Movie rentals from Google
Google has launched a movie rental service via its Android operating system which will allow users to pay for and watch films using mobile phones, tablets and PCs.
Already available in the US, the service will offer people the facility to download films using 3G or Wi-Fi for a small fee, which is currently a minimum of £2.49 and rises to £3.49 for newer films.
Following download, users have 30 days in which to begin watching the film. Once it has started to play, they will have 48 hours to finish watching it - a little like a traditional film rental store.
Over a thousand films are available from the Android Market website and they can be watched on any device on which a user is logged in. If using an Android-enabled smartphone, it is necessary to install the Video application to watch films.
Google bringing more products to UK
For those not keen on watching films on a mobile or other small device, the action can be transferred to television using an HDMI cable.
The new service marks another competitive move by Google, which has recently created a UK e-book store, seeing it take on Amazon and Apple. It has already made available movie rentals via YouTube, pitting it against Sony's Entertainment Network.
"The service has been up and running in the US for some time now," said Kate Solomon of TechRadar.com.
"But Google has been making a concerted effort to bring its media products over to the UK of late; Google Books has finally launched on our fair shores, and Music By Google is unlikely to be far behind."
Daniel Nolan, general manager of theEword, said: "We've already seen remote movie rental with services such as LoveFilm and Sony PlayStation, but Google's new Android facility will allow viewing directly on a variety of devices.
"It remains to be seen whether Google will be able to achieve something equally innovative with its music service, bearing in mind the firm grip on that market by Apple."