Android TV Shop Offers Sales, Rental, Content Management

Google is debuting a Shop tab that lets users purchase or rent movies directly through the Android TV platform. The Shop tab, which effectively replaces the Google Play Movies & TV smartphone app, was recently introduced to Android TV devices in the U.S. and will roll out to a reported 23 other countries over the next few weeks. In addition to providing browse and purchase capabilities via Android TV, the Shop feature is also a content management platform. Purchases and existing programming from Android TV and Google TV devices, the Google TV mobile app and YouTube will be organized in the Library under the Shop tab.

Tom’s Guide says the Shop tab has a dual purpose: “First and foremost, it’s a hub for all the latest movies available to purchase via video on demand.” Secondly, it’s a content management platform. “The Shop tab will pull movies available to you from all your connected streaming services and Google TV so any movie you could possibly rent or buy is available in the same location.”

“Whether you are searching for a new and popular movie not yet available on other streaming services or you are looking to make a one-time movie purchase without a subscription, the Shop tab makes it easy,” Google explains in a community post, noting that the Shop tab allows you “to start watching instantly, or download your purchased content through the Google TV mobile app on your phone or tablet to watch offline.”

On Android TV, it’s the tab next to Home. On mobile devices, it sits next to For You. Tom’s points out that “Google TV was conspicuously absent from Google’s announcement, which specifically mentioned the Android TV and the Google TV app for mobile.”

The Android TV OS powers both Google TV and Android TV, and though they don’t have the same interface or features, both will get the Android TV OS 14 update, due later this year. “If the Shop tab becomes a hit with Android TV users, expect it to eventually come to Google’s premier smart TV platform,” Tom’s writes.

TechRadar suggests Android TV appears poised to become “Google’s next major content platform,” last month adding more than 800 free channels in 10 languages via a Live tab.

Google “has made good progress in growing the Android TV ecosystem,” reports TechCrunch, which says as of last year “there were more than 110 million monthly active Android TV devices.”

As for Android TV OS 14, although Google hasn’t revealed details, information is starting to leak out. The beta version emphasizes accessibility, with system-wide bold text, text scaling, color correction and audio descriptions, according to 9to5Google.

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