Back in July, Google updated the Android Market with a new completely new look and new functionality. They also announced that they'd begun a phased roll-out of this new Market to all Android devices version 2.2 and higher. As a person with an Android 2.2 phone, I waited and waited to receive the update. Now, more than four weeks later, it's finally arrived. And it appears that I'm not the only one. There's also a new Videos app, the video player that powers movie rentals through the Android Market.
New Android Market Roll-Out
First things first, if you own an Android device that is earlier than version 2.2, you're flat out of luck. No update for you. At least… not for now.
The update to the new-look Android Market actually hit my device yesterday afternoon. Users need to complete that update before moving on to update the Videos app. Unfortunately, you can't do it manually. You have to wait for the update to happen automatically. This Android Market help page suggests opening the Market and leave it on the home screen and wait. The update should happen in a few minutes.
Here's a video giving an overview of the new Android Market:
New Videos App For Android Mobile Devices
So once I had the Market update, I just searched for the new Videos app and installed it. (You can grab it here or by searching the Market from your phone). It was actually a pretty quick install, and now I'm ready to rent movies through the Android Market on my mobile device.
The new Videos app has two main functions:
1. The new Videos app is the official video player for movie rentals on the Android Market. In other words, you have to install it if you wish to use the movie rentals feature.
You can even make your rentals available for offline viewing, for occasions when you're not connected. That's a pretty cool feature.
2. The app also integrates with your personal videos, including those from your YouTube account and those you've taken with your phone or tablet.
Movie Rentals On Android Phones?
Now the only thing left for me to do is find a reason to use this thing. Don't misunderstand me; I think it's pretty nifty. And I've used my Netflix Android app a few different times to watch video content on my phone. But the occasions are rare when I'm not near a TV or laptop–both better options for video viewing than a tiny mobile screen.
When I use the Netflix app, it tends to be in waiting rooms or at the airport. And because those windows of opportunity are relatively small, I gravitate toward content that is shorter, like TV episodes. When am I going to find myself away from a bigger/better screen for long enough to watch a feature film?
Add in the fact that these are rentals… you're paying to watch these movies on your tiny mobile device. Tablets? Maybe. But a phone? I'm just not sure we're there yet, but maybe I'm way off base.