Google Play video now works on Chromebooks and Chromeboxes

Google’s latest software update for ChromeOS devices, such as Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, improved the user experience with interface tweaks and a few new functions. Google(s goog) outlined all of the changes in a blog post announcing the update, but I’ve found a key one that isn’t mentioned: Support for watching television shows and movies from the Google Play store.

Last month, my Chromebook lost a little lustre when I tried to watch a television series I had purchased from Google on my Chromebook. At the time, Google said Chromebooks weren’t supported, although most people wouldn’t likely know that prior to purchasing the content. It wasn’t until after I tried to view my purchased media that I saw an error message and found a support page showing the limitation.

At the time, I thought it was ridiculous: Why is Google selling content that can’t be viewed on devices that run Google’s own ChromeOS, especially when the videos are served up by YouTube?┬áThe problem is gone now, however, although Google’s help page still says ChromeOS devices aren’t supported.

As I was using my Chromebook after receiving the latest software update, I tried watching a Falling Skies television episode since I missed both seasons on cable. And this time, I was successful! Before the software update, I was forced to watch the show on a smaller Android tablet; fine in a pinch, but I wanted the larger display on my Chromebook for viewing.

Google Play video on a Chromebook

Those that follow the Dev and Beta channels of the ChromeOS won’t be surprised by this fix as it was implemented in prior versions leading up to the current Stable update. But the target mainstream audience of ChromeOS customers aren’t likely in that loop, so it surprises me that Google didn’t announce this support in conjunction with the software update. Regardless, I’m just happy that it works. Of course, I had already plowed through both Falling Skies seasons on my Nexus 7, so now I need something else to watch!

On a final note: I tested to see if I could start watching a video on my tablet and then pick up where I left off on the Chromebook. No such luck, so I hope Google is working on that as a future feature for the ChromeOS.