Saturday, July 2, 2022

Google starts removing ‘Movies & TV’ tab from Play Store on Android

Google Play users on Android are starting to see the Movies & TV store disappearing from the app as it was announced in March.

On mobile, Google no longer wants people to browse, search, buy or rent television shows and movies from the Play Store application. Instead, Google TV is the intended replacement where you can also watch your library, while it was recently updated with a “Highlights” news feed.

As part of this change, there are now past purchases, family sharing, payments (including using Play credits and gift cards), refunds, Play Points, or changes to your wish list. No changes have also been made to the recently redesigned web interface.

Meanwhile, the Play Store on Android now focuses on apps, games, ebooks, and audiobooks. Users are now under three tabs – Games, Apps and Books – in the bottom bar, though they may have Offer or Play Pass as a fourth. It makes navigation a little cleaner than ever.

The first reports of movie and TV disappearances came last week, and there are more today, namely from Europe. Google has similarly updated its original announcement post:

Update: Movies & TV is now in the process of being removed from the Google Play app

It looks like the removal work will go on till June.

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9to5Google’s Tech

The company clearly thinks Google TV is the better place for media, and that drive debuted in 2020 with the new Chromecast. In practice, not having a unified place for all digital content on Android is somewhat annoying, although it has begun. With the death of Play Music several years ago.

The experience of using the Google TV app is in no way different from the Play Store experience, and it’s convenient to have quick access to “your content.” That said, I now find myself searching for movies/shows in the YouTube app, which is already on my homescreen, and making purchases there. YouTube has doubled down on its media interface recently, and that may be an unintended consequence of all this change.

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