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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Google moves Play movies & TV app to Google TV but it's an app?

 Along with the launch of the new Chromecast with Google TV, Google is changing the name of the Google Play Movies & TV app to Google TV. The rename is happening on Android phones to start, though you can expect it to change on other platforms eventually as well.

Google Play services

The app is Google’s store for renting and buying movies and TV, and in truth Google is following Apple’s lead here. Apple uses its Apple TV app as the hub for all its video offerings as well, whether they are TV shows or not. Apple also uses the Apple TV branding in multiple ways — as hardware, app, and its own streaming video service.

Google’s TV offerings also are a little confusing. In addition to being the aforementioned app, it’s also the name of the Google software layer that sits on top of Android TV on the new Chromecast with Google TV.

Google tried to create a whole ecosystem of content around the “Play” brand. It’s still there: the Google Play Store is Google’s app store, Google Play Books will let you buy books and comics, and despite several years of starvation and neglect Google Play Music still has yet to completely shut down and be replaced by YouTube Music.

  • Google TV (the app). Formerly known as Google Play Movies & TV (and still known as that on phones that don’t run Android). We’ve covered this above, but the key thing to know is that it’s an app for phones. You can use it to rent movies or watch stuff you’ve purchased elsewhere if you’re signed up for Movies Anywhere. I suppose you could also use this app to cast video to...
  • Chromecast with Google TV. This is a new dongle you can use to stream video either directly or via cast. It’s $49.99 and seems quite capable. It runs...
  • Google TVIn the context of running on the Chromecast, Google TV is the interface you left/right/up/down your way through to find something you want to watch. It is, as you might expect, heavily focused on search and the Google Assistant. It’s also going to be offered to other TV makers who’d like to use it. The companies most likely to do so are probably already using.

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