Thursday , April 27 2017

Foxtel’s Presto movie service comes to Android tablets; Chromecast owners get 2 months free


Foxtel pledged its Presto subscription movie service as an Australian launch partner for Chromecast, and today it’s made good on that promise with an app bringing Presto’s service to Android tablets, with Chromecast support baked-in to cast those movies to the biggest screen in the house.

Presto gives you access to a library of movies available to stream instantly at a price of $19.95/month, with a few deals going around to make your first month or two a little cheaper. You can start and stop your subscription whenever you like.

There’s a decent library of recent-ish movies on offer from all of the major studios and distributors, like current features Pain & Gain and The Wolverine. We also found Iron Man 3 and Fast & Furious 6, although some titles like Avengers and Transformers were notable by their absence.

The app itself sports an attractive, if not particularly Android-y, UI with some neat page-folding animations and it works best on tablets in landscape mode. There’s a number of interesting and amusing categories to browse (our favourites are “Bad Boys Like Fast Toys”, “Robbed! Pipped at the Best Picture Post” and “Movies of Mass Destruction”) alongside the usual genre selection. The parental controls can be set to require a pin to view content with particular classifications.

You can also see the current schedule of Foxtel’s movie channels and watch the movies on the schedule (including those yet to air) via the app.

Chromecast support works as you’d expect, allowing you to play your selected movies on your TV. You can continue to use the app as usual, while playback controls are overlaid at the bottom of the screen.

What it doesn’t do is allow you to subscribe in the app – you’ll need to go to the Presto website for that, side-stepping Google’s in-app purchase conditions.

Owners of Australian Chromecast units purchased since launch will be happy to find they’re getting a free month of service from Presto from July 1, while digital subscribers to News Corp’s “+” services can get two months of free access. If you’re using Preston on iOS you’ll find an update to the app bringing Chromecast support today, further proving the device’s cross-platform, ecosystem-agnostic appeal.

Today’s release of Presto to Android tablets marks the first of the Australian Chromecast launch apps to actually reach the market, for which Foxtel deserves some credit. It’s a welcome addition indeed, as we’re still waiting for ABC iView and Quickflix to launch their Chromecast-enabled apps.

Update Presto’s site hasn’t been updated to indicate its newfound Android availability, but their Android Launch FAQ does reveal some new details.

The recommended device list is the usual Samsung tablets (Galaxy Tabs and Galaxy Notes) but Nexus tablets can come along for the ride too – the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 are on the recommended list.

Presto has also increased the number of devices users can have on their account from three to four.

And the app has now hit Google Play! Download it below:

The app was not found in the store. 🙁

Will you be checking out Presto? Tell us in the comments!


Jason Murray   Deputy Editor

Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!

  • Wayno

    “selected Android tablets” means Samsung only. Foxtel’s “support” of Android is nothing short of disgusting. Foxtel Go still isn’t available on Android tablets (ex Samsung devices), despite being promised nearly two years ago. It is only available on a single non-Samsung Android device – the Nexus 5. If you contact them to ask when, or if you read their community support forums, you get a different answer every time, ranging from “we’re working hard to bring this to more devices” to “tough s**t, you can’t run this on your Android” (paraphrasing).

    Until they a) stop living in Samsung’s pocket and realise other devices exist and b) drop the price (more than double Netflix?), then I won’t be going anywhere near it.

    • Jason Murray

      I did note the wording, but didn’t see clarification on the devices anywhere.

      Foxtel gave us access to an early build for the article, and screenshots were taken from my Nexus 7 on which it ran fine, so I had assumed there’d be a wider compatibility gamut. Will check this out more.

      On non-Samsung devices and Foxtel in general, I think there might have been a long exclusivity window at play (the Nexus 5 came about a year after the initial release of the app for the S4), but of course nobody would confirm that. I know Foxtel has heard us all, though.

  • Joe Hanlon

    From what I can see on the Play Store, it isn’t just Samsung tablets. From the log of devices I’ve used, Presto could be installed on the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet, the Nexus 7 and the Kobo Arc 10, plus some other older models.

  • deanomalino

    Okay so if I want to take avantage of this 2 month free access promotion, I’m going to assume that you still have to put credit card details in. My question is, is it simple to just stop the subscription after the 2 months is up and remove the credit card from the account?

    That is, if I dont like the service. Finally have fast internet now so I can now properly try out one of these streaming services. 🙂

  • Rob

    Is it possible to download and view Presto Movies offline?

  • virduk

    Certainly glad to see the Chromecast support happen. Can’t really see the value proposition of the service though.

  • David Spencer-Cotton

    not sure if you can help me, but for some reason, presto is not compatible with my nexus 5. how and why ? N5 was bought from google play in aus. so y ?

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