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Google launches Play, Apple launches iPad 3

The battle of the technology titans continues, with two big announcements in as many days coming from Google and Apple.

Yesterday (March 7) saw Google Play unveiled – the search engine's attempt to consolidate its media offerings into one source.

Previously operating as three separate categories – Google Music, Google Books and Android Market – the rebranding offers a storefront similar to Apple's iTunes platform.

The major drawcard for Google will be the ability to encourage Android users to branch out from just mobile phone app purchases and access online music and eBooks.

The service will also be drawing upon cloud-based technology, allowing users to view content on one device and then pick up where they left off on another.

Google Play also sees the inclusion of integrated social sharing to encourage those browsing the store to share reviews and recommendations with friends on Google+.

Meanwhile, in the other corner of the ring, Apple has overhauled its iconic tablet, announcing details of the iPad 3.

Boasting 4G connectivity, voice dictation, an improved camera and a high-definition Retina screen – like that currently seen in the iPhone 4 – the new iPad will be entering the Australian market at the same price as the old model.

Arriving in local stores on March 16, local Apple fans will have to wait until Australia's 4G technology catches up to the iPad 3's capabilities.

According to Apple chief executive Tim Cook, the unit has helped to create a unique category in the tablet market.

"We think that iPad is the poster child of the post-PC world. The momentum behind Apple has been incredible and has surprised almost everyone," he said.

"We sold more iPads in the fourth quarter of last year than any PC manufacturer sold of their entire PC line worldwide."

Posted by Elise Ferrari