Google’s Android is adding a bit of fire power to its media arsenal. In the fall, Twentieth Century Fox will launch a service putting Fox movie downloads in the hands of Android users.
According to Yahoo! News, this is the first time a film studio is offering content in such a manner on Android. However, the system will not allow films to be downloaded directly to smartphones.
Nope, Android fanboys and girls will first have to purchase an actual Blu-ray disc of a Fox movie. Then they will have permission to download a digital copy of the film from Fox’s website to a computer. After that they can side load the movie onto their Android device, let the entertainment begin.
Android users will be able to utilize the service in October. The first movie to get the Android treatment from Fox will be X-Men: First Class. The service will initially be available in the U.S. as well as the UK, France and Germany.
This could be a significant development for the Android platform. The Google owned OS has suffered from a lack of cutting edge movie services. Google has recently added eBooks and the new YouTube Movies for Android 2.2+ phones. These services allow books and movies to be rented directly from the market storefront.
Android also has a Netflix app, but they only recently increased its compatible list to 24 devices.
The reason that Android’s entertainment support has been lacking in comparison to the iPhone is because of the lack of playback and copy-protection tools. But, Google has bought Widevine, a rights management firm with technology that fixes those issues. Android’s expansion of their overall film libraries might let it compete with Apple’s entertainment market share.
In addition, Fox is working on a new app for smartphones and tablets that is designed for use when watching movies on the TV, improving the quality of the entertainment. Twentieth Century Fox’s senior VP Vincent Marcais told Financial Times, “Given its strong growth as a mobile operating system, the support for Android is an important move for us.”
Things are looking up for Android, but will user really want to go through so many steps just to access a movie that they already paid for?