Google Play: Worst Name Ever? Or Completely Necessary? [Video and Poll]


Okay, we’ve all heard the news and for lack of better word — yeah, it pretty much sucks. Google has officially rebranded the web version of the Android Market into “Google Play.” And that’s not all, following suit are all of Google’s popular apps: Google Books is now Google Play Books. Google Music is now Google Play Music. Even Andy Rubin is has legally changed his name to Andy Play Rubin. You get the picture.

Now, let me just say this. I get it. The Android Market has grown bigger than the mobile operating system we all hold so dear. It’s not longer about apps. There’s books and movies. I mean, you don’t even need to own an Android device in order to take advantage of all these great Google services. A new name was definitely in order.

But Google Play? Even as a creature of habit who sometimes loathes change, I still feel like there were a couple of better ideas out there. How ’bout just plain ‘ol Google Market? Most companies who offer goods and services will chose a term that immediately lets you know you need to break out your wallet. Market, store, bazaar. All better ideas. Not playground. And don’t even get me started on that logo. A shopping bag, while a maybe a little too cutesy, was clear and to the point. You click on this to buy some stuff. Couldn’t be easier.

If you would have asked me a few weeks ago what Google was planning on doing with all these “Play” domains they snatched up, I would have guess they were planning on entering into the gaming market. Maybe some cool new Android based gaming system. Never in a million years would I have guessed they were going to rename the Android Market.

So what’s next from Googs? Well, if this impromptu name change is any indication, I’d say the ad company is planning for an even bigger push into the digital content market. It’s no longer all searches and ads anymore for Google. They are now officially your source for any and all digital content. I think at this year’s Google I/O will start to see them invade your living room becoming your central hub for all things digital.

But now, I want to pass it to you. What do you guys think about this new name change? Would Google Market have been more appropriate? Maybe they Android Market was fine and there was no need to change it? Sounds like another Phandroid poll is in order. Vote!

[polldaddy poll=6013546]

Feel the need to update your Android Market app to the new Google Play… store app. Try this. Worked like a charm for me.

Jump into your Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > All tab > Market > Clear Data. Launch the Market app and you should now have the new Google Play Market. Enjoy.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

Google Play Store rolling out to Galaxy Nexus, XOOM, Google TV devices [Update: and more!]

Previous article

Samsung Shows Off New Stereo Speakers With Dual-Dock For Android Devices

Next article

You may also like


  1. You are the ugliest human I’ve seen.

    1. We are in agreement then. *nods*

      1. Chris, we need a meh option. As long as I can still download my applications and it doesn’t get as controlling as the app store then I’m good. A name is a name.

        1. great point

      2. I don’t know if it’s any comfort, but I think that I’m uglier.

        About the logo, it looks great to me, it’s still a shopping bag on my device, and the app is named “Play STORE”, so all the points are scored by Google. ;)

    2. Sounds like you have a huge crush on him… you’re probably dying to sniff his hair or something


  2.  26 year old rockin a 12 year old haircut. hahaha

      1. Totally.

      2. I think Chris is cool. Haters gon’ hate.

      3. they picking on you chris lol

    1. Why do people say mean insulting things? I’m sure Chris didn’t care, but words can and do hurt sometimes.

      There was no point in you insulting him. Maybe he likes his hair that way, who cares. Let people live their lives the way they want.

    2. you must be bald like me lol. stop envying people’s hair

  3. I don’t particularly like the new name (it was a funny surprise when I opened up Chrome and saw that my GMusic app was changed to gold).

    But at the end of the day, it’s still going to be the same Google service that I’ve gotten in the past.  They can name it Google Kumkwat Galaxy Store III+ MAXX for all I care, it’s still the best out there.

    1. I oft asked myself if I met the hottest girl in the world but her name was Olga, if I would feel the same. Probably would but I’d hope she’d change it =p

      1. Olga Petaki brehh

      2. This is an intense philosophical question. Side note: I agree with you on the Google Market idea.

        1. You are a gentleman and a scholar.. 

          1. No offence Chris, but did you put any thought in this article?

            First off: Your article makes people think it will be called Google Play instead of Google Play Store. Lots of negativity here has been based on the lack of store/market part of the name. totally unnecessary.
            Second: The poll candidates are bad. Google Market would conflict with the Google shop, where you can buy Android hats, Google T-shirts, and other physical merchandise. Android Market would not work, for people who do not own an android device but want to buy music for Google (Play) Music in their browsers?
            Third: You wrote “And don’t even get me started on that logo. A shopping bag, while a maybe a little too cutesy, was clear and to the point. You click on this to buy some stuff. Couldn’t be easier.” You DO realize that the icon for the Google Play Store is also a shopping bag right? Google Play = Play-button | Google Play Store = Play-logo ON a white SHOPPING BAG

            Great for spreading misinformation…..Might switch to another android fansite…one that thinks before posting :S

          2. You’re right about the logo being on top of the shopping bag image on an android device, but there is no shopping bag to be found on the official play web site.

