In the battle of the seven-inch tablets, content is king. And with the Google Nexus 7 and a brand-new Amazon Kindle squaring off for dominance, many consumers will be asking themselves: Does Google Play have the largest collection of songs, or Amazon? If I want to watch the the latest blockbusters as well as the classics, which tablet should I choose?
Unfortunately, the battle for content appears to be a one-sided affair. Despite Google’s claims that Google Play boasts “millions of tracks” and “thousands of movies,” we consistently found that Amazon’s Appstore offers a wider selection of songs, movies, and TV shows. Only in selection of apps and books can Google Play proclaim dominance.
Here is a breakdown of content, according to information we found on Google’s and Amazon’s webpages:
Number of Apps: 50,000 (Amazon Appstore), 600,000 (Google Play)
Number of Songs: 20 million (Amazon Appstore), Millions (Google Play)
Number of Movies: 100,000 (Amazon Appstore), Thousands (Google Play)
Number of Books: 850,000 (Amazon Appstore), 4 million (Google Play)
Searching for some of the most popular Android games, we found what we were looking for (“Angry Birds Space,” “Dead Space,” “Fruit Ninja” and “Triple Town”) on both Amazon’s Appstore and Google Play.
We had equal success (for the most part) when searching for the latest movies. Both the Amazon Instant Video Store and Google Play featured “The Hunger Games,” “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.” Inexplicably, however, Google Play didn’t carry the summer’s biggest box office-busting blockbuster, “The Avengers.”
Unfortunately, Google Play falls far behind the curve in its selection of older movies and television shows. When we searched for obscure 80’s fantasy flick “Legend,” the closest title Google Play found was “Halo Legends,” a series of sci-fi shorts inspired by the video game of the same name. The service even drew a blank when we searched for classics like “Terminator 2,” “Aliens” and “The Longest Day.” Amazon’s video store, on the other hand, had all four movies ready to download.
Likewise, venerable sci-fi shows like “The X-Files” and “Twin Peaks” can be found on Amazon, but are missing from Google Play’s catalog. Even immensely popular series like “Friends” (and cult classics like “Arrested Development”) are absent on Google Play.
While Google Play may boast a selection of songs in the millions, it will be hard pressed to compete with Amazon’s robust store. When we searched for some of the most popular heavy metal bands from the 70’s and 80’s — including Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin — Amazon featured nearly a complete catalog for each band while Google Play offered merely cover albums.
We found Google Play’s selection of magazines somewhat shallow as well. While you can subscribe to “PC Gamer” through both Google Play and Amazon, only the Appstore features digital subscriptions to popular magazines like “Martha Stewart Living” and “Time Magazine.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, less mainstream publications like “Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine” can only be found on Amazon.
Clearly, Google has a lot of catching up to do — and many licenses to acquire — before Google Play can truly compete with Amazon’s offerings. In the meantime, if content is your most important consideration when purchasing a tablet, go with the Kindle Fire.