Earlier today, Comcast dropped its 2nd mobile app for Android into the Android Market, the direction of which puzzled even me - and I work for a Comcast-owned company. The new app, XFINITY TV, is clearly targeted at TV viewers, while the previous app called XFINITY Mobile was a more general application for address book management, SmartZone email, Digital Voice, and... TV, DVR, and On Demand.
Wait, what? Did Comcast just release a separate app that does pretty much the same thing its existing app that's been on the Market for a few months does plus a tiny bit more? Let's see - both apps let you:
- browse local TV listings
- schedule DVR recordings and
- fiddle with On Demand
The only things the new XFINITY TV app has that the previous app doesn't have seem to be:
- changing channels on your TV (forgot your remote?)
- *maybe* throw up On Demand content directly onto your TV from your phone (not sure - haven't tried this yet, but the description seems to imply so)
That is pretty much it. While it's nice that I'm now able to control my TV with yet another gadget, it is mind-boggling why Comcast would release a whole separate app that crosses paths with its existing app in so many ways.
However, if you, like me, don't care for all the email/voicemail/address book nonsense and just want to interface with your Comcast-powered TV better, then the new TV app is for you.
Note: There is an astounding amount of restrictions. For example:
- not all set-top boxes are compatible
- the app won't work in all areas
- Android 2.1 and 2.2 only, not 2.3 yet (sorry, Nexus S owners)
- not all devices are supported, specifically devices with a smaller than 16MB memory limit for applications (sorry, HTC Aria owners)
- tablets are not supported, though the app will probably work just fine (but may look bad)
Still with me? Then hit up the download links below.