Most apps for cable and satellite TV providers suck. They tend to completely ignore user interface standards, throw up artificial limitations, and have poor performance. DirecTV's app seems to be an interesting exception - while customers aren't without complaints, the primary Play Store listing gives it a 4.1-star rating. Today it gets a handful of improvements, making the app better in some notable ways. The update is also being applied to the tablet version of the app, which has admittedly poorer ratings.

image (1) image (2) image (3)

According to the change log, version 4.2 adds some considerable new functionality to the DIRECTV app home screen, which doubles as a remote control for a connected receiver. The servers will also remember where you left off watching a show or event on one device, which you'll be able to immediately continue on another (assuming you're using the same DIRECTV account). The player UI now features a "restart" button. Also, customers can now stream ESPN live... which apparently wasn't possible before.

In a bit of Chromecast-style functionality, users can now send an On Demand recorded stream from the television to an Android device, and vice versa. That should be handy for families where members want to watch different shows at different times. The latest reviews seem to be mixed, with a few customers saying that the app is broken on their device, but others are pleased with the update. The DIRECTV and DIRECTV tablet apps are compatible with Android 4.0 and later, and oddly don't seem to make a distinction between phones and tablets.