updated 12:15 pm EST, Wed November 13, 2013
Google begins greater push for educational segment
Google on Wednesday launched a new, education-focused segment of its Play Store Android app repository. The new feature will allow Google to spotlight the teaching- and learning-oriented apps on its popular mobile operating system, and perhaps to carve out some space in the educational market for tablets. That segment is currently dominated by Apple's iPad.
The Google Play for Education store will let educators purchase and install apps in bulk. This will allow individual teachers and school administrators to distribute apps across a single classroom or even an entire school.
All apps tagged as educational will appear in the store, but those reviewed by an educator will be marked with a special badge in order to indicate the fact that their educational quality has been assessed. That badge will be accompanied by additional information on the app's subject matter and grade level. Google notes that the Play Store for Education will have additional video and educational content aside from apps. For now, though, the store will center on tablet use.
Despite the growing presence of Android tablets in the overall market, those devices have yet to register much influence in the educational segment. Extending Apple's traditional influence in the educational even further, the iPad has grabbed the vast majority of educational tablet sales. In Apple's fiscal fourth quarter, the company's educational sales topped $1 billion, and CEO Tim Cook says that the iPad represents 94 percent of all educational tablet sales.