“Well, maybe it's on Netflix. Um … did you check Hulu? What about Amazon?” While streaming services make it easy to dive right into your favorite shows, sometimes tracking down that program can be way more difficult than it needs to be. Maybe one service has the current season of the show you're looking for, but past seasons are on another. And as licensing deals are signed and expire, shows may drift from one service to another. How the heck are you supposed to keep track of where anything is? Today it's Google to the rescue, as the company starts sharing info on which streaming services carry the media you're searching for.
When you look for a TV show or movie in Google Play Movies & TV, the service will now also search through providers like Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, and the streaming options provided by the big networks themselves. If Google's selling the content itself, that option will appear first, but you can tap a drop-down menu to check out all your other options, too. And if even Google doesn't have it at all, you'll still see the streaming service that does. For shows with a big backlog of episodes, you can click through past seasons and see what's available where.
In addition to seeing this info in the Play Movies & TV app, Google's also bringing it to the Play Store itself, but we haven't quite seen it go live with the latter just yet. We also noticed that some content doesn't come up in searches despite very much being available on supported services like HBO Go; hopefully Google is working to smooth out those kinks.
This is a big step in the right direction for Google, but right now there's at least one big empty spot on the list of supported streaming providers: Netflix. Google does indicate that it plans to “add more partners over time” but there's no telling when or if Netflix might be among them.
Beyond this big streaming-search news, Google's also updating Play Movies & TV with improved discovery tools, helping to narrow down your search by genre, a new watchlist tab for tracking what you want to check out later, and a recommendation system. For that one, as you give content in the app a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, Google will combine that info with your viewing history to suggest what you should watch next.
If you're not seeing all this new functionality just yet, make sure you've got the latest version of Play Movies & TV installed, available at APK Mirror for both regular Android devices and Google Daydream.