Google recently upgraded its movie search capabilities for Android smartphones and Apple iOS devices, making movie discovery along with their showtimes and theaters faster and easier to find.
If only there were any decent movies out there to see as we speed toward Christmas ... but that's another matter entirely.
Anyway, instead of basic movie listings, when users search for films on Google.com from their smartphone browser, they'll encounter a swipeable ribbon atop relevant movie information.
Each movie will display the the movie poster, a short summary, ratings, and the nearest theaters and showtimes. Like so:
When a user comes across an interesting flick, he or she can simply tap the movie title to find details on the cast, along with a full summary. Some movie posters will be adorned with "play" buttons, which users can tap to see trailers.
Even better, users can buy tickets from their phone by tapping the underlined showtimes, which whisks them away to Fandango.
What's extremely useful is that the information instantly updates as users slide through the movie posters, so there's no latency from waiting for page loads or refreshes. I just tried this on my Motorola Droid X, and it's super handy and fast, even on a 3G phone.
Funny how this blog post on the feature update focuses on phones, but it occurred to me that these swipeable and playable movie posters lend themselves best to Android tablets and the iPad. Right?
I mean, when you want to incorporate that kind of media, it's best to go bigger -- on a 7- to 10-inch tablet screen.
Anyway, it's good to see the little, albeit important search niches, such as movies, get the breezier treatment from Google once in a while.