Winter has been coming for a long time. Now, as of yesterday, it's finally here. For those of us who live in the northern portion of our planet, that means it's freakin' cold! Here in Seattle it's also super wet, dark, and generally just all around miserable (me and Seattle's weather have a love-hate relationship). In other words, perfect weather to stay in and watch a movie on the couch with a warm cup of cider.
Does that sound like a nice idea to you, too? Well, if it does, then read on. Google has two special promotions happening right now, and both of them will lead to a cheaper movie night for you.
Google is known for periodically offering free goodies to Chromecast owners. Most recently, Google gave three free months of HBO Now with purchase of a Chromecast. In the Chromecast Ultra's first promotion, you can grab a free copy of the Ghostbusters remake in 4K from Google Play Movies. It may not be the best-performing movie this year, but you can't beat free.
The offer is available to anyone who has purchased and activated a Chromecast Ultra before December 31st, and you can redeem the offer until April 30. As you might expect, this is only valid in the United States and Canada.
Until recently, the SHIELD Android TV was the only Google-y device that could output 4K video. Now, there's the Chromecast Ultra and the Mi Box, which gives Google some reason to actually make 4K video available. Play Movies didn't include this option when the devices launched, but now it appears to be rolling out.
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.
If you have tried the Play Movies & TV app on Android TV and weren't in love with its player controls, it might be time to give it a new try. A fresh update to v3.15 started rolling out to set-top boxes and televisions yesterday. There are a couple of cosmetic changes, most notably the banner on the launcher screen, but the big change comes in the form of updated player controls that are faster and easier to use.
Today is Earth Day. It’s that time of the year when we consider the impact human behavior has on the environment and the changes we can make to better look after it. Well, some of us at least. Google Play Movies is marking the occasion by lowering the price of Independence Day – a movie where Earth is invaded and very nearly destroyed by extraterrestrials – to just $0.99.
Although almost twenty years old, Independence Day is an enduring timeless sci-fi classic which is still eminently watchable. It features a star-studded cast of Hollywood icons, including Jeff Goldblum, Will Smith, and Bill Pullman, and probably the most egregious example of product placement ever seen in the cinema.
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.
Wednesday was packed with an onslaught of app updates, many of which came with at least a few notable features. While a bit on the quiet side, the Play Movies & TV app came with some worthwhile new features of its own. Most of the new features are hidden under the Settings screen, including a toggle to finally shut off binge-watching on phones and tablets and a pair of options to enable notifications for new TV shows and when things on your Wishlist become available or drop in price. There are also a few other subtle differences behind the scenes.
Here's the official changelog for Play Movies & TV v3.10:
Wishlist any movie that's not yet available for purchase and receive notifications when it's available to buy or rent
More reliable playback
Play Movies & TV channel in Android TV Live Channels app
An update back in early October brought binge-watching, which filled in a popular feature for serious TV watchers.
NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV box has only been available for a few weeks, and it's already getting its over-the-air update. This one improves a handful of the SHIELD's app functions and its accessories. Notably, software build 1.2 enables 4K output in Google's Photos & Videos app, provided of course that you have a 4K TV to view them on. According to the changelog it also improves streaming performance for both Netflix and Google Play Movies.