Google Aims to Make Life Easier While We’re Stuck at Home

Google Search has been offering personalized movie and TV recommendations since last fall. Now it is adding a new Watchlist tab that enables mobile users to easily track and save desired content. In addition, to help Android TV users navigate news and entertainment as we spend more time sheltering at home, Google has introduced three new rows of content from YouTube on the home screen: COVID-19 News, Stay Home #WithMe videos, and ad-supported free movies from YouTube. These new features are among a larger set of announcements made by the company this week.

Google is also offering free access to its Stadia Pro gaming service for two months, a free 30-day trial to Google Play Pass game and apps subscription service, and a number of special app deals involving movies, TV, comics and more.

The company is encouraging consumers to use Google Assistant and Nest devices as we’re spending more time indoors. The blog announcement recommends creating a game night by accessing trivia and quiz games by saying “Hey Google, let’s play a game,” leveraging Google Assistant for help in accessing the latest podcasts, and watching videos or slideshows you’ve created in Google Photos using Chromecast.

In describing the new Watchlist feature, Google notes that mobile users can browse personalized recommendations via “what to watch” and then “tap ‘Watchlist’ in the preview window” to save TV shows or movies.

“You can navigate between your recommendations and the ‘Watchlist’ tab so you won’t lose track of what’s already been saved. You can also add content to your Watchlist whenever you search for a show or movie. To quickly access your full watchlist, search for ‘my watchlist’ or tap on Collections in the Google app.”

“They are organized at the top of the search results,” adds TechCrunch, “and can be filtered by type (show or movie), by whether the content is free, by category (comedy, action, documentary, sitcom, kid-friendly, etc.) and by provider. Google also offers a rating experience where you train its algorithms on what sort of content you like and dislike.”

Google’s Watchlist may be ideal for casual users, suggests TechCrunch, since there are other dedicated mobile apps such as Bingeworthy, Reelgood, Taste and Watchworthy that offer similar but expanded features.