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20th Century Fox bringing movie downloads to Android in October

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Google’s Android is getting a welcomed addition to its media offerings this Fall. Twentieth Century Fox has announced a new service that will bring Fox movie downloads to Android devices. This marks a first for film studios offering content on Android.

The service won’t exactly allow movies to be downloaded directly to phones. Customers will need to initially buy a physical Blu-ray disc of a Fox movie. Afterward, they will be allowed to download a digital Android-friendly copy of the movie from Fox’s website to a computer, which can then be side loaded onto the Android device.

Android users can expect to see the service beginning in October—Fox is starting the service off with X-Men: First Class. The download service will hit the US first along with the UK, France and Germany.

This can be significant. The Google OS has faced a severe poverty in movie services. Only recently has Google integrated eBooks and the new Youtube Movies service for all Android 2.2+ phones; services which allow books and movies to be rented directly from the market storefront. Netflix has also introduced an Android app, but only recently doubled its compatible list to 24 devices.

The reason why Android has been sulking while the iPhone basks in the convenience of the iTunes music and video store is due to the lack of playback and copy-protection technologies. However, Google has since acquired Widevine, a rights-management company with technology that addresses those issues. After taking out Symbian, Android’s growth may equip it well enough to start taking on Apple’s dominance in the field.

Fox will further be developing a new app for smartphones and tablets that will be used while watching movies on the TV, enhancing entertainment. Twentieth Century Fox’s senior VP Vincent Marcais told Financial Times, “Given its strong growth as a mobile operating system, the support for Android is an important move for us.”