After Google’s event finished yesterday, a stream of app updates began rolling out. Among them, Play Movies and TV saw a relatively simple update, but it has a couple of changes that are worth pointing out. The thumbnails for movie trailers are gone, but you can still watch them by tapping on the cover art. Also, TV shows now include the language of captions and audio tracks. A teardown also shows there may be something happening with Disney Movies Anywhere.
Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)
- Movie trailers are now accessed from the cover art
- Language details are now shown on TV show listings
- Miscellaneous cosmetic adjustments
Movie trailers moved
Left: v3.27. Right: v3.28.
If you’re used scrolling down movie listings to watch trailers, it’s time to break that habit. The dedicated row for trailers has been thrown out, but you can still watch them by looking for a “Trailer” button located at the dead center of the cover art at the top of the listing.
I don’t personally care for this change because it obstructs the cover art. On top of that, this approach seems to mean that movie listings can’t have more than one trailer. That may not matter most of the time, but there are some movies that were best represented over two or more trailers–look up the original Lilo and Stitch trailers involving other Disney characters for a great example. Sorry, I’m just nitpicking.
Language details on TV series
Movies have included information about the language of an audio track and captions for a long time, but TV shows strangely left out that information. But with this update, that changes as those two fields are now present.
Left: v3.27. Right: v3.28.
If you were paying close attention to the screenshots above with the new fields for language, you may have also noticed that the price indicators (these happen to be free episodes) are now surrounded by a red outline. As usual, there are also adjustments to text weight and padding sprinkled throughout the app.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android’s application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It’s possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that plans could change or may be canceled entirely. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it’s officially announced and released.
The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don’t expect to see these features if you install the apk.
Another Movies Anywhere, maybe?
Back in 2014, Disney came to agreements with Apple and Google to make movies purchased on its service watchable as if they were part of iTunes and Play Movies & TV. The service is known as “Disney Movies Anywhere.” Go into settings for Play Movies and scroll down almost to the bottom to find the spot where you can link the account.
Strangely, there are now some new lines that suggest Play Movies will soon allow users to link accounts to something that is also called “Movies Anywhere,” but without the Disney name.
Movies AnywhereEligible for Movies AnywhereEligible if purchased. Rentals are not eligible. <a href=”%1$s”>Learn more</a>Your %1$s and Movies Anywhere accounts are now disconnected.
<Preference android:title=”@string/pref_ma_unlink_account_title” android:key=”movies_anywhere_unlink_account” />
The significant detail here is that the current text for the Disney-branded service hasn’t been touched. In fact, the new lines are named with a “ma” abbreviation while the old lines still have “dma” in their names. Basically, both services currently appear to be completely independent at the moment.
I can’t find another similar service with the Movies Anywhere name, so it’s hard to attribute this to another company at the moment. Perhaps this means Disney is spinning the service off on its own, or maybe the people in charge of branding decided Disney shouldn’t be part of the name – but we all know better than that. Right now, I don’t have a great guess for this one, but it’s just mysterious enough to warrant raising a question or two.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.