iOS users finally have access to Google Play Movies & TV, giving them a real alternative to Apple TV and iTunes for paid video content. The app is free from the Apple App Store, but does come with some restrictions.
The most glaring omission is the inability to purchase content through the app itself. This is a result of Apple’s App Store restrictions and can’t be avoided. You can still buy stuff through the Google Play web client, after which you can watch it from your iOS device, or stream it to your Chromecast via an iOS device.
The other restrictions are that you can only watch HD content when streaming to a Chromecast. Otherwise you’re stuck with SD if watching on and iPhone or iPad. You can also only access video content when connected to WiFi, which isn’t too big a deal and will probably save some less-attentive users big bucks on their mobile data bills.
Released from iTunes and Apple TV's grip
This news will be most warmly received by Chromecast owners who prefer iOS as their gadget of choice. Until now, the Chromecast/iOS combo has been limited to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and HBO GO.
With the addition of Google Play Movies & TV, Chromecast becomes a real competitor for Apple TV. The Chromecast unit itself is much cheaper than an Apple TV set-top box and the Play content is usually similarly-priced, if not a bit cheaper at times.
The Google Play library is comparatively-sized when compared to that of iTunes, too. Users have access to recent big titles as well as older classics.