Hopefully you're not sick of hearing about Daydream just yet, because the line of apps supporting it at launch is still growing. There's a new version of Play Movies & TV rolling out to users, and while you can't see the evidence in the UI just yet (at least I can't), it joins in the parade of apps that give the new and improved virtual reality viewer something to do. But this teardown also brings a few additional treats and unexpected details. As always, you can grab the latest apk from the download link at the bottom.

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) 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 could change or may be canceled entirely. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced and released.

The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don't expect to see these features if you install the apk.

It's a go for Daydream

Ever since the Daydream VR viewer was announced, I've been anxiously looking forward to getting one. I didn't want it for games, I wasn't interested in taking virtual tours through museums, and I'm probably not going to strap the headset on to watch CNN videos floating in space. To me, the best use for that viewer is to recreate the theater experience in my own home, or even better, on a plane. Yes, I know the new YouTube VR app will do this, but I really want feature films, and that's where Play Movies & TV comes in.

The latest update doesn't appear to enable the new VR mode, but it's possible that comes alive once the Daydream app is fully activated, or maybe with a server-side switch. Nevertheless, there are a ton of strings and a couple of activities that show Daydream support is ready to launch thanks to the latest update. This block is filled with obvious evidence, so feel free to skip it.

The obvious stuff

<string name="dialog_message_incompatible_phone">A Daydream-ready phone is required. Visit the Daydream Help Center for more information.</string>
<string name="dialog_vr_core_not_enabled">This application may not work properly without enabling Google VR Services, please enable this in phone Settings before continuing.</string>
<string name="dialog_vr_core_not_installed">This application may not work properly without Google VR Services. Please install Google VR Services from the Play Store before continuing.</string>
<string name="dialog_message_setup">Set up your viewer for the best experience.</string>
<string name="dialog_title">Configure</string>
<string name="dialog_title_incompatible_phone">Incompatible phone</string>
<string name="dialog_title_vr_core_not_enabled">Setup required</string>
<string name="dialog_title_vr_core_not_installed">Install required</string>
<string name="dialog_title_warning">Warning</string>
<string name="vr_explore_screen_name">Explore</string>
<string name="vr_library_screen_name">Library</string>
<string name="vr_library_screen_no_content">Discover movies and TV shows on the Explore screen. Then come back here to your library to see everything you've bought or rented.</string>
<string name="vr_loading_assets">Loading...this may take a minute.</string>
<string name="vr_more_details_button_text">More</string>
<string name="vr_movie_more_details_screen_actors">Actors</string>
<string name="vr_movie_more_details_screen_additional_information">Additional Information</string>
<string name="vr_movie_more_details_screen_audio_languages">Audio Languages</string>
<string name="vr_movie_more_details_screen_cast_and_credits">Cast and Credits</string>
<string name="vr_movie_more_details_screen_directors">Directors</string>
<string name="vr_movie_more_details_screen_producers">Producers</string>
<string name="vr_movie_more_details_screen_subtitles">Subtitles</string>
<string name="vr_movie_more_details_screen_writers">Writers</string>
<string name="vr_no_account_message_text">No account found. Please exit VR and login into Play Movies app to continue.</string>
<string name="vr_play_movie_button_text">Play</string>
<string name="vr_search_screen_no_keyboard">Keyboard app is not installed.</string>
<string name="vr_search_screen_no_results">No results. Please try again.</string>
<string name="vr_title_card_my_movies">My Movies</string>
<string name="vr_title_card_my_shows">My Shows</string>
<string name="vr_title_card_search_result_movies">Movies</string>
<string name="vr_title_card_search_result_shows">Shows</string>
<string name="vr_title_card_top_movies">Top Movies</string>
<string name="vr_title_card_top_shows">Top Shows</string>
<string name="vr_tos_button_text">Exit VR</string>
<string name="vr_tos_message">Terms of service have changed. You need to exit VR and accept the terms in Play Store.</string>

<activity android:name="com.google.android.videos.vr.usecase.watch.WatchActivity" android:configChanges="keyboardHidden|orientation|screenSize|uiMode" android:enableVrMode="com.google.vr.vrcore/com.google.vr.vrcore.common.VrCoreListenerService" android:exported="true" android:keepScreenOn="true" android:label="@string/watch_activity_title" android:resizeableActivity="false" android:screenOrientation="landscape" android:taskAffinity="com.google.android.videos.vr" android:theme="@style/VrTheme">
<intent-filter>
<action android:name="com.google.vr.vrcore.ACTION_NONE" />
<category android:name="com.google.intent.category.DAYDREAM" />
</intent-filter>
</activity>
<activity android:name="com.google.android.videos.vr.usecase.ux.LullabyActivity" android:configChanges="keyboardHidden|orientation|screenSize|uiMode" android:enableVrMode="com.google.vr.vrcore/com.google.vr.vrcore.common.VrCoreListenerService" android:exported="true" android:keepScreenOn="true" android:label="@string/application_name_with_tv" android:resizeableActivity="false" android:screenOrientation="landscape" android:taskAffinity="com.google.android.videos.vr" android:theme="@style/VrTheme">
<intent-filter>
<action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
<category android:name="com.google.intent.category.DAYDREAM" />
</intent-filter>
<meta-data android:name="com.google.android.vr.icon" android:resource="@drawable/play_movies_vr_icon_foreground" />
<meta-data android:name="com.google.android.vr.icon_background" android:resource="@drawable/play_movies_vr_icon_background" />
</activity>

Offline play

Of course, that killer feature of tuning out a plane ride is going to be pretty tough if you can't download a movie to your phone in advance. And yes, that's going to be supported. It's not like anybody would have thought this wouldn't be there, but it's good to see a couple of "vr" strings that clearly identify that it's allowed.

<string name="vr_library_screen_no_content_downloaded">To watch videos offline, download them first.</string>
<string name="vr_offline_message">You're offline. You can watch any downloaded videos in your library.</string>

Restrictions

While it's clear offline use will be permitted, it seems there are going to be some unfortunate restrictions. A couple of strings indicate that there will be individual movies that don't allow the VR theater experience, and the feature will even be blocked in some countries.

<string name="vr_content_disabled">This video cannot be played in VR due to studio's content restriction policy.</string>
<string name="vr_country_restricted">Play Movies VR is currently not available in your country.</string>

Cardboard, maybe

If you're not quite ready to invest in a Daydream-ready phone and the viewer, it looks like Google doesn't want to leave you out in the cold. There are two strings that specifically reference the Cardboard viewer, and a third that fills in the name of the viewer at runtime.

<string name="dialog_message_no_cardboard">Get the Cardboard app in order to configure your viewer.</string>
<string name="place_your_phone_into_cardboard">Place your phone into your Cardboard viewer</string>
<string name="place_your_viewer_into_viewer_format">Place your phone into your %s viewer</string>

It certainly makes sense to leave this feature open to users with Cardboard since the performance demands of playing a video aren't that high, so users shouldn't have any problem doing it on non-Daydream phones.

A gift from Google?

This one is a little bit more a tease, but Google already included a single string that suggests there will be "gifts" for users at some point in the future. Whatever this means is too vague to predict right now, but it's certainly interesting.

<string name="vr_google_gift_title">Gift From Google</string>

The obvious guess is that there will be a free movie, or possibly even a short film to go along with launching into VR mode. It's equally plausible that there isn't even a specific gift planned yet, but the developers may have just added the title in preparation for the day when there will be one. Whatever the case, who doesn't like to get something free once in a while?

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.

Version: 3.20.10