An even Playing field: Why I'll never stray from Google Play

Many people in the communication industry, and quite frankly all industries, are huge Apple fans and swear by them. While I respect Apple, Steve Jobs, and the iProducts; I’m not one of them.

Not so much that I would only buy their products anyway.

I’m an avid Android fan and an even bigger Google fan. Why? Let me show you.

The Showdown
The operating systems, software, and user interface/integration for these companies both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Apple allows devices to be integrated with ease. But they all have to be Apple products. According to my brother (a software/mobile developer), the problem with this is that it “really restricts user’s freedom of choice” since it doesn’t play nice with Windows or anything else. Android, bought by Google in 2005 on the other hand, isn’t as easily integrated but works well because of it’s open system. This means more freedom to users but there’s a problem with this too: it’s more vulnerable.

So I found myself downloading many different apps on my Android phone when I saw my iPhone friends already able to download what they need through the App store, ready for their device. While I love iTunes, I couldn’t really open it up on my phone. What I could do, though, was save money. Since Google makes a lot of profit from advertising, most of my apps were free.

Google decided to develop a social media site, Google+, in June 2011 that increased the depth of the field to Google fans. Google+ has become my favorite social media site because it’s easier on the eyes than Facebook or Twitter, and inspired other sites with new ideas like “circles”. While Apple hasn’t developed their own media site yet, this is where they have another hold in the market: easy user interface. An iPhone is easy to navigate and everyone can work one, even your Grandma.

So at this point, I was starting to wonder if I should just go ahead and buy an iPhone. It seemed easier to use and navigate.

Then in March 2012, my prayers were answered.

Introducing: Google Play 

I wasn’t excited about the switch at all from the Android Market to Google Play because I knew I would have to get used to something different. When I purchased my new phone, I noticed several apps included: Play Books, Play Music, and the Play Store.  Of course I needed to download Facebook right away, so I opened up the Play Store. And I’ve never looked back.

Admittedly, even though I took a several-month-long break from Google+ because a lot of my friends weren’t big fans, I downloaded that app too just to see what it was like. The app itself made me go back to the site regularly. The public circles helped me engage with more followers and encourage friends to join, so now I check the app every day.

The reason I was so inspired by Google Play was because it had everything I thought was lacking on my previous devices: ease of use, integration and user interface.

Then my second encounter that added to my experience was Google Books. I wanted to read The Hunger Games and would have gotten around to it when it was convenient to go buy it at a bookstore. (Which means never.) I decided to search for it on the Play Store and there it was. So I downloaded it and began reading immediately. The book was formatted perfectly to my screen, easy to swipe to the next page and even was ready to read on my laptop the next day without any extra syncing.  I had the ability to read it anywhere without purchasing a Kindle, a separate app, or a physical version of the book itself. Thanks to this, and Suzanne Collins excellent writing, I finished the book in 3 days.

The nail in the coffin
The final encounter that permanently captured my love was Google Music. I’m sure some of the inspiration came from Itunes, since you can upload your music, the cost is the same, and you can listen to it across all devices. What I love about Google Music though, is the ability to put a song on and it only takes up a small space at the bottom of your webpage. You don’t have to open another page or program. It even has a thumbs up and thumbs down feature, like Pandora.

What I learned about the team behind Google: they listen. They may not respond immediately with a new product, but they are listening to consumer wants and needs. Google takes the time to be methodic and then deliver new products or features with great execution.

Admit it, when Google+ was invitation only, you wanted one, right?

Slow and steady wins the race. Or at least makes a fierce competitor.

P.S.  As far as grandmas using products- mine likes to use Google Hangouts.

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