Friday, August 17, 2012

Google Play to finally get gift card support

The biggest rival to Google's Android is, of course, iOS. So why is it that you can buy iTunes gift cards, but you can't buy Google Play gift cards? It's a good question, and it's about to be answered.

Two different sources have basically confirmed that Google is about to launch Google Play gift cards. First, Android Central has published pictures of what they say are Google Play gift cards.

The photos came from an unidentified source, and shows two cards, one for $25 and one for $10. The cards are shrink-wrapped, black with a Google Play logo. At the bottom, the card indicates that it can be redeemed for "music, movies, books, apps, and more."

The second source was Android Police. The site wanted to determine the differences between the 3.7.15 of the Android Google Play app and 3.8.15, which began rolling out on Wednesday. The answer, after a bit of investigation, was gift card support.

It seemed obvious this was coming soon after the introduction of the Nexus 7. Part of the promotional items, so to speak, buyers would get when purchasing Google's Jelly Bean-based 7-inch tablet was a $25 Google Play credit, which mean the store itself had to understand that concept.

Google hasn't officially announced anything, and it is unclear what retailers will carry these - or when. We'd expect to see them in the same stores that carry iTunes gift cards, however, although perhaps only at the largest ones at first.

One thing, though, is that we'd love to see digital-only versions of these. That is the ideal way to send gift cards, via email. Hopefully, Google will add that sort of support, as well.

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