Google Play passes 25 billion downloads landmark, celebrates with $.25 apps and more


The service formerly known as the Android Market has reached a major milestone today. The 675,000 apps available through what is now known as Google Play have combined for over 25 billion downloads since 2008. I can remember the days when we got excited when 20,000 apps became available for Android smartphones. My, how far we’ve come.

To celebrate the occasion, Google is offering some great deals on popular apps, offering the wares of top developers such as Gameloft, Rovio, and Full Fat for a mere $.25 for the next five days. They folks at Google Play have also curated a few collections of content to commemorate the event, including 25 banned books and 25 albums that changed the world. Head over to Google Play throughout the day to check out all the special offers.

[via Google]

Kevin Krause
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  1. Not seeing them yet. Love when these sales happen yet at the same time hate them though. :P I think most of the apps I’ve bought have been on sale with only a few being full price. (Usually games are ones I buy on sale and other apps bought full price.) It’s great….until you realize you haven’t really played any of the games.

    1. Same with me, I buy games on sale and then remember that I rarely ever play games on my phone. I’ll be annoyed if TW Battles is on sale as I’ve recently bought that at full price yet only done the first couple of levels. Game I’ve played the most in the last few months is Auralax and that was only the 4 free levels at most a couple of times each.

      1. I’m absolutely in the same boat. Games from sales, or free (as I rarely play them, and .25 or .99 is not a big waste anyways), and apps for full price. No remorse though about things I bought going on sale. You should always remember this and the fact that it’s you who agrees that the price matches value. Since games are of low value for me, I decide I don’t buy them for more than $1.

      2. Ha ha ha! Ah, there you go. I didn’t even know Auralux only has four levels. I think I’ve only played two.

        1. Well it released with 3, the fourth free level came out recently and that’s the only reason I went back and played the originals again.

  2. Btw, slightly off topic but if ANYONE has any connections at Google Play, tell them that the “not interested” buttons on their recommendations don’t work. That content just keeps coming back. Google, no means no.

  3. 675000 apps, 674800+ of them crap.

    1. Just like the Apple store….only better!

      1. I think it’s probably a bit naive to say this. The iOS app quality is still regarded as the gold standard at this point. Android is closing in, but still isn’t quite there yet. I know many folks don’t like the way Apple screens apps, but one could also argue that it’s really a form of quality control (it is and it isn’t). One thing I do strongly dislike is the necessity of iTunes to interface with the Apple store. If iTunes wasn’t so freakin heavy with all of the satellite stuff it installs it wouldn’t be as big of a deal, but online interfaces are still more convenient.

        1. Actually, it was quite naive and presumptuous to ASSume that I was referring to “quality” when I said “better”.

          Regardless of whether Apple has a higher ratio of better apps or not, it is still a closed system. It’s easy to do QC on a closed system.

          But, with the exception of malicious apps, I will always much prefer to not have some single company decide what I should and shouldn’t have access to. So, yes…the Play store IS better.

          Thanks for your feedback, though.

          1. And if Play store doesn’t allow a certain app, you can go to another store. For example, I was able to get a youtube downloader from slideme since Google took it off Play.

          2. If you’re chiming in with Ahhk and saying that the Play Market is superior to the Apple App Store, I don’t know that mentioning the ability to sideload and use alternative app stores is really making the point you want. Yes, that’s an advantage of the Android operating system, but it doesn’t support the idea that the Play Store is better than the Apple App Market.

            Further, the iPhone is technically able to sideload or get apps that aren’t on the Apple App Store if the user is willing to jailbreak. Jailbreaking is tantamount to rooting, so it’s not quite as easy as Android makes it, but it certainly isn’t difficult to do (from what I know of it that is). I imagine the 5 will be jailbroken soon.

          3. Well aren’t you just precious with your caps. So tell me, if it isn’t the app quality that makes you think the Play Market better, what exactly is it? You mentioned that you don’t like to have a single company decide what you should and shouldn’t have access to, but Google is known to strip apps from the market just like Apple, albeit less frequently.

          4. “strip apps from the market just like Apple”

            Wow. You try and compare what Google removes to what Apple removes by suggesting that the only difference is frequency?

