This may not be strictly Android-related news, but it's safe to say that what Google does to search results is relevant to our readers' interests, no? Today, Google announced via its Inside Search blog that the company will start including the volume of valid copyright removal notices as a factor in determining how high or low a site ranks in its search results. Translation: pirate sites won't be removed entirely, but they'll start ranking lower than legitimate sites.
If you've never heard of the Xbox Media Center (XBMC), you can turn in one of your geek cards right now. The open-source streaming media platform is legendary among tinkerers and DIY types, with its long list of features and insane customizations being its major draws. After nearly ten years of active development, the creators are preparing a full Android version complete with video/audio streaming and all the other goodies. Not to be confused with the current remote app (or any of the third-party alternatives) the upcoming XBMC for Android will have almost the full set of functions found in its desktop and stand-alone counterparts.
There were several new announcements today for the Play Store at Google's I/O keynote, which included the arrival of new content. As previously expected, the Play Store now offers TV Shows, magazine subscriptions, and movie purchases.
First off, let's take a look at TV Shows. This is one thing that the Play Store has been missing since day one, so it's nice to see it finally show up. After spending a few minutes looking through the titles, it looks like Google stocked it up with quite a bit of good content.
For those of you too young to remember, or those just too cool to watch one of the landmark geek films of the 1980s, War Games is a movie about an artificial intelligence that plays a war game with real nuclear weapons. The humans don't know this, of course, but things get real very fast once they figure it out. The movie is a little dated now, but that doesn't stop the new official War Games puzzle game from being a blast to play.
Last week, we asked you whether you ever regularly purchased from Google Play Music. Only 10% of you purchase all of their music through the Play Store, and 58% have made any purchases at all.
This week, we're moving on to movies. Do you regularly rent movies from Google Play?
Google TV is one of those products that Google tends to forget about most of the year. Today, though, the platform is getting some love as Sony Google TV devices are getting a firmware update to version 2.1.1. Included in the update will be the ability play movies rented via Google Play (about time) as well as watching movies via youtube.com/movies.
Logitech's update, on the other hand, is less straightforward.
A few months after it went live in France, Google Play Movies is now available in neighboring Spain, as it continues to slowly make its way across Europe.
Google Play announced the launch on its Google+ page, noting that people in Spain can now buy popular titles such as Fuga de Cerebros 2 and El Sueño de Iván through the store.
Although there's no time frame for the launch of Play Movies in other parts of Europe, you can be sure that the service will be on its way to countries such as Germany and Italy fairly soon.
Two weeks ago, Google announced a series of expansions to carrier billing options for Play Store Apps, Movies, Books, and Music on various carriers. While some changes went into effect immediately, Sprint, which already allowed direct billing for apps, was one carrier that was listed as "coming soon."
As of today, all three additional options are available to Sprint customers: books, music, and movies. Not surprisingly, carrier billing is the default option since it's by far the cheapest to carriers and Google as they get to bypass credit card fees.