Smartphone users just got an early holiday treat from Google.
Now, when searching for movies on their iPhones or Palm WebOS- or Android-powered devices, users can get not only theatres, showtimes, and films; they can also get trailers, ratings, and proximity-based information. This way, you can get in the car and peal out of the driveway before conducting a desktop search for movies, thus saving yourself another excruciating 5 minutes of "holiday cheer" with the family.
In a quotation-laced post on the Google Mobile blog, Google mobile UX designer Nick Fey revealed that information will be available in English only for now in the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
Users of the abovementioned devices can now go to google.com in their web browsers. After searching for the term "movies," users can then tap on the "More movies" link for a panoply of new features and aggregated data. Users can then browse through film titles or nearby theatres.
One of the most welcome features is the ability to play movie trailers in the mobile browser without having to navigate elsewhere. This eliminates the usual need for multiple browser tabs or frustrating cross-app navigation.
Here's a spiffy demo video from our friends at Google:
The new features also include ratings and categories, movie posters, and every other imaginable detail about the films listed. The information will also include upcoming showtimes for the nearest theaters, which are conveniently presented in a Google Maps interface.
"We keep information on this page succinct," said Fey, "so you can quickly browse through shows and showtimes to help you decide which movie to see. If you want more details about a specific movie, just touch the poster or movie title and you'll see our new movie details page that has a synopsis of the movie, a more detailed list of showtimes, the cast and crew, and pictures."
In a way, the features remind us a bit of SkinniPopcorn, a web and mobile app that integrates movie-related Twitter data, movie trailers, film reviews from the New York Times, and synopses. And that site is available on any mobile device with a web browser.
Still, for the map and showtime information, Google wins this round.