Today's a big day for Android phone users, particularly those with version 2.2, which I understand to be a great many of them (including myself). Google's Android Market has received an overhaul. There's a brand new interface, which reminds me a bit of the latest stuff I've seen from Windows 7 phones. But the biggest news, from my perspective, is the official release of the video rentals service through the Android Market.
Video rentals on Android phones is something that's been in the works for a while, but now it's finally been released to the wild. I say that, but then of course I have to follow it up quickly by saying that technically, the roll-out begins today. It might take some time for all Android mobile phone users to receive the update--I'm still waiting on mine.
But the prospect of renting a video on my phone through the Android market is pretty enticing. Though the circumstances around which I would want such a service would be fairly rare, it would be extremely convenient in those times.
Here's a video the Android team released that talks about all the various features in the new Android Market:
New Android Market Features:
- In addition to renting movies, you can also buy books straight from the Android Market. As with the video rentals, this feature is currently only available to U.S. residents. This will be rolling out to other countries soon, though.
- The entire layout and design is completely rebuilt, and honestly looks nothing like the old version. As I said above, there's a little bit of a Windows Phone 7 feel. But it does look slick, and incorporating side-to-side scrolling into the menus is a fantastic idea.
- There are "thousands" of movies to choose from in the rentals section, covering all the usual genres from horror to documentary.
- Rentals start at $1.99.
- Here's a huge one: Rented videos can be made available offline at the push of a button, and you can watch them "even when you don't have a data connection."