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Google launches Google Play for Education

by David Needle

May 15 2013

Google's Chris Yerger talks up new Google Play for Education initiative.
Google's Chris Yerger talks up new Google Play for Education initiative.

Google announced a major push to get Android apps to schools with a new version of its app store called Google Play for Education.

San Franciscio -- As part of the new initiative, Google will offer schools a simpler way to download and distribute apps including a one click method for distributing apps to an entire school or classroom.

The custom Google Play for Education store will focus specifically on education-related apps and books including both free and paid versions. Google said the apps have been pre-screened and recommended by educators.

In a demo here at the Google I/O conference today, Google’s Chris Yerger showed how an educator could download a free version of a Math learning app and then later upgrade to the paid version with more features.

Google said every student will be able to get a Google account. Teachers or administrators who buy apps or online books, won’t need a credit card, rather they will be able to make purchases based on a preset balance in the school’s account.

Google Play will officially launch this fall, but the company is already engaging with schools. Yerger said six elementary schools in New Jersey testing the service downloaded 500 apps in a day.

Sundar Pichai, Google’s Senior VP of Android, Chrome & Apps, said that in addition to Android tablets, Google is also pushing Chromebooks for schools. He said over 1,000 schools in the U.S. already use Chromebooks. 

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