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.
Google's apps, alongside Facebook's, remain the only Android apps to reach over 500 million users. Some of the tech giant's offerings, such as Gmail and YouTube, have even managed more than a billion downloads.
Now Play Movies & TV has become the company's latest app to join the former category. On Google Play, it resides in the 500,000,000 - 1,000,000,000 range.
This is a significant achievement for Play Movies, a brand that has only really been around since the Android Market turned into the Play Store not much more than a couple of years ago.
Say it with me now: piracy is bad. There are ways to get free copies of just about everything online, but even setting aside the legal and moral aspects of it, doing so can come with the risk of infecting your computer with something icky or falling victim to a phishing attempt. People who know their way around the woods will continue to be able to take advantage of things, but Google's working on reducing the likelihood that the average user will end up in a place they don't want to be.
The latest version of the Google Play Movies app has been rolling out to users over the course of the past week, and while we found in the code that the changes had something to do with placing pre-orders, we had to wait for Google to flip a switch somewhere for the functionality to get exposed. Now that Google has taken to its social network with the news, consider that switch flipped.
We usually point people to the Play Store for apps, but it's really a one-stop-shop for all the things, depending on where you live. Due to laws, licenses, and any number of variables, products aren't simply available to everyone at once, which makes it our job to inform you when things pop up in another area. As it turns out, Play Movies has launched in Austria.
Here's what an Android Police reader in Austria was pleasantly surprised by when they recently paid the Play Store a visit.
Update 7/21/14: In its Q2 2014 letter to shareholders, Netflix narrowed down the launch month to September of this year. The list of countries remains the same as before: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
Original story from May 21, 2014 follows.
Some of our European friends might be ringing in the new year with movies and TV streamed via Netflix. The company has just announced its intention to begin rolling the service out in several European countries late in 2014.
Play Movies have been available on Google Play for years now, but this is the case only in certain parts of the globe. People living elsewhere have to wait patiently for their countries to get added to the list. Ireland is the latest one to gain support, so its residents can now fire up the Play Store to download movies. TV shows, however, are not available.
When it comes to Google Play content, movies have a relatively broad reach.
Update Wednesday held at least one more treat this week - a bump to Google Play Movies & TV, bringing the app up to version 3.2.25. Google hasn't published an official change log yet, but so far the only user-facing change we've found is the presence of applicable wishlist content (from your Play Store wishlist) inside the app, both on the "Watch Now" screen, and in the slide-out navigation bar.
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