The set-top box market has basically exploded over the past couple of years, with companies like Google, Roku, and Amazon leading the way. The good news is that there's no indication it's going to slow any time soon; in fact, it keeps getting better. Amazon's Fire TV stick is the perfect example of that – it's essentially a Fire TV crammed into an HDMI stick, but at a fraction of the price.
Ever since the death of Google Reader (RIP, old friend), I've been using Feedly for all of my RSS/news aggregation needs. It started off as a viable alternative to Reader, and did an excellent job of mending the pieces of my broken heart during that transitional phase in my life. Honestly, Feedly was there for me when I needed it most. Thanks for being a great friend, Feedly.
Since then, I've watched Feedly grow into something more powerful than Reader ever was.
So you got that fancy Sonos speaker (or several ones) and you're annoyed that it only streams music via Wi-Fi from your Android device through the Sonos or Google Play Music apps? Cheaper (much cheaper actually) Bluetooth speakers would allow you to play any audio from any app on them, and Macronos unlocks that same functionality on the Sonos.
The app, which has been available for a while, but only came to our attention recently, serves mostly as a Sonos macro creator — something like a shortcut to play this playlist on this speaker at this volume, while lowering that speaker to that volume.
The YouTube update on Friday brought a generally well-received redesign, incorporating the Material theme and a whole lot of red. The app didn't just receive a visual refresh, it also gained much needed functionality in the form of search filters. These changes are certainly enough to justify a major version bump, but those weren't the only noteworthy things to turn up in this version. Here's a hint