Google today updated its Google Play Movies & TV for Android app with a bunch of discovery features. You can download the new version from Google Play, but keep in mind that the update is only available in the U.S. and is rolling out “over the next few days.”
Google Play Movies & TV is an online video-on-demand service. The app lets you watch movies and TV shows purchased on Google Play. In other words, if you don’t buy video content from Google Play, the app is useless to you. That’s what Google wants to fix today.
“With so many different streaming apps out there, it’s not only challenging to figure out what to watch, but where and how to watch it,” the Google Play team complains. To address this, the app now lets you browse the latest new movie releases, tells you which streaming service has the show you’re looking for, and even recommends new content to watch.
Both the Google Play Movies & TV app and the Google Play store can now show you which streaming service has the show or movie you’re trying to find. Google Play currently supports “more than two dozen streaming and TV everywhere apps,” including ABC, CBS, Fox Now, NBC, Hulu, HBO Now, HBO Go, Showtime, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Now, HGTV, BET Now, and Comedy Central.
The app also helps you find something new to watch by letting you narrow down your search (as shown in the GIF above) of “more than tens of thousands of shows and movies” by genre, time of release, rating, and so on. You can also get recommendations based on what you watch and what you like (use thumbs up/thumbs down to rate stuff you’ve already seen).
Lastly, the app has a watchlist tab for saving shows and movies to watch later. Just long-press on any show or movie to add it to your watchlist, which can then tell you if it is available to stream, when it becomes available to buy or rent on Google Play, and if the price has recently dropped.
Once you’ve found what you want to watch, Google Play Movies & TV will send you right to the app that lets you stream it. The Google Play Movies & TV app is supposed to let you “go from searching to streaming in just seconds,” Google explains.
That sounds great in theory, but something tells me most people will continue to just fire up Netflix and go from there.