Most of us have been wondering for some time when Google would step up to meet Apple’s efforts in digital media sales. Google Music has most recently been rumored for inclusion in Honeycomb, but so far has yet to materialize. It looks now like the pieces are starting to fall into place for this anticipated Google expansion, with the Android Market making accommodations to handle sales of media in addition to apps: Google has quietly updated the Market to sell e-book downloads.
If you head over to market.android.com/books, you’ll be greeted by the new Books section, mirroring Google Books offerings. Which interface you prefer is a matter of personal choice, but the notable thing about this development is how it marks a consolidation of Google’s resources, apparently aimed at creating a Google Market where all sorts of different media types are for sale to smartphone users.
Get a little URL-curious, and you’ll find that both /movies and /music redirect you back to the Market’s main page. While there’s nothing to find there just yet, the fact that you get a redirect rather than a Not Found message shows that Google clearly has plans down those roads, as well. We can’t say just when those expansions to the Android Market will go live, but it looks like the appropriate wheels are in motion.