During today's Google IO 2012 keynote, Google announced some amazing new stuff, including Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, complete with Project Butter, as well as the Nexus 7 tablet. In addition to the awesome new hardware and software, they also announced some cool new updates to Google Play, Google's online app and media marketplace.
First off, they've added app encryption. Beginning with Jelly Bean, paid Google Play apps will be encrypted with a device-specific code before they are delivered. Encrypted apps are intended to protect developers by preventing piracy.
Second, they introduced smart app updates. Previously when a user wanted to download an app update, they were required to redownload the entire app. With smart app updates, only the portion of the app that has actually changed will be downloaded. Google's data showed that when an app updated, only a third of the app changed on average. Smart updates, then, will save on time, battery power, and bandwidth, a big win for everybody involved.
They also introduced Google Cloud Messaging. This new feature allows developers to send information from their servers to their apps on users' Android devices much more easily. Google Cloud Messaging handles the messages - which can be up to 4KB in size - smoothly and easily.
Finally, Google announced several major improvements to the kind of content available on Google Play. Now, Google Play allows users to purchase movies, not just rent them. Additionally, you can also purchase TV shows. You can buy TV shows by episode or by season. Google Play now also includes magazines. Google has partnered with a number of major magazine publishers. Most magazines can be sampled on a 14-day trial period.