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There are numerous differences between Apple's content ecosystem and Google's. One of the biggest: through iTunes, Apple offers a unified and arguably superior experience. Whatever you're looking for, be it music, apps or books, can be purchased and downloaded in a single place.
This apparently hasn't been lost on Google, which today announced that it's combining Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore into a single entity dubbed Google Play.
Google's Android operating system may be a prominent fixture in the mobile world, but when looking at the app economy within it, Android is having a hard time competing with Apple and iOS.
One big reason: Android Market, Google's online marketplace for Android applications.
Google may be activating 300,000 new Android devices every day, but when it comes to the mobile platform with the best application ecosystem, it's hard to beat Apple and iOS.
The Mountain View-based company, however, is hoping to change that, and last week announced a major update to its Android Market client. Here's the update's good, the bad, and ugly.
By almost every reasonable measurement, Google's Android OS is giving Apple a reason to check the rear-view mirror. But for many developers, developing for Android is still somewhat unattractive because the common wisdom is that successful Android apps are likely to generate far less revenue than successful iPhone/iPad apps.
One of the possible reasons: paid Android apps are sold through Google Checkout, which Android critics argue offers a far less pleasant experience than the App Store purchasing experience offers iPhone and iPad owners.
Google announced last week that it would not be accepting Maestro cards as a payment method through Google Checkout, though it didn't explain the reasons for its decision.
On the face of it, it seems strange to deter potential customers by not offering as many payment methods as possible, especially one as popular as Maestro (it claims 540m cardholders worldwide) so why has this decision been made?
The UK's online retailers are missing out on potential sales because they are not offering a large enough range of payment methods, and 50% of regular online shoppers' will cancel their purchase if their desired method is not available.
So says a YouGov survey of 2,000 UK web users commissioned by ClickandBuy, which suggests that e-commerce sites should catch as many customers as possible by providing alternatives to credit or debit card payments.
While online shopping is safe for the vast majority of customers, there are still some people who are so concerned about fraud that they are reluctant to enter their card details on an e-commerce site.
According to a Get Safe Online survey (pdf) from last year, 14% of people in the UK are deterred from using the internet due to fear of online crime, so what can e-tailers do to combat such concerns?
The last 6 months have been sobering for Google. Once at the top of the world, Google has seen its share price plummet and the idea that it would be immune to recession has been proven a fallacy.
So Google is doing what any good company does: cutting out the fat. It has already shuttered a number of projects that weren't going anywhere and is refocusing its efforts on its core business.