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Google has added offline playback support to its Google Play Movies and TV iOS app, reports The Next Web. The search giant had released the iOS app back in January this year, but unlike the Android version it did not come with offline playback. However, users still won’t be able to buy or rent movies directly from the iOS app. This was an expected move from Google since Apple keeps a 30% cut on all purchases made through its platform.

In June this year, Google had updated its Google Play Movies and TV app on Chromebooks to support an offline mode as well. The company claims its app can currently stream content from a variety of Android-based smartphones, tablets, game consoles, set top boxes, HDTV with devices such as Chromecast and desktop devices using a browser.

YouTube movies: Interestingly, Google also runs YouTube Movies, which lets users watch movies for free, rent them or purchase them at prices mirrored from Google Play. Both the apps show purchases from the other, making one wonder why Google needs multiple movie rental platforms? Given that both platforms have similar listings, same prices and are inter compatible, it only seems a matter of time before the company merges them into one. Neither of the Google services offer blanket subscriptions though, which can make watching multiple movies a month an expensive prospective. The company had rolled out its YouTube rentals to India in March last year.

Competition

– Online video streaming service Spuul.com had introduced an offline sync feature that allowed paid subscribers to download movies for offline viewing, last year in October. Last month, the company extended this offline sync feature to free users of its Android app as well.

– Reliance Entertainment-owned video streaming service BigFlix.com had re-introduced its movie download service last year. It allowed BigFlix subscribers to download movies from the platform and watch them offline. At the time the company had claimed that it had 100,000 subscribers.

– In August 2013, online music streaming service Saavn announced plans to digitize around 60,000 Bollywood movies and make them available on its platform by 2015-16.

– In June this year, Humgama had rebranded its paid subscription service on its music and video streaming app, as a PRO service, adding an offline mode for an unlimited download of videos and songs for offline viewing.

– Earlier this month, Pritish Nandy Communications revealed that it would be launching a service similar to Netflix and Hulu.com in India called Ogle by the end of this year. Ogle had launched a pre-registration drive last month, which got over on August 31. Pre-registered users seem to have been provided a peek into the service, as is expressed by some users on Twitter. The Ogle website claims that pre-registrations will begin once again on October 1.