This blog is about technology, software and social media. It's aimed as much towards 'normal' people as the tech savvy. The author is Tony Gallacher.
Google Play is a new online store from Google that launched on March 7. The Google navigation bar now has a link to it.
You can buy Android apps, games, books, music and rent HD movies. The book and movie selections are decent. The apps and games service is basically the Android market. Google Music hasn’t been officially launched in the UK yet.
The film range is equivalent to Virgin Media. It’s as up to date as Virgin’s ‘Hot From the Cinema’ category or Love Film’s latest rental selection.
If you have an android phone or tablet, you can download the Google Play Movies App to play the films on. Anyone can watch movies in a web browser, via YouTube, though.
I rented Tower Heist for £3.49, so that’s about 50p cheaper than Virgin Media pay per view. I watched it in Google Chrome on an iMac. The quality was great and there was no latency. It was irritating that I couldn’t view it on my iPad, though.
Once you have rented a movie, it’s available to you for 24h, which is similar to other services. That’s once you start watching it and you’re given a month to do that.
You can read books in Google Reader, in a web browser. If you have an iPad or iPhone, you can download the Google Play Books app to use. They have new fiction at prices similar to those Amazon charges for Kindle editions. There’s also a selection of free books.
If you have an e-Reader, books are available in the ePub and PDF formats. I have a kindle, which doesn’t support ePub and I find that reading books in PDF format is a pain, from a navigation point of view. I convert books from ePub format to MOBI (which the Kindle does support) using Calibre, then transfer them to the Kindle.
More competition among rental movie services has got to be good. Now that we have Netflix, as well as Love Film and with Sky’s new online service to come this year, hopefully prices will come down.
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