          3. @google-9e66d161daeccef81687c8ed2eafa4c9:disqus That’s true, but I think that’s because it is unnecessary. One quick glance over the website and you immediately know you are in a store already. It would be like writing “store” on the walls of every store you enter, so people know they are in a store :S
            Maybe if/when they expand the website with things other than ways to buy stuff, they might incorporate the shopping bag icon to the shopping part of the website and the regular logo to the rest 

        2. Not hot!

        3. That’s one fine Olga right there… I’d be down to smash

        4. Good work!  Too bad I’m at work.  Lol

        5. Yeah…I’m good with Olga.

      3. Ya know, I like most your work here, CC.  But this comment…. it brings you to a whole new level.. Epic!

  4. Google Market definitely. Android Market was out of date, it didn’t strongly convey to the consumer that the Market was about more than just Android. Play though is just dreadful.
    I honestly don’t understand how they could think it was a good idea or that it sounded better. Surely they have questionnaires and things to gauge what the public would think? I just literally don’t understand how they make these ridiculous decisions!

    1. The problem I see with the words “market” or “store” from a marketing perspective is that in real life you go there to buy things and the Android Market is not just for buying. There is a lot of free stuff (apps, games, music, books, etc). Also the content is not just for Android, so the current/past name is restricting.

      For “new people” it may be confusing and I think that they get statistics that indicate people is not going to the website because they do not want to spend, the name must not contain “negative” marketing words.

      Anyway, Google Play is bad also for the reasons explained in the video and comments but the name must be changed.

      1.  yeah this is what i thought too. the word “market” was fine but its associated with buying. Im guessing google wanted you to think theres more to it than buying stuff so they changed it to “play”. Which I guess they thought would psychologically be better. I dont like the change but in the end its just a name and not a big deal for me.

  5. Couldn’t agree with Chris more!!!

  6. Google play is stupid! Market is a much better term! If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! The “android market” is what attracted so many people to android phones for the past few years!

  7. Google Play has brought a multitude of porn to its market…

  8. Its better name than windows phone 7. Also everything under the play moniker just simply says for ex. Play music, not Google play music. Quit over exaggerating. And update your app for ICS cause god knows I can’t play videos on this app anymore!

  9. Android Market was just fine, but if they HAD to rename it, Google Market would’ve been the better choice.  There’s just something about the word Market that I loved associating Android with.  I really hate this Google Play business and the word “Play” is plastered everywhere in the “Play Store”…SMH Google, SMH…

  10. Apple owns the words “app, store, market, job, and slide” so “play” works for Google.

  11. Shoulda went with GOOGLE GOO!

  12. Is this like the Tenga Play?

  13. yea.. I dunno.. whatever.. but I was definitely like WTF when I saw goolge play auto updating on my phone today. 

  14. I think you bring up some good points in your video there, Chris.. Nice job!!

  15. Is it just me or is this move really out of character for Google? Usually they are so savvy at naming their products… Lets face it, Google Play really is a terrible misleading name. How has this gotten through the vast decision making process the big G has in place behind these huge shifts in marketing. 

    p.s Something about ‘Google Play’ makes me think of Sony…Can’t quite put my finger on it.

    1. Weird! I thought of Sony too! Isn’t there an Xperia Play?

      1. Sony Playstation?

      2. Yes, but I doubt there’s a conspiracy brewing here…

    2. Maybe because of PlayNow?

  16. Google play. I’m moving to the iphone. Lololol

  17. I actually loving it. Google Play. Invites all kind of fun association, right?

  18. Google is bloatware.

  19. They use Google “play” to soften up their image …Google’s new privacy policy (march 1) has changed to where they can use your info for anything of their choosing…they’re pretty much saying you have no privacy but enjoy our new “fun” name!

  20. I think the “play” moniker fits perfectly with a company like Google. They are known for being a fun, playful company. They are just playing it up.