            And yet you preach “logic”….hehe

            Good luck on your crusade :)

          5. Instead of trying to sling insults, why don’t you make a reasonable case for the assertions you’re making? If I’m so very wrong about the frequency being the major difference between app removal in the Play Market and the Apple App Store then enlighten me. While you’re at it, perhaps you could answer the more pressing question that I posed in my previous comment. Here it is again:

            So tell me, if it isn’t the app quality that makes you think the Play Market better, what exactly is it?

          6. Sling insults? A bit of a grasp there don’t you think?

            I’m not going to waste time making a case when it’s obvious that the person disagreeing is so far out of touch with reality.

            So, how about YOU make the case to enlighten the rest of us here on planet Earth?

          7. I don’t think I’m reaching, no. In your first response you wrote the word ‘assume’ as “ASSume” thereby basically calling me an ass. In your next post you mention that I’m preaching and that I’m on a crusade. Those are both insults as they are clearly intended to harm.

            Regardless, I find it interesting that you’ve repeatedly attempted to go on the offensive and attack what I’ve said instead of simply presenting a case for your initial claim that the Play Market is superior to the Apple App Market. I’ve presented my views and I think an impartial party would agree that you’ve neither successfully refuted my arguments, nor given a reasonable explanation of your stance. I hope that you’ll reconsider answering my question(s).

          8. First, I used ASSume to be funny.

            Second, you are claiming that the only difference between Apple and Google’s “censorship” is frequency. This is factually incorrect and clearly suggests that you are out of touch or ignorant to the facts.

            The difference is simple: Freedom of Choice

            Google denies/removes apps that are illegal, malicious, or misrepresent their functionality.

            Apple also denies/removes any apps it doesn’t like, apps that compete with Apple’s own functionality, apps that provide functionality Apple doesn’t think the user should have, apps that go against Apple’s vision of the future, apps from companies that Apple has had a falling out with, apps that use libraries that Apple didn’t develop, etc.

            A good analogy here would be like giving up all your constitutional freedoms in order for the government to “keep you safe”.

            Oh, and on top of all that, with Android, you don’t need to have your PC hijacked by a renegade application in order to download/manage your mobile apps.

            I hope you enjoy your safety. Really.

          9. I appreciate you answering my question. I’ve heard the stuff about the militant way Apple handles the app store, but what I rarely hear is what apps are actually unavailable. I know of a few things, but for all the talk about this subject, it seems like there should be more…

            I know that there aren’t any voice to text apps, but Siri would best any competitors much like Google’s new voice solution bests all 3rd party apps. I know that there aren’t any replacement keyboards like Swype unless you jailbreak (I’d legit miss that, but I could get by without it). I know they just booted Google Nav but they still have at least 3 good third party navs in the market (not as good as Google nav, but certainly passable). What else am I missing? What other apps am I going to miss if I make the switch?

            I’ve done a quick side by side with an iPhone user in the past and even though he wasn’t a power user like me, we were able to find equivalent apps in the Apple App Store for just about everything I had. He didn’t have any tethering apps, add free apps, etc, but then again I was rooted/ROMed and he wasn’t jailbroken.

            For me a big part of my final decision will come down to whether I can find apps on iOS to do everything I want. Obviously that’s not the only thing I’m going to take into account, but app quality and making sure I can do everything I want are both near the top of my list.

            Anyway, if you’re aware of any articles that address this specifically I’d enjoy reading them. I’m obviously going to do my own googling too.

          10. Sorry, but I have no interest in selling you on any particular phone. I was only trying to clarify your inaccurate statements.

            I hope you enjoy whatever phone you go with.

          11. Fair enough. Perhaps I’ll continue this over at Rootzwiki. If I do I’ll link here just in case you decide you’d like to chime in.

          12. I feel compelled to explain why I’m asking for your reasoning. I’m currently an Android owner (and power user) and I have been for the past two years. I’ve done a lot of independent searching for apps on the Play Market and I’ve installed and tested out more than my fair share.

