, I don't think it can really be redeemed. They should have used Google Media or Google Store. They really need more people who are simultaneously left and right-brained at Google. People who are purely left or right-brained rarely seem to solve these kinds of problems in a good way. :)
1 like dislike
redking315

it is an incredibly stupid name. I mean think about it "I'm going to go buy an apple on Google Play" It just sounds silly.
0 like dislike
TgD

It does sound silly. Fruit is not available, unless you mean Fruit Ninja! :)
3 like dislike
redking315

dang, meant an app not apple :0
2 like dislike
KenEsq

Is it dumber than naming a computer "Macintosh" or a company "Google"? They're trying to build value in the market. if they went with App Store or Market they've got something really generic. I'm not saying Play is good...or really all that original...but...that's why they pay their marketing people the huge bucks.
0 like dislike
peter

Yes, I think it's worse than those names. If their goal is to build value in the market there are surely other names they could have come up with. I'm not suggesting that it needed to be "Google Market", just that the name they did end up with is neither particularly memorable nor descriptive. I'd wager that a good name has to do one or the other (and hopefully both).
1 like dislike
lymply

Yup ! It sounds really retarded
0 like dislike
EG

I talked some of the Google folks about this at GDC last week. I'll try and summarize the conversation as best I can, but I didn't take specific notes so understand that I may have a few things wrong. Also note that the Google folks I talked to weren't there to discuss this specifically, and they let me know they didn't have all the information on the thinking behind the change. So, with the disclaimers out of the way:

They indicated that Google wanted to get away from Marketplace because that term felt too developer or business focused, and in contrast wasn't consumer focused enough. They liked Play because they felt it was more consumer focused. It also indicated it was a fit for music, movies, games. I didn't ask them specifically about the other types of content that are sold on the store, since it was clear that I was asking the wrong folks anyways.
0 like dislike
SMacDougall

I also agree that Play is a terrible name. On my app drawer, it shows up as Play Store, but when I launch it, it says at the top of the app that it is Google Play. Google Market, Google Store, Google Mall, etc., would be much better and allow for a more diverse array of products than Google Play alludes to. If they want Android devices to be seen as serious devices to get serious work done on, then calling the marketplace "Google Play" seems to work against that goal. If they want Android devices to appear as toy devices, then "Google Play" is the right way to go.
0 like dislike
prompt

in some way, the Google Play website resembles the Zune colors. You can even see the Zune logo tiled on the front page.
0 like dislike
thesheep

It doesn't seem like a very logical name.

On the other hand, trying to understand what they might be thinking here... 'Play' has an unconscious connotation as a word. Buying a device that features the "Google Play Store" sounds a bit more exciting than one that just features the "Google Market". So from a branding point of view, it may make some sense.

As for crap names we think sound stupid, remember what people said when the Nintendo Wii first launched?

I do agree it could be a usability problem though, if users see an icon marked 'Play' on their homescreens.
0 like dislike
Ellis

My thoughts exactly. Calling it Google Play makes it seem as though it's a place just to get games, music and movies. When you're opening it up to download a PDF reader app, having "play" in the title just doesn't work properly.
0 like dislike
marc

I couldn't agree more. I get that they seem to want to shift the focus away from apps to higher-margin entertainment offerings, but "Google Play" is mind-numbingly bad.
0 like dislike
Paulypies

It's terrible. Play Books?!? Very odd and confusing for the market.
0 like dislike
mitchell

Yes
0 like dislike
breeze93

No other way to say it: Yes.
0 like dislike
nybble

Personally, I would have preferred "Google Market". Google Play really doesn't sound like the best name, but might have worked for a sub-section for games.
0 like dislike
8Limbs

You can't get more natural and intuitive than "Google Market". I'm with c0z.

It's like the first time you heard Mike Tyson speak: it seems, mmm-- incorrect.
0 like dislike
peteincali

I just googled Google Play stupid name, because I totally agree that is a ridiculous name. I don't use my Apps for play. I use it for business and daily needs. It bothers me.
0 like dislike
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