Google is in the process of rolling out a rather appealing update for its Play Movies & TV application via the Play Store. This upgrade brings the standard Material Design makeover that the search engine giant has been distributing to its full suite of Android apps over the course of the past few weeks, in addition to a new interactive menu that’s displayed on either a smartphone or tablet when casting content.
In early May, information surfaced suggesting that Google was toying with the idea of allowing offline playback for movies to Chromebooks. Today that information becomes a reality as Google took to Google+ to announce that there was a new app in the Chrome Web Store available allowing just that. With the app you’ll be able to watch movies and TV on your Chromebook regardless of having an Internet connection.
The icing on the cake includes info cards, and improved Chromecast support. This is on top of the local playback experience in the Chrome web browser. So if you’re on a Chrome OS device head over here to get access to offline movies and much more.
source: +Google Play
Earlier today Google and Intel unveiled a number of Chromebooks, but there was also another tidbit. Chrome OS is going to get the ability to play Google Play content offline. Google Play Movies will be the first, but we suspect Play Music will be added at some point as well. Look for this new feature to be available in the coming weeks.
Folks who have Chromecast devices know well that there are two types of casting from the desktop. First there are those applications or sites that support Chromecast directly. This includes services like YouTube or Netflix where the cast button can be found in the video player area and allow you to use the Chromecast as intended, with the content delivered directly to the Chromecast. The other type are those sites that require the user to just cast the entire web page from their browser tab. This is rather slow and requires the content to be delivered from the computer to the Chromecast. Surprisingly, Google did not include the first type of casting for Play Movies and Play Music from the web when using a laptop or desktop. That oversight has now changed.
According to Google, if the Google Cast extension is installed for your browser, you can look for the cast button in the video player area when you fire up your favorite title. This will then cause the movie, TV show, or song to be streamed directly to the Chromecast, just as it would if you had launched the title using a smartphone or tablet.
source: +Google Play
Australians are starting to see some movies available for purchase via the Google Play Store app. This ability is currently only via the app and has yet to make its way to the Web Store. Ausdroid is reporting prices ranging from $19.99 AUD for The Raid up to $24.99 AUD for The Avengers.
Although the ability to purchase movies takes the Google Play Store one step closer to being a true iTunes competitor in Australia, our friends down under still lack the ability to purchase music or TV shows.
Beginning today, Google TV users will have access to Movie, TV and Music content offerings from the Google Play Store. Similar to smartphone and tablet interfaces, purchases can be made directly from your big screen, and content that has already been purchased will automatically sync over to your TV. Additionally, developers have also received a major set of long-awaited features for Google TV including subscription based billing, auto-updating and smart app updates.
These features serve as much welcomed additions to Google TV, and hopefully indicate that Google isn’t quite ready to give up on the platform. So, do you own a Google TV? What do you think of the new features?
Google just announced a new licensing agreement with Paramount Pictures, which will bring approximately 500 new movie titles to both Google Play and YouTube. Paramount is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and has been responsible for titles such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Hugo, Transformers, and the Godfather.
With the addition of Paramount, Google now has five of the six major studios and has a nearly 9,000 movies available for rent. They plan on continuing to add more titles and hopefully open up shop in more countries this year.
As far as the new Paramount movies goes, some of the titles are already available, but it might take a couple of months for all of them to show up.