            As my contract comes due I’m finding myself seriously considering the iPhone. One of the major reasons I’m considering switching is the Apple App Store or, more specifically, the apps available in it. My impression is that it has just about every app I could want regardless of the “Apple says yes or no” policy. I’m also under the impression that most of the iOS apps are more fine-tuned than their Android counterparts.

            If you truly have good reasons for preferring the Play Market I’d really like to hear them. I’m not convinced which way I should go yet, so I’m serious when I say, I really would like you to explain your rationale for saying that the Play Market is better than the Apple App Store.

    2. Hopefully this will get better over time. As it stands, most people agree that the iOS platform has the best apps, then the Android platform and finally the Windows platform. Unfortunately, Android has a few disadvantages including a wide array of hardware, a number of different OS versions and a number of manufacturer manipulations of those various OS versions.

      Android apps are improving and Google is doing more and more to support its developers and their apps, but it still isn’t quite there. That said, the disparity in app quality between iOS and Android apps is decreasing at an increasing rate.

      1. A wide array of hardware is a disadvantage? Wow. You must be young because you obviously weren’t around when Apple claimed in the 80’s that Windows was at a disadvantage because of the array of hardware it had to support. Most of us know how THAT open vs closed system battle worked out…..

        1. The strategy you’re attempting to use to refute my statements is quite telling. You’ve just extracted a single element from my post and applied it to a completely different scenario. Applying a bit of common sense and extrapolating your argument further will quickly reveal the frailty of such an argument (I’ll leave that up to you/others for the sake of space).

          Anyway, I’ll respond to your question more specifically: yes, the wider the array of hardware, the more difficult it becomes to develop optimized mobile apps that will work flawlessly on all devices.

  4. I really want these to go live NOW!!! I must exercise my addiction to consumerism!

  5. It certainly has come along way since Oct 22nd 2008.

  6. what are you all talking about service is still down they haven’t fixed it yet what are they celebrating for how much money they are losing everyday??
    this is craziness!!!

  7. nothing from their twitter account yet! @googleplay

  8. I assume there will be a link when this goes live?

  9. Unless I’ve purchased all of them already, I’m not finding any for .25.

    1. Same here, or may be it is only for US customers?! or may be they got sued by Apple as they have a patent for “.” “2” and “5”? who knows?

  10. I don’t know why you waste your time with Android when everyone knows Apple is far better…….HA!….Just kidding.

    Ever try talking logic with an apple fan boy?

    1. Ever try talking logic with ANY fanboy? I was just over at DroidLife and saw that a comment of mine was downvoted a bunch because I pointed out that the actual process of flashing a ROM isn’t really much fun (a bunch of navigating text menus and waiting): it’s experiencing the new ROM in action that’s the fun part.

      Fanboys in general are overly reactive and a pain to deal with. They’re unwilling to use logic and approach things with the necessary detachment to make reasonable judgments. All sides have fanboys and they are insufferable.

      1. fanboys can be delusional, it’s true… especially “fruitbats” (and I own a MacBook, but the iPhone is just too restrictive).

        …but this particular topic intrigues me. I find the process of updating a ROM a little bit fun. I tweaked settings in the BIOS of many a PC, and that’s sort of what the recovery modes feel like. I fiddled in the command lines of DOS and Linux, long after pretty GUIs were slathered on top of them, because it was fun to exert that control in a way that felt like you knew a secret. It bordered on “hacking” because you needed to know the commands to work in the command line, and you needed to understand the terms, to navigate through those text menus. I find that fun… I think fun is too subjective to argue about with anyone, delusional fanboy or not.

        1. Interesting response. I tend to agree with your last sentence that fun is much too subjective to discuss with any real accuracy.

          I think a case can be made that the initial all-downvotes-no-upvotes was the result of the “reactive fanboy phenomenon”. In support of such an argument, is the fact that I’ve seen the number of likes spike since I edited the comment and called out the DroidLife readers on their reaction to my post.

          In any case, thanks again for the response. You made very good points.

  11. asphalt 7 shows .25 until you click to buy and changes to .99.

  12. Bring on the apps and games!!

  13. The 25 cents apps are starting to appear. I saw a few games and one other app.

  14. :( So when it hits 50 Billion I guess the sale will only go to $0.50
    Bittersweet moments

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