  21. Not sure if I’m right but I think they tweaked the comment system on it as well the headline thing was under the persons name and not so bold…?

  22. Are they going to put a Play in everything now? Google Play+? Play YouTube? Play Calendar? Play Talk? Etc?

    1. Google Play Mail? -_-

  23. nutella, duct tape and zip ties lmaoo

    1. Never leave home without ’em.. O_o

  24. Chris’s hair =Epic

    1. lol good one

  25. The app icon for the “Play Story” is incredibly ugly. I miss the market logo.

  26. Google can name it whatever it wants to, I’ll still refer to as the market place.

  27. pointless change. Wtf is going on at google? This isnt an isolated “off incident” theyve been making quite a few strange changes lately and i think this is the straw that breaks the camels back for me. Whoever is making these decisions/supplying the input is fucking stupid

  28. Where is the choice for ‘I don’t give a crap what they call it’?

    1. Yea, I’m not sure why it’s such a big deal to people.

      1. You ever meet a hot girl named Olga? It matters. It matters a lot, Tarik.. O_o

        1. Yeah man, the simple name change of a global Internet service is comparable to the popularity shifts of given names throughout history.


        2. “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
          By any other name would smell as sweet.”

          i.e. I couldn’t care less what they call it, so long as they haven’t made it more difficult to get the content on my android device…and I would still date an attractive woman if her name was Olga simply because not many “hot” girls show much interest in me.

          1.  I see what you Shakespeared there.

          2. I see what you Boxxy’d there.

          3.  I see dead people

        3. Mmmm…. Olga…. Fifteen is my limit on schnitzen-gruben!

        4. Oh yeah!  Thanks for bringing back memories.

        5. Actually I’ve NEVER met a hot girl named Olga (and I’m Latino) but I get ur point and I agree. Lol

        6. Oh come on Chris, a guy who’s got hair like that shouldn’t be so insecure about what Android calls it’s marketplace. ;)

        7. Guess I never met one, but they do exist:


        8. Chris, I’m with you on the name change, but you really, REALLY need to take a trip to Moscow some day…

      2. It speaks to Google’s priorities. The market has been a consistent disappointment, unable to effectively filter out crap aps, and bring relevant quality up front. Instead of working on improving the market, they’ve decide to slap a new poorly named face on it, add a bunch of marketing bloat, and somehow mix a bunch of entertainment media in with what was an app store. This move has no consideration for the user. This is a move right out of Microsoft’s play book.

      3.  It’s a big deal if you’re a developer and you now have to change all your descriptions for a name that makes your app less serious.

  29. I hate it!! I like the old fashioned android market! I have the Incredible 2 and the icon is hidious lol

  30. Why the last option?

    1. It’s a way of saying you hate it and are leaving Android cause of the name change.

      1. That’s a pretty enormous claim for a single name change…

        1. I think it’s meant to be a little sarcastic for the people who hate the name a lot. As it’s the only option that implies hate, and throwing Apple in there just puts an exclamation in it!

          That’s the option I picked. why? Cause I think the name is stupid. Am I really going to switch to Apple? Nope, cause I hate Apple the company, and they way they do business.

  31. While I may not be a huge fan of the name Play, I do get it, and more importantly, this is going to be a huge change. While today its more of a renaming of existing properties, the idea that music, books, apps, and movies are all under the same branding means that we’ll see better integration, and hopefully that means the best about each property’s UI will be implemented across the board. This tight integration between Google’s media properties is going to be an overall good thing for both Android and Google in general. Just like Google+ will be the new branding for all of Google’s search and social properties, Google Play will be for all of Google’s media properties.

    Hopefully, they continue to cut down on the number of brands and begin integrating these services better. For too long, Google’s properties have existed as their own little islands with very little integration with other services. This opens up a whole new way to experience Android and Google.

    Also, it makes sense to get rid of the Android part of the Android Market, seeing as it has grown beyond Android.

  32. I can see the threads on forums now:

    “Where did my Market go?”
    “Where am I supposed to download apps?”
    etc etc

    Google Play would have been a better name for a multimedia player (like combining Google Music and Google Videos)

  33. I think the Play title is dumb. It was advertising a book and said “play the hunger games” simple thing. But very unnecessary.

  34. My GNex still hasn’t update yet. w00t w00t. :P

    1. Of course, now that I went and said that, there the update is.  :( Ugly *&^ logo.

  35. New name is stupid. Stupid.

  36. It looks the same on my s2 the name changes n icon thats it its ok i guess hate the icon

  37. Very poor choice of names. “Google play” and “play shop” google should be ashamed of names like that. They should have just called it google market.

