By now, you're probably familiar with the new account switcher that manyGoogleappshavebeenpickingup, giving you a nice round icon in the corner for your account and a single downward swipe to quickly switch between them. Well, the change has been rolling out to Google's Play Movies & TV app in recent days.
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Google has announced a couple of significant changes to Play Movies & TV that will have a considerable impact on owners of 4K televisions. Starting today, some previously-purchased movies will automatically be upgraded to 4K quality once it's available. The price of newly-purchased 4K content on the platform is also going down.
Closed captions are essential in certain situations, but when you don't need them, they're just an eyesore. A bug has been forcing some users to wrestle with such unwanted subtitles in Google Play Movies & TV, on both mobile and Android TV.
With the continued proliferation of cheap 4K TVs, more and more people are in the market for content that makes use of all those pixels. Google Play Movies & TV has offered such content for some time now, but movies owned by Disney have languished in 1080p. That's changing today, as Google has announced that many of Disney's properties are now available through Google Play in proper UHD.
Like movies? How about cheap stuff? You might want to check your Play Store rewards, then, because Google Play is offering some users 99-cent rentals of certain titles, including recent popular flicks like A Star Is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Crazy Rich Asians.
Almost a year ago, HDR support came to Google Play Movies & TV by way of Google's 4K streaming dongle, the Chromecast Ultra. Now, compatible Sony smart TVs and the best Android set-top box in the game, Nvidia Shield TV, are getting support for HDR content from Google Play as well — but only if it's cast from another device.
Google Play Movies & TV's Roku channel is getting a face lift. The new channel looks a little like YouTube's TV web wrapper, with content filling most of the screen and navigation on the left. "The entire experience has been redesigned to put the focus on content above all else," Google said in a blog post.
“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.
The latest version of Google Play Movies & TV is making the rounds, and this one has quite a bit to discuss. There are several surface-level changes, including a new bottom nav bar, improved support for Rotten Tomatoes, and even some rearrangements to the screens in the app. Digging a bit deeper, we can also see there's a new Guide screen in development, some degree of support for external content providers, and even a rating system for content.
Every week, I examine somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred app updates while looking for changes. The most interesting things turn into APK Teardowns or Download posts. Many of the remaining updates are unremarkable, amounting to a few bug fixes, routine updates to libraries, or even just pixel-level adjustments to layouts and images. However, there are usually a few updates that land somewhere in between. I don't want to spam readers with dozens of short posts, but I hate to ignore things that people might want to know about, so I'm going to wrap up the leftovers for a little weekend reading and call it Update Notes.