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. While this addition doesn't benefit everyone, I can see a few handy uses for carrier billing:
- you don't own a credit card at all
- you don't want to add a credit card to your Wallet account for some reason, be it security, paranoia, or a medical condition that prevents you from typing 16 digits in a row (also known as laziness)
- you don't want to pollute your credit card statement with multiple charges
- you don't want your significant others with access to your credit card statement to see what you're doing
Enjoy, Sprinters! Read More
If you prefer not to give Google your credit card info, and would rather consolidate all your Play Store payments into one big carrier bill, then we've got some good news for you. Google just announced an expansion to the carrier billing system that now includes the ability to charge books, movies, and music to your carrier bill, in addition to apps.
The full list of carriers that support the new billing is above. Sorry Verizon users, you're still not on the list. The other three major US carriers, as well as a host of international carriers, support the new payment system, though. Read More
Despite Australia's historically diverse movie industry, up until recently, Aussies found Google's Play and YouTube services devoid of films available to them.
But no more! As of late yesterday, Australian Google users can access both the Movies page on Google Play and the YouTube counterpart. They'll have access to countless movies, both from US studios (e.g. The Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, NBCUniversal, Village Roadshow Pictures and Lionsgate) and from Australian producers (e.g. Roadshow Films, Icon Film Distribution, Madman Entertainment, Hopscotch and Transmission Films). Viewing options include your desktop browser (of course) as well as Android phones and tablets, so long as the Google Play Movies app is installed. Read More
Though movie apps like Flixster and Moviefone (which allow users to locate any theaters near them) clearly have their utility, sometimes it's nice to have an app specific to a certain theater brand. Precisely for this purpose, Cinemark Theaters, one of the biggest names in the "motion picture exhibition industry," has released an official Android app.
The application will grant users GPS directions to any domestic Cinemark theater, in addition to:
- Securely purchasing movie tickets
- Accessing "My Cinemark" favorite theaters
- Searching for their preferred Cinemark theater locations
- Viewing their gift card balances
- Viewing their ticket purchase histories
- Searching for movies Coming Soon
- Searching for movies Now Playing
- Viewing movie trailers
- Rating, Synopsis, Cast etc.
In case you were wondering if a rebrand was the only thing Google was doing to set itself up as a content provider, rest easy. Google's still working at signing those content deals. Today's deal is with Paramount. You may remember Paramount as the company that likes to throw stars at you while you're flying over a mountain. This new content deal brings 500 movies to the Play Store, and surprise! They don't all suck!
While today's Staff Picks may be a little biased towards today's deal, you can tell right from the main page that this is big for the Play Store's movie selection. Read More
People living in the US, UK, Canada, and Japan have been able to enjoy renting and purchasing movies from the Google Play library for some time now, and today, anyone living in France can use the service to get their movie fix as well.
If you have a French Google Play account, you will now have a link to purchase movies both online at play.google.com and through your Android phone. To celebrate the French launch, French classics such as 'La Grotte Des Rêves Perdu' and 'Le Bal Des Actrices' have been added to the store for everyone to enjoy.
Upon the launch of Play, Google said that it wants to bring different content categories to as many countries as possible, but didn't specify a timeline for this to be achieved. Read More
Summer movie season is starting. With the Hunger Games already breaking box office records and nerds everywhere polishing their shields and repulsorlift glove replicas in anticipation of The Avengers, this year is set to be a big one. AMC has appropriately launched their official app to help you keep track of all the movies you're geeking out to see this year.
The app does a lot of the same things that more general movie apps like IMDb and Flixster already do well, like finding movie listings and trailers. The AMC app, however, also allows users to keep track of their Stubs account and rewards. Read More
Goodbye, Android Market, hello, Google Play. Just moments ago, Google let loose the re-branded Android content hub. What's new? Actually, not all that much (yet).
The change in name is largely an exercise in product consolidation. Google Books, Google Music, Google Movies, and the Android Market are all now under the "Google Play" banner, in an attempt to bring all of Google's content services to one place.
Aside from the UI refresh, there's really nothing new going on so far as we can tell. Google plans to roll out an updated version of the Market (Play) to Android 2.2+ devices in the coming days, as well as to discontinue the Market branding. Read More
Regal Cinemas, the largest cinema circuit in the US, recently got its own official Android App. The app brings a ton of easy functionality to your Android-powered device, allowing users to look up individual movies, read plot synopses, watch trailers, and order tickets with a credit card or Regal Crown Club number. The app also helps users find theaters and show times, and includes a handy click-to-call feature, as well as the ability to get directions using Google Maps.
Besides all of that, Regal Cinemas includes a few "extra" features, like the ability to share show times via SMS or email, set up calendar reminders, utilize mobile ticketing, and share purchases on Facebook or Twitter. Read More
Logitech may have said that launching the Revue was "a mistake of implementation of gigantic nature" and that it has chosen to ditch Google TV entirely, but it has, thankfully, decided against reneging on its promise of one more software update. And, yes, said software update is exactly the one that was shown to us back at the end of October: the one that brings an updated, usable interface and - drumroll please - Android Market integration.
Indeed, as indicated in the above tweet from the official @GoogleTV Twitter account, the update will be rolling out in the next few weeks, just as promised. Read More