The writing was on the wall as soon as Google’s “Chromecast with Google TV” launched in the Fall of 2020. The “Google TV” branding would inevitably replace Play Movies and TV, just as Youtube Music has replaced Play Music. We even theorized on what was going to take the place of a web interface for the new “Google TV” and thought the now-defunct project Kaleidoscope was going to be it.
That day has finally come, as Google has announced via email and a post on the Google Play community that starting in May 2022, the Android Google Play app will stop supporting the “Movies and TV” tab. Instead, following the redesign last year that incorporated movies and TV shows from different streaming apps, the Google TV app will take that place. The Play Support Team stated on the blog post:
Starting in May 2022, the Google TV app will be your home for buying, renting, and watching movies and shows on your Android mobile device or tablet. On the Google Play app, Movies & TV will no longer be supported. Google Play will continue to be your store for apps, games, and books. On Google TV, you will find the same experience you are used to on Google Play Movies & TV with the latest new releases, rentals, deals, and great recommendations for you.
This isn’t the end for the Google Play brand whatsoever since the Google Play store will live on for downloading apps, games, and books. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if Google decided to rename it in the future to something more appropriate. The company also provided the following laundry list of things we should be aware of regarding the content in Google Play:
• Your purchased content will continue to be available in the Google TV app
• Your purchases on the Google TV app continue to be eligible for family sharing and Google Play Points
• You can still use Play credit and Play gift cards for purchasing in the Google TV app
• Your wishlist can be accessed within the Google TV app
• You can still view and request refunds for your purchases on Google Play
• Your wishlist and reviews are available to download via takeout.google.com
I think this is a good move as I’ve honestly never been a fan of the “Play” branding because I think it confuses people who are new to the ecosystem. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had new Android users ask where it is they can download new apps because there’s no obvious app store installed on their new phone. This is something those of us who are already familiar with Android and how things work in the ecosystem may take for granted but can make a difference when trying to bring someone over from another operating system, namely Apple. Now I just wish that Google would give us a web interface for Google Play instead of forcing us to use the Android app on Chromebooks!