Roku started making cheap, effective streaming set-top boxes long before Google TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Android TV, and Amazon's "I can't believe it's not Chromecast." But before today, users who were smack dab in the middle of Google's universe found a notable hole in Roku's otherwise wide array of content partners: the Play Store's selection of movies and TV shows. In a surprising move on Google's part, a new Play Movies channel has been added to the Roku lineup.
If you use a Nexus 5, or even if you can just get your hands on one long enough to add your Google account, you might want to investigate the Google Play Movies & TV app. According to posters at Slickdeals and our own devices, owners of the N5 are being treated to a free digital copy of the 2013 astronaut thriller Gravity. Just open the app and tap "add to library," and it's yours to keep and play back on any Android device or browser.
We've been digging into some of the apps that come with the latest update for the ADT-1 Android TV device. Interestingly enough, some of these apps work just fine when side-loaded onto standard phones or tablets - it looks like they contain all the standard resources and layouts for both versions of Android. You can check out the changes for Google Play Movies & TV below - there are some notable ones for Chromecast users.
A small change on Google's end has added the option to access your purchased Google Play video content in YouTube. Check out the navigation menu in the YouTube app and the purchases link will now be overflowing with Google Play Movies and TV. Well, maybe not overflowing, but we've all got that free copy of Big, right?
If you've ever wondered who the heck that actor was, a Play Movies info card might have been able to tell you. However, support was previously limited to the US and a few other territories. Starting today, info cards are working everywhere Play Movies is available.
— Google Play (@GooglePlay) June 3, 2014
Google is expanding support for Play Movies in a few more nations today, according to Google's support page. Get ready to kick back and relax with some streaming video in Belgium, Philippines, Switzerland, and Uganda.
Google just pushed an update to the Play Movies & TV app with one big change – support for Play Movies in a ton of new countries. We count 37 in total, but the app's changelog says there are over 40. Either way, that's a lot of new places to get video from Google Play. That's in addition to the big Music expansion today. [Update: We spotted Aruba as well. It's been added to the list.]
Quick: what do a magical novelty fortune-telling arcade machine and a device-focused online media store have in common? That's right: absolutely nothing. Which is exactly what we came up with when we asked ourselves why Google would give away the 1988 comedy Big staring Tom Hanks. Honestly, we're drawing a huge blank here.
Ready your oversized keyboards—we’re giving away “Big” for free. http://t.co/ioaackxUBW
— Google Play (@GooglePlay) March 7, 2014
But hey, we're not complaining.
Google's various digital media stores are slowly, slowly making their way across the world. Today's expansion of Google Play Movies brings it to 12 new countries and Hong Kong, for a total of 25. The new countries added today are mostly smaller nations, scattered all over the globe, and strangely featured before larger ones get the service. Put it down to the precarious nature of international content negotiations.