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.
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.
If your phone has a large 5-inch screen, you own an Android tablet, or your HDTV has a Chromecast plugged into it, it would make sense to splurge on the HD version of the next movie you buy from Google Play. It's like getting two movies for the price of one, really, as you can still stream the video in SD if Internet speeds aren't quite up to snuff. But until now, users have only been able to download the larger version of any HD content they wanted to pin to a device.
Getting your hands (eyes?) on HBO programming isn't the easiest task in the world. The shows traditionally come served as an update to your monthly cable package, aren't available on Netflix, and are slow to come to DVD. Yet here in the US, some of the programming is conveniently available straight from Google Play. You just have to be willing, in the case of Game of Thrones, to part with $2.99 per episode or $28.99 a season.
Google would love for you to put a Nexus 7 under someone's tree this holiday season, but they also don't want anyone who can't part with $229+ at the moment to feel left out - so they're now offering customers who purchase a Chromecast from Google Play with a free HD movie rental. If Play Movies isn't quite your cup of tea, you're also free to take $6 in Play Store credit instead.
Google Play Movies & TV received an update to version 2.7.15 today (or yesterday, but I haven't seen anyone with an APK until today), and while
the changelog is still missing, we have noticed a number of new things.
The previous version was v2.6.9, so these line up with a point release - nothing too significant, but still more than just bug fixes.
Update: I just realized that the changelog, which Google updated on September 18th, is actually current - they just never released the update until now.
Google laid out a few important announcements today, which included both Android 4.3 and a new streaming device called Chromecast among others. As a result, the Play Music app was updated with support for Chromecast streaming last night, and Play Movies & TV received a very similar update today.
- Send what you’re watching to your TV screen (when used with Chromecast).
- Support for virtual surround sound on the new (2013) Nexus 7, and on the Nexus 10 running Android 4.3.
If you're a fan of the new slide-out menu that has slowly been making its way into all of Google's official apps and also like to watch movies/TV shows, today's your lucky day! Play Movies just got a sizeable update that not only brings said menu, but also a sleeker look and a couple of new features:
Watch Now provides quick access to what you’re likely to watch next.
We've all played the "Wait, who is that guy again?" or "What song is that?" while watching a movie. Now, with the latest update to the Play Movies app, if you want to get the answer to that question, all you have to do is press pause. Info cards will then pop up with face recognition of actors on screen, what other movies they're in, and what music you're hearing.
The feature only works on "supported movies" and it's a little unclear which ones those are (there doesn't seem to be any icon or indicator that shows whether any given movie in your library can show cards).