Google Play Movies update inches closer towards shared family library

It may not be long before you can open up your purchased TV shows and movies to a select group of friends or family members.

google play movies
Credit: Derek Walter

The Google Play Movies app is the first in the family to get one of those snazzy new icons

But that’s not all that’s tucked inside the latest update, as there are even more indications that Google will launch some type of shared family plan soon to allow streaming content from a shared library. This has been in the works for a while, and the upcoming Google I/O in May could be a good time to announce it.

According to an APK teardown by Android Police, more details emerged from the code inside the version 3.13 update. There’s a ban on simultaneous playback, which means that two family members can’t stream the same TV show or movie from multiple devices. This likely has to do with licensing rules from the content providers, which usually lean toward the restrictive side.

The other reveal is some type of trigger to stop playback if “too many shared videos are playing at the same time.” This sounds like a method to prevent piracy if a large number of people are logged into the family account and streaming from the library. 

For now you’ll just have to be content with that new icon and the usual performance improvements, which can be found in the update through the Google Play Store or APK Mirror.

The story behind the story: Google already has a family plan for its Play Music platform, which allows six individuals to access the full gamut of streaming services for $15 per month. You also get YouTube Red, which includes original content and nixes advertisements with most videos. But a shared platform for TV/movie content would be a nice addition, as well as one for Play Store app purchases. Google needs this to offer an easier sharing method, one that Apple employs with its Family Sharing.

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