Google is excited to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Play Store. Aside from a new logo that matches the tech giant’s current aesthetic (see above), there will be a promotion beginning July 25th that will provide 10 times the usual Play Points to rewards program members who make purchases.
Google launched the Play Store in 2012 to consolidate all of its online stores at the time: Android Market (apps), music, e-books, and videos. You could effectively buy anything Google offered via a single website or a few apps.
For a time, you could also purchase a digital newsstand as well as hardware such as Nexus devices and Chromebooks. With over 2.5 billion people using the store every month across 190 countries, the service is unsurprisingly popular given its importance to Android.
The anniversary coincides with the evolution of the service. In 2018, the company rebranded Play Newsstand as Google News, and in 2020, it shut down Play Music to complete the transition to YouTube Music.
Google is pulling the Movies & TV section this year to put its content in the TV app. The Play Store remains, but it is far more focused than it was a decade ago.
The Play Store has also been the subject of debate. While the Play Protect anti-malware system and data safety listings have improved the store’s trustworthiness, there are still instances of shady apps evading Google’s screening system.
Google has also faced criticism for its policies. Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, and others have accused Google of stifling third-party payment systems and even blocking manufacturer deals. Google tightened its policies even further in June, requiring a slew of apps to use the Play Store’s billing system.
With legislation requiring access to third-party payment platforms, the European Union partially reversed that approach.
Similar changes have been demanded by other regulators. As important as the Play Store has been to Android and Google in general, it is possible that it will lose some of its clout in the coming years.