Google Releases Videos App

A while back Google released a new version of the Android Market web site that added the ability to rent movies and buy books. At that time you could only play movies with a web browser on a PC, or on the Motorola XOOM, which had the Google Videos app, but there has been no way to play Google video rentals on other Android devices. The Google Videos app is now available in the Android Market for devices running Android 2.2 and newer.

I think the Videos app is intended to work with a new version of the Android Market app that Engadget reported about in early July. The new version of the Market has not yet appeared for download on any of my Android devices, but I am able to install the Videos app on all my devices, including the HTC Flyer.

If the new version of the Android Market, which supports renting movies, is not on your device, you can rent movies from the Android Market web site. I went to the site and rented a movie, which you can play on either an Android device or a PC. After renting the movie, I checked the Vidoes app on the Flyer, but the movie did not appear in the list of My Rentals, as shown in the screenshot, until I re-signed into my account. (Menu, Accounts).

You can either stream videos to your Android device, which you will only want to do over WiFi, or pin a movie to download it to your device. Playback on a PC is only by streaming. I did find that if you start streaming a movie on an Android device, then start the movie on the PC, the playback on the device will stop. Movie playback is very good on the Flyer, which has a 7-inch screen that I think is perfect for watching movies on a plane.

After renting a movie you have 30 days to start watching it, then after you start watching you have 24 hours before you will no longer be able to play the movie. Google says the rental prices range from $1.99 to $3.99 but the majority of the rentals that I see the market cost $3.99.

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