RealTime IT News

Google Debuts Mobile Movie App

Google has launched a mobile version of its new movie search service for the iPhone, Palm Pre and Pixi and Android-powered smartphones.

The new mobile movie listings page now allows users to view trailers on their handsets, as well as get ratings, movie posters, upcoming show times and a list of the nearest theaters.

"We keep information on this page succinct so you can quickly browse through shows and show times to help you decide which movie to see," Nick Fey, a user experience designer with Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) mobile team, wrote in a blog post. "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 show times, the cast and crew and pictures."

If you browse by location, a map displaying the closest theaters is provided, with links that bring up movie times. Smartphone owners can also retrieve listings by searching for specific movies or theaters.

Google also just expanded its free turn-by-turn navigation mobile offering to all Android-powered phones running version 1.6, known as Donut, or higher. Previously, Google Maps Navigation was only available on the Droid smartphone, sold by Verizon, and powered by Android 2.0.

"Google Maps Navigation is an Internet-connected GPS system with voice guidance and automatic rerouting, all running on your mobile phone," Google product manager Michael Siliski wrote in a blog post. "Using Google services over your phone's data connection brings important benefits to GPS navigation users, like using Google search (typed or spoken) to enter your destination; fresh map, business, and traffic data; and satellite and Street View imagery along your route. This release also includes the new Layers feature, which lets you overlay geographical information on the map. View My Maps, transit lines, Wikipedia articles about places and more."

Google's mobile moves come on the heels of a series of recent acquisitions and new releases in the mobile app front.

Most recently, Google announced tthe purchase of Teracent to strengthen its position in display advertising, and the company is in the process of acquiring mobile ad firm AdMob.

In the mobile arena, Google continues to roll out mini-applications for all the major operating systems, including those for BlackBerrys, iPhones and Palm's Pixi and Pre, as it simultaneously bolsters apps for its own Android OS.