Google is taking yet another page from Amazon, and is now offering a free Google Play app of the week, as per a report on LifeHacker. Amazon has offered a free app of the day in their own app store for some time, but until now, Google Play hasn’t followed suit.
Google Play’s first app of the week, featured in the Family section of the Google Play app store, released to little fanfare this week; the feature is somewhat buried within Google Play. The currently featured app is a game for kids called Daniel Tiger Grr-ific Feelings.
While most users of Google Play probably have, at best, mixed feelings about a free kid’s game, it’s notable that Google has never offered any system to give a paid app away for free for a limited time before; until now, if an app developer decided to change their app from paid to free, they were unable to change it back. Google Play also doesn’t feature major sales, unlike other major digital distributors such as Steam, although there is a mechanism to change the price of an app. This doesn’t result in it being highlighted, however.
As PCMag notes, the free app gimmick may have come into being more to promote Google Play’s relatively new Family section, rather than as a general promotional tool. Certainly, Google knows that they have a captive audience. Almost all Android users already get their apps exclusively through the Google Play Store, as the Inquisitr has previously reported.
It remains unclear whether Google will be branching out with the free apps, or whether they will remain exclusive to the Family section. It is also currently unclear how users are intended to discover these free apps, as while opening Google Play certainly attempts to draw users to the Family section currently, it makes no attempt to inform anyone that a free app is available for a limited time.
Everyone loves to get something for free, but it seems as if Google needs to put some more thought into how to leverage their new free app of the week. It would be a great way to get users visiting underused sections of Google Play – which also features books, movies, magazines, music, and more – if Google made any attempt to draw attention to it.
To get your free app, open Google Play, tap the “New Family Fun” banner in the Google Play Store. From there you’ll see a second banner advertising the free app by PBS Kids. Tap that banner and you’ll be taken to the purchasing page where you can download the game for free.
[Screenshot courtesy Google Play]