Google Play, formerly known as Android Market, is the official distribution storefront for Android applications and other digital media, such a music, movies and books, from Google. It is available on mobile devices and tablets that run the Android operating system (OS), supported Chrome OS devices and on the web. Users can access Google Play to browse, purchase and download software applications from Google and third-party developers.
The Google Play Store comes preinstalled on Android devices that run Google Mobile Services (GMS) and can be installed on compatible Chrome OS devices like Chromebooks, Chromeboxes and Chrombases. If an application is purchased through the web, a user can designate which devices the application should be installed on. This includes devices such as Wear OS smartwatches and Android TV sets.
Purchases are stored in the cloud, so that web and mobile accounts stay synched and content can become available on all devices.
Malware protection is provided through Google Play Protect, a threat detection service that scans and verifies over 50 billion apps each day. The service may also suspend applications that violate Google Play policies.
The Google Play Store launched on March 6th, 2012 consolidating the Android Market and other digital services, like Google Music and Google eBookstore, into one offering. Currently, the storefront is available in over 190 countries and territories.