I don’t usually do tech news, but I simply couldn’t resist. If you’ve been to the Android Market in the last 24 hours, you should have noticed a major change has taken place.
That’s right, the Android Market is now Google Play. Whether this is a move to compete with iTunes in a more direct manner, or just another Google way to bring all of your favorite content mediums under one easy-to-navigate and purchase from roof, Google appears to be cleaning things up a bit and so far, what I see I like.
Let’s take a look at how beautifully functional this is. I have to tell you, what got my attention was the film “Puncture” for rent at just $0.25. Although I’ve already seen the movie (it was ok…), being that I had .25 in my account I figured it would be a good test of the new movie rental streaming service built right into the Android Market, Ahem, Google Play.
I started the stream on my Galaxy Nexus via wi-fi and got things up pretty quickly. The quality? Beautiful.
I then moved to my Asus Transformer Prime so I could take a few screenshots. Keep in mind, you can only stream or download a rental to one device at a time so I had to cancel the download on my Galaxy Nexus, then start the stream on my Prime. The film looked gorgeous on the Prime tablet, especially when you crank up the Super IPS+ mode.
A bit on the UI — From the Google Play movie section, select your film and you’ll see a screen that neatly displays the movie information, as well as other film suggestions.
I can see this being a really powerful movie discovery engine especially once you bring in the power of the crowd. Reminded me a bit of Netflix honestly with the Google +1 of course.
If you can’t see the new Google Play in the Android Market renting a movie should force things a bit for your device. It did in my case on both devices. Here is a shot of the movie section.
Here’s a few more screenshots I took while using the new service.
Quick summary of all the sections.
This is the Apps section, fully embracing the fluid feel that is the Ice Cream Sandwich GUI.
The books section.
The Music section.
If you take a look inside the settings, you’ll see some controls to make sure you don’t go over your data plan limits. You can also set the streaming options, what networks to use for downloading, and set the caption font size.
Like I said earlier, I really love the new look and feel and the service felt smooth. I’m happy to see Google giving Apple a run for their money and working to stay relevant and providing options in the market. I’m even more thrilled to have some more cool stuff to talk about on our weekly Android podcast, Attack of the Androids.
Do you have the Play Store enabled? Drop a comment and let us know what you think of the new app and service!