Late last year, Google's online content store for Android smartphones and tablets -- then known as the Android Market -- held a 10-day sale on Android apps, to celebrate reaching its 10 billionth download. Each day, 10 apps were put on sale for 10 cents each, and there was no way to go back and get an app that you'd missed; if you didn't buy it at the sale price for the one day it was up, you had to pay full retail afterwards.
Now, in honor of reaching its 25 billionth download, the store now known as Google Play is putting a bunch of games and apps on sale for 25 cents. Besides that, digital content like books, movies and music are going on sale alongside them, for different prices. Things work slightly differently from last year's sale, though, so here's a look at what's going on and what's available.
25 by 25 by 25? Not this time
Last year's sale had 10 apps a day for 10 days, on sale for 10 cents each. This year, the sale will only last five days … which may be just as well. It took Google years to reach its first 10 billion downloads, but only nine months to get up to 25 billion. If it had a sale every day like that for each milestone, by the time it reached 100 billion downloads the sale would be going for much of the year.
Only 14 games and apps on sale
Or 15 if you live in the United Kingdom, at least for the first day of the sale. A London Bus Checker app is available, according to the Android Police blog, but isn't visible to Android device owners in the States.
What can you get for a quarter? The highlight may be OfficeSuite Pro 6 + just because it normally costs $14.99. Games include paid, ad-free versions of Angry Birds Space and Draw Something, along with the full version of Asphalt 7: Heat. Other apps include Tasks and Runtastic Pro, along with the Ocean HD customizable 3D live wallpaper.
More games and apps will become available "every day," according to the Android blog post, and if it works like last year's sale it'll be a completely new selection each time (apps will only be on sale for a day each).
Not just games and apps this time
Other branches of the Google Play store are having their own sales, including "25 Banned Books" and "25 Movies to Own," although despite the name many of the quoted prices on that sale page are what it costs to rent the film. The books are all on sale for 99 cents each, however, and there are also a selection of 25 music albums on sale "from $3.99."
Jared Spurbeck is an open-source software enthusiast, who uses an Android phone and an Ubuntu laptop PC. He has been writing about technology and electronics since 2008.