Signs of Google introducing a News category to the Play Store have been around for months now. We were talking about it as far back as the spring, but evidence really started piling up in recent weeks, with resources in the Play Store app APK making it look like Google was nearly ready to flip the switch and make things official. Today we finally see that happen, with the arrival of the Google Play Newsstand.
In addition to the new Newsstand category in the Store, we’re also seeing the launch of a separate Newsstand app. It incorporates your existing magazine purchases with newspaper subscriptions and content from online news sites and other blogs – in that sense, it sounds a lot like what we’ve seen from Google with Currents.
If you’re already somewhere where you have access to Google Play Magazines, that app will be updated to Newsstands; otherwise you can just download Newsstands directly. Thanks to all the Play Store integration, Google’s going to have a real advantage with this release, but we can’t help but wonder what sort of competition it might face from solutions like Flipboard. Could this fight over news dominance become the next streaming radio – everyone’s got to have their own?