Updated 12/14 by William Devereux.
Google announced on its mobile blog on Friday that it has added movie listings to its mobile search. This is yet another example of Google attempting to catch up with Windows Phone, the underdog that has had this feature for more than a year.
Using any smartphone, open up Google.com and type in “movies,” the name of a movie, or your favorite theater + city i.e. “Regal San Diego” or “Century Sacramento.” You will be presented with a screen (seen above) with information about films playing nearby. From this results page you can swipe left and right to browse through the movies. As you swipe, extra details for whatever movie is above the arrow on the left of the screen will show up in the box below.
From that box you can select a show time to purchase tickets through Fandango or click on a theater name to bring up an enhanced Google Places page. This page has a map for the theater, the theater’s phone number, and information for currently playing movies. On a side note, I have encountered a number of errors trying to get to Fandango from this page.
Alternatively, you can click on the name of the movie and you will be taken to a similar Places-style page with details for that movie. Lastly, you can click directly on any poster with a play button and it will take you to the YouTube trailer for that movie.
I am a big fan of this new search feature from Google, but it is pretty buggy on my Android Gingerbread phone. With any luck, Google will be able to iron out the kinks in the near future. The update certainly isn’t revolutionary–Windows Phone has had these features since it launched last fall–but it does allow Android users to search for films without the assistance of a dedicated app… until it’s time to buy the tickets, that is.