Android users in the United States can now rent movies from the Android Market with Google serving-up a big-time rival to iTunes Movie Rentals.

Google today announced the Android movie rentals service with thousands of films available to download from smartphones, tablets and PCs.

The service is now live on the Android Market website, while phones packing Android 2.2 will get an updated movies app in the weeks to come. For Honeycomb users it'll arrive with Android 3.1.

The 3.1 upgrade will also mean that movie rentals will be available on Apple TV boxes, as Google today promised to bring the OS to its set-top boxes and connected sets.

Just like its Apple predecessor, rentals will cost from $1.99 and will be available for 30 days. If you start watching, you'll have 24 hours once to finish.

New releases will cost £3.99, while HD titles, although few and far between, will cost $4.99, again mirroring what iTunes charges.

Pinning

All of the top new titles are available too, with the Market webstore showing The King's Speech, the new Harry Potter film and The American among the top titles.

The service will operate via the traditional streaming means, but will also showcase a new feature calling "Pinning" which will start downloading the movie to enable you to watch it offline.

While this, and the Music Beta, announcement is great news for Android users across the pond, we can't get too excited until it lands here in Blighty. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long.