Q:

What was the purpose of the Android Market application?

A:

Quick Answer

Android Market was the first version of Google's mobile app store. It provided a storefront for Android phone and tablet users to purchase and download applications. Android Market was replaced by Google Play in March 2012.

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Full Answer

Android Market was introduced in October 2008, and initially only allowed free apps. Paid application support was added in the United States and United Kingdom in February 2009, and in other countries in September 2010. Content filtering, purchase refunds and a web client were added as additional features in 2010 and 2011.

While it was active, Android Market only sold applications. Books and music were sold through two companion stores, Google eBookstore and Google Music. All three of these Google stores were integrated into a single store when Google Play was created.

The maximum size of apps on Android Market was 50 megabytes. This restriction was not lifted until it was re-branded as Google Play. Carrier billing, subscriptions and application encryption were not supported by Android Market. Android Market did support in-app purchases, and the remote installation of apps through the web client.

Google had the authority to remove applications from Android Market at its discretion, or to limit their availability to users of certain carriers or devices. Tethering applications were limited on a carrier-by-carrier basis, and video game emulators, caller ID spoofing software and unlicensed music streaming applications were removed from Android Market due to Google policy.

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