  38. so guys did u check out the new deals on apps in the “play”?

    ” i just downloaded angry birds in space from the play”

    i need a banking application, did you check the play?”


    1.  Or G Spot hehe

    2. FAIL!!!!

      if anything, it will be referred to as the “Play Store” or “Google Play Store”
      I don;t get where so many people get the idea that its just Google Play and forget to add the STORE part of it


  40. Most ridiculous Market name EVER.  

  41. Play is a horrible name, unless you’re operating some sort of arcade.  I vote that we (the users) call it “The App formerly known as Market”.

  42. I think Google really screwed up with this. First of all, essentially Market/Play is where you buy stuff, or get stuff for free, but you never play stuff with Market/Play. Second, it now looks like they were just badly mimicking iTunes. Apple sells all their sh!t in iTunes, why don’t we Google sell our sh!t in (i?)Play!

    1.  Dear Phandroid reporters, please keep using “Market Link” wording, don’t change it to “Play Link”. At least that we’ll make us fell fuzzy and cuddly.
      Now I’ll just go, get drunk, and buy an iShit.

  43. Play Store. Sounds like a store to buy gaming apps,

    App Store
    ugh, App place while were at it

    1. app store does not sound like a place where you buy movies/ebooks or music

  44. The logo is worse than the name. Like old logo much better

  45. Terrible name, even worse logo. With Google’s tremendous information farming you’d think they would have already foreseen us hating it. 

  46. Agreed. ‘google play’ imo just sounds…. Childish? Google market i think would have been MUCH better.

  47. Why not just call it PlayMarket ?

  48. Google Play kind of makes since to me. You want to Play your Music, Play your movie, Play your Game, Play your book on any device? Why not use Google Play we have it all? The Play branding is going to take time but at the end of the day it is just a new name it will be okay! Also I see why they did not want to call it the Market or Store because that is common to IOS and Amazon and other like items. It is different.

    1.  Yeah I’m going to play my spreadsheet app and play the Exchange client. This is really silly for business.

  49. it needed to be called google market period. Google failed

  50. Kind, of cool…I think this shows that,Google will be all over Android now. And, this means better everything.. y0.

  51. Google Play, Android Market, Google Market..who really cares what it is called? I think people are putting too much energy into this..

    1. My thoughts exactly. People act like the world is going to end. >.<

    2. I disagree. When you’re dealing with competitors as meticulous as Apple and Microsoft you have to make every move count. Why would they do this? It makes it harder on brand new users or existing users who are not tech savvy. Only the shopping bag would give me an indication that you could buy games there. Otherwise I would view it as just another bullshit included app that carriers put on their phones.

  52. You look really tired Chris, has this been keeping you up?

  53. They should have named it “Google Fail”. kinda catchy don’t ya think?

  54. they were a bit early on this, april 1st is still a few weeks away. among other things this name screams “please don’t take me seriously”, need a business solution? “play” is the last word that comes to mind.  if all they want to promote are movies music and games then sure, but if they want to be able to compete in a market full of professionals, perhaps they should come up with a better name than play. and by perhaps, i mean definitely. 

  55. I think “The Play Store” would have given a nice ring to it.
    That would have brought the aspect of it not being all about apps anymore and would have still focused on selling.

    1. That’s the name of the app, actually.

    2. It is called the Google Play Store

  56. Music? Video’s? Books? Only in the US…

  57. Play is better than Market. Content should be associated with free fun and not getting screwed by a corporation that wants your money. I think the Google Play Subscriptions are next:

    – $5/month Unlimited Apps/Games/Marketplace
    – $5/month Unlimited Music/Audiobooks
    – $5/month Unlimited eBooks/Articles/Google Books
    – $5/month Unlimited Movies/TV/YouTube
    – $20/month Unlimited Play of Everything

  58. There is a simple phrase, I am going to the shops (i am the UK) I am going to the Market (in the USA) when has anyone ever said I am going to the Play to buy anything. 99% use the Market to buy things & you play games & movies, but Most will Buy things.

    Really Really Bad move. Just imagine Apple’s App store changed to Apple Play store??? it would just not work.

    1. I am going to the (Play) store (Any of you need something?)

      Sounds like a normal, useable phrase, whats wrong with Play store?

