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Google launches movie rentals, confirms Honeycomb for Google TV

Google has confirmed that the new version of its tablet operating system, Honeycomb 3.1, will be adopted for the next version of the Google TV platform, and has announced that it will launch a movie rental service via the Android Market.

The movie rental service will make movies available, initially in the US, to download via smartphones, tablets and PCs. The service will be available on the Android Market website, with titles available from US$1.99 (€1.38), available for 30 days for viewing over a 24-hour period. New releases are priced at US$3.99.

The movie rental service launch follows Google’s launch of a premium movie service on YouTube.

The Honeycomb announcement, also announced during the current Google I/O conference in San Francisco, will mean that Google’s table and TV platform will be tied together, allowing the launch of the Android Market on the Google TV platform. Google said that Samsung, Logitech and Sony would launch new Google TV devices in the coming months, but that all legacy devices in the market would also be supported.
The new version of Honeycomb, which includes resizable widgets and USB host and accessory support, is being rolled out initially to Android-based tablets including Motorola’s Xoom on the Verizon network in the US. 

Google has also announced that it will unify its smartphone and tablet operating systems in the future, with the launch of a new release of its platform dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich. One of the goals of this project is to create a device-independent application developer environment.