Google Play takes on Amazon and Kindle

Despite Amazon’s constant attempts to convert me into an exclusive Kindle user (which, I will admit are slowly starting to work), I still operate off of a Samsung Galaxy S4, meaning Google Play is an easy way for me to purchase eBooks and download phone apps on the cheap. Although Google Play’s website has a close connection to my smartphone, I still consider it one of the best desktop sites I have ever visited.

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For those of you that don’t have an Android phone, I’ll start by saying that Google Play is a fantastic way to download apps and books onto your phone remotely. In other words, you don’t need a cord hook-up to download something from your desktop and have it appear on your phone.

I discovered this a year or two ago, when I was downloading an app during class and found I didn’t even have to whip my phone out.

Since my usual preferences for desktop sites (and mobile ones, while I’m at it) involve simplicity and a lot of white space, I find Google Play’s website to be incredibly user-friendly and organized.

The left-hand navigation bar allows users to immediately find the type of item they want to browse and possibly download to their Google devices. For me, this is usually the Books or Apps link. On more than one occasion, however, I’ve found myself blindly scrolling down the home page of this site, browsing the many types of apps, games, books, movies, whatever-have-you that are offered through Google. Sometimes, I even end up downloading something I didn’t originally intend on grabbing during my visit (talking to you, latest version of Candy Crush).

Another thing I like about this site is that, just like Amazon, Google determines recommended picks for you based on your previous purchases. For me, that means this week, all recommended books for me are written by H.G. Wells and Sir Arthur Conan. I’m assuming they took my “free downloads of the week” more seriously than I did, but that’s fine with me.

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If it weren’t for Amazon and Kindle, I would probably be on this site a lot more than I am nowadays. But it’s the usability of this site that occasionally keeps me coming back.

I promise, this isn’t an ad for Google.

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