The Play Books update from a couple of days ago turned up the first sign of life for the Family Library we've seen since mid-November. At the time, I made a quick prediction that matching strings would pop up fairly soon in Google's other content apps, and Play Movies & TV is the first to follow through. But this wasn't just a mirror image of the same strings, there's actually a bit of new information regarding movies sold as a bundle and seasons of television shows.

In case anybody is curious, this update doesn't have anything in the way of notable new features. Here is Google's changelog:

  • Stability improvements and bug fixes

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (application packages) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that plans may change or could be canceled entirely. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced.

Family Sharing With Bundles

We already know from previous teardowns that the Family Library will allow relatives (and well-trusted friends) to flag purchases to be shared among each members. There are still a few finer details that weren't spelled out, like what happens when we share something that came as part of a bundle.

Text from the Play Movies & TV app offers a very clear explanation: the entire movie bundle or TV season is automatically added to the Family Library if even a single part of it is shared. In other words, if you accidentally bought the full Star Wars Digital Collection and decide to share just the good movies with your family, you're going to have no choice but to also infect the Family Library with the prequels too. The same goes with individual episodes from TV shows – the whole season comes as part of the package.

All joking aside, this makes plenty of sense. It will save dozens, or even hundreds of taps, and prevent us from accidentally leaving out the final episode from a season.

Family Library Strings

<string name="family_library_label">Family Library</string>
<string name="share_bundle_message">"You've added a movie that's part of a purchased bundle to the Family Library. This will automatically add all movies from ["<g example="Star Wars: The Digital Collection" id="bundle_title">%1$s</g>] to the Family Library.</string>
<string name="share_bundle_title">Add [<g example="Star Wars: The Digital Collection" id="bundle_title">%1$s</g>] to Family Library</string>
<string name="share_season_message">"You've added an episode that's part of a purchased season to the Family Library. This will automatically add all episodes from ["<g example="Season 1" id="season_title">%1$s</g>] to the Family Library.</string>
<string name="share_season_title">Add [<g example="Season 1" id="season_title">%1$s</g>] to Family Library</string>
<string name="sharing_asset_failed"><g id="asset_title">%1$s</g> could not be added to Family Library</string>
<string name="unshare_bundle_message">"You've removed a movie that's part of a purchased bundle from the Family Library. This will automatically remove all movies from ["<g example="Star Wars: The Digital Collection" id="bundle_title">%1$s</g>] from the Family Library.</string>
<string name="unshare_bundle_title">Remove [<g example="Star Wars: The Digital Collection" id="bundle_title">%1$s</g>] from Family Library</string>
<string name="unshare_season_message">"You've removed an episode that's part of a purchased season from the Family Library. This will automatically remove all episodes from ["<g example="Season 1" id="season_title">%1$s</g>] from the Family Library.</string>
<string name="unshare_season_title">Remove [<g example="Season 1" id="season_title">%1$s</g>] from Family Library</string>
<string name="unsharing_asset_failed"><g id="asset_title">%1$s</g> could not be removed from Family Library</string>
<string name="menu_share_asset">Add to Family Library</string>
<string name="menu_sharing_asset">Adding to Family Library…</string>
<string name="menu_unshare_asset">Remove from Family Library</string>
<string name="menu_unsharing_asset">Removing from Family Library…</string>
<string name="section_family_library">Family Library</string>

The text points out that the reverse is also true. If you try to remove any item that belongs to a bundle or season, all of the related content is also pulled from the Family Library. Again, this saves plenty of taps and potential oversights, but there may be situations where we only want to share a portion of a collection.

Managing TV and movies is pretty straightforward and obvious, but it seems likely that this policy will also extend to other types of media, at least someday. If a family member purchases an album for Play Music, sharing a single song probably won't make much sense. The same goes for books and magazines, particularly where a prolific comic book series is involved – imagine sharing the entire Walking Dead series. Of course, Google may eventually have to rethink the all-or-nothing approach if too many collections include explicit material alongside otherwise acceptable content, assuming age restrictions don't kick in first.

That's it for now, but I'll keep watching for more details in the lead-up to a launch.

Download

The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

File Name: com.google.android.videos_3.11.5-31105001_minAPI16(armeabi)(nodpi).apk

Version: 3.11.5 (31105001)