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Android Market Gets Books, Movies--But Still Isn't ITunes (VIDEO)

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Netflix price hike got you down? Well, perhaps this will cheer you up: movies and books are available on Android phones starting now, Google has announced.

Pricing for the movie rentals starts at $1.99, and it appears that new releases like "Sucker Punch" and "You Got Served: Beat the World" run slightly more at $3.99. The movies are connected to your Google account so that they can be watched from any device with Internet access, or they can be downloaded to the specific device that runs the Android OS. It's the same syncing story for books, as book purchases can be transferred to any phone, laptop, or tablet--perhaps to the new Google eBooks reader from Sony, which debuts July 17.

As of now, the movies section only features rentals, and not purchases like in the Apple iTunes store. When you rent most movies on Android, you'll have a 30 day "Grant Period" to start watching, and then a 24 hour "Active Period" to finish the film. Google certainly has some work to do if it wants to catch iTunes, which has had movies available for rent since 2008 and for sale since 2006, and which also features the TV episode rentals that Android still lacks as well.

The addition of movies and books to the Android Market comes paired with an update to the Market itself. Here's Google's explanation of the improvements:

We've created more space to feature some of the most interesting content of the week on the home page. We've added more top charts, with newer, more relevant items, and we've made it easy to swipe through these charts as you browse the store. We've also introduced new collections of great content, like staff picks and Editors' Choice apps.

And here's an official Google video outlining the updates and new additions to the Market:

Books and movies are available on Android 2.2 and higher immediately if you're looking to catch up on any culturally-significant reading or movie-watching (we hear there's some wizard movie coming out this weekend?). But seriously, if you're watching "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1" on your Droid, don't let David Lynch catch you. He has some rather strong feelings on the subject:

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