  59. Nothing is going to convince me to buy music, books, and movies from them.

    I have Spotify, Kindle, and Netflix, which I prefer because they work on all my devices, are more affordable than buying things individually, and I’m confident these services always work on rooted devices.

  60. Unnecessary but doesn’t change the content.

  61. Well you can rename the Link and replace the Icon with the Market Icon – that’s what I did.
    @Gamercore:disqus The Whitebalance in this video man! ;) You look like Sitting Bull ;)


  63. Google Play: Sounds like a place to drop your kids off… Bet it has a ball pit. 

  64. Another problem with the name change.  It seems that the updated “market” app doesn’t catch URLs for the new online market.  “Send to Android” would bring up the market app before this.  Now it won’t.  I use it to allow me to carrier-pay when browsing on a computer.

  65. I’m not upset by this change by any means.  Once we all get used to it, no one will care anymore.  But yeah, Google Market would have been best.  For everyone who voted “Android Market”, they’re just resisting change more than actually putting any thought into it.  It’s no longer just about Android anymore.  Only the Android Apps section requires an Android device.

  66. Google Play is a stupid name.  Google Market would’ve made perfect sense.  I feel like either someone at Google was really drunk that night or we all just got Punk’d by Apple.

  67. You missed the most important option in your poll:

    “Who cares?”

    That would be my vote.

  68.  I think it’s a stupid name, and probably confused a lot of people when their market icon either didn’t launch Google Play, or the icon launched, but then removed the old Market icon. I was a little confused even knowing about the change. I had to explain it to my wife..

    “Well, they changed the Market to Google Play, but I don’t know if your old icon will work or.. oh wait, click the Market icon.. oh ‘Application is not installed’, oh look to see if the icon for Google Play is in your apps. yep there it is. Now, drag a new Google Play icon on your home screen”


  70. The icon should be Fonzi jumping a shark.

  71. There should have been   a “meh< who cares" option  Let's be honest by the time St. Patricks Day rolls around the ptich forks and torches will be gone and we'l all have moved on and start using the name.

    The samething happend when Amazon announced the Kindle Fire,   stupid name for a tablet?   Yup, very corny but  it's now engrained into our everyday tech talk.

  72. Nutella, duct tape, and zip ties: the shopping list of champions.

  73. They’ve taken what was once incredibly intuitive and made it confusing.

  74. WTF Android is starting to blow now. WORST NAME EVER ::SCREAMING ON TOP OF THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN ::

  75. Terrible name

  76. LOL Chris just likes to see the idiot sharks go nuts by tossing blood in the water. The name is fine, theyre not gonna change it, get used to it, the sooner the better. All this Bitching and Moaning is getting to be too much.  the “play” name fits their plan to be cross platform across all devices and mediums…..for the adults out there, as long as it works, we dont care what they call it. 

  77. “Play of the Day!”

    Links to a book.

    Ugh :facepalm: You do not play books.

  78. “Play” sounds very unprofessional.

  79. Your name is yankeesrule364584, you talking about adults? Lol

  80. Hmm… As weird as this name is, I think wii all will one day get over it and start calling it the Google Play Store… Play Store? As in a children’s store? Ok. I see what you all mean. Never mind.

  81. Obviously the bottled water industry has been sabotaged with a brain eating micro organism.  Maybe OBozo’s alge that he’s going to run our cars on now.  But it seems to have hit CEO’s all over the country.  AT&T’s unlimited data plan for instance.  It’s unlimited but s-l-o-w-e-r-a–n–d–s—l—o—w—- you get the idea.  Useless is still useless.  Or Amazon who makes a deal to sell you something until ooops, we can’t get it at the price we wanted so we are canceling your order.  sorry.  Or HTC who never heard the old axiom if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.  So they “fixed” their Droid Incredible until it was broke.  Like I said, it’s gotta be in that bottled water.  Us regular folk can still think like always with good ole tap water!

  82. you guys are all crazy.. i guess apple should change itunes… since tunes represent music .. and they sell everything books magazine movies music… play store sounds good to me.. 

  83. Google is exploiting its monopolistic status as the sole payment
    processor on its app market by charging its developers a 30 percent processing fee,
    which is precisely what Apple and Facebook are doing.  It is truly amazing how these companies can
    get away with charging such astronomically high fees.  I can’t even imagine what people will say
    about us (and to us), if we even tried to charge our merchants anything remotely
    close to that rate.  For a more detailed

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Apps