A pair of fresh updates of the Play Movies & TV app rolled out to both Android TV and regular devices yesterday. Like many other recent updates, there's not a lot of new functionality to see on the surface, particularly for the Android TV version. Phones and tablets gained a new toggle to control notifications about expiring rewards, but that's about it. However, a teardown shows a few improvements scheduled for future updates, including 4K support, a special channel for watching trailers, and recommendations for similar TV shows. Read on for details or skip to the bottom for download links. Read More
So many TV shows, so little time. And why does it have to be so incredibly difficult to choose a show and an episode to watch? Why do services expect you to know what you want to see, instead of throwing stuff at your screen and hoping you'll be hooked. Like... a regular TV. We've gone full circle people, and it turns out our old ways weren't that bad.
Random Flix makes this decision for you. It can pick a random episode from all of Netflix' TV shows or from a list of your favorite shows. It doesn't require a sign-in, it's just going through a public database of available Netflix shows and choosing stuff for you. Read More
Sometimes you can't stomach the idea of paying a big yearly subscription price upfront, either because it feels like a big expense or because you're not ready to commit for a full year to a service that you're not sure you'll enjoy in a couple of months. That's why, despite having to pay a little bit more, companies offer a monthly subscription to make it easier for users to pay in small increments and feel like they are free to walk away anytime they want.
Amazon's Prime subscription used to be a yearly affair: pay $99 and get all the services for 12 months straight. Read More
Google is continuing to refine what data you can access without ever leaving its browser-based search interface. A few of the more complex options for searching popular culture have now made their way from the desktop to Android, and they've also been given some impressive layout adjustments. According to Google's own search blog, contextual information for music, movies, and television shows will now appear in a dedicated sub-section of Google Search. Some of this was already available, but some of it's definitely new. Read More
Don't think I'll find where a show is available online? Just watch me. There's an app or two for that, and now that JustWatch has brought its search engine to Android and iOS, there's another one. And it's capable of searching through Amazon Instant Video, Crackle, HBO Now, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, Play Movies, PlayStation, Showtime, Vudu, Xbox, and a couple other online streaming services.
JustWatch's grid layout looks like those of the services it interacts with, and it feels like a natural companion, like the modern-day equivalent of a TV guide. You can create a watchlist without having to create an account or provide any credentials. Read More
Google mixed things up a bit this week as all of the biggest app updates turned up on Monday, leaving mostly bug fixes and minor tweaks to roll out on Wednesday. We didn't get to see anything exciting from the likes of Keep, Gmail, or most of the other updates, but Play Movies & TV came packing at least one extra. True TV fans will be able to binge watch an uninterrupted stream of episodes from their favorite shows.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
Let's be honest here: you really don't give a crap about Arbor Day. But if you forget to record the season finale of The Flash, you're going to be out three bucks for a Google Play episode purchase. To help alleviate this first-world problem, Microsoft subsidiary Sunrise Calendar has added hundreds of TV shows across dozens of networks to its "Interesting Calendars" feature, allowing for quick and easy TV scheduling on top of its usual handy interface.
Right now the feature is wide, but not deep. While the TV selection has most of the popular local and cable television networks and both first-run and syndicated shows on offer, it doesn't seem to be capable of distinction between new episodes and reruns. Read More
Today Hulu has unveiled Watchlist, the company's latest way to help you keep up with the shows you want to watch later. Think of it as a favorites list, but smarter.
Currently Hulu watchers have three different locations where they can save and find the shows they're most interested in watching. There's Stuff You Watch, which automatically updates with whatever you've viewed recently. Then there's the Queue, where you save the stuff you want to see later. Lastly, we have Favorites, where you store the shows and movies that you enjoy the most.
Watchlist replaces all three. It's a single favorites list that's supposed to rearrange your content so that shows you enjoy the most are given priority, and those that are simply saved for later wait patiently at the bottom. Read More
Google services may take a while to make the long trek north from Seattle to Vancouver, Detroit to Toronto, or from Portland to Montreal—but Canadians still get to enjoy Google hardware such as the Chromecast. Television network CTV has added support for the spiffy little dongle inside the latest version of its Android app (though this, too, kind of took a while).
Chromecast support is the most exciting item on the changelog, but this release also tweaks the interface. Everything is still mostly black and red, there's just more of the latter. Some of what used to be in the sidebar is now spread across the top of the screen in tabs. Read More
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.
Sure enough, Austria has made the list on Google's Play Store support page as well. Read More