google play movies google tv hero

Google Play Movies & TV launched in 2012 as a store for buying and renting, you guessed it, movies and TV shows. If you look for the app nowadays, you’ll find it has been renamed to “Google TV.” What happened?

When Google rebranded the Android Market as the Google Play Store, it brought all of its digital distribution channels into one place. No longer was it only a place for Android apps and games, but it also included ebooks, music, movies, and TV shows.

Google Play Movies & TV was the app that was used to access the digital content you purchased through the Play Store, and it was available on Android, iPhone, and iPad, as well as smart TV platforms. In October 2020, the Google Play Movies & TV apps were rebranded as “Google TV.”

Google TV has expanded the functionality of the Play Movies & TV app. Instead of being only a place for your purchased content, it’s now a central hub for your library and streaming services. This allows you to keep everything in one place.

With Google TV, you can add the streaming services that you pay for, and when you do a search for a movie or TV show, it will include those services along with rental and purchase options through the Play Store. This makes it very easy to search through all of your services at once.

Another part of the upgraded experience is the “Watchlist” feature. When you search for a TV show or movie on Google, you’ll see a “Watchlist” button in the information box. This integrates with the “Watchlist” tab in the Google TV app, so you can easily find them to watch later on.

google tv watchlist

The Google TV app gets even more powerful if you have the Chromecast with Google TV or an updated Android TV device. The Watchlist integrates with the home screen, making it even easier to keep track of your favorite movies and TV shows, and watch them on the big screen.

google tv watchlist
Watchlist on the Google TV home screen Google

In short, the Google Play Movies & TV app has grown up. It’s still the place to buy and rent movies and TV shows, and it still includes your library of purchased content. If that’s all you want it to be, you don’t have to use any of the new features.

However, if you subscribe to multiple streaming services, Google TV can be a very handy companion. In a world of dozens of different streaming services from every media company, Google TV can help you wrangle it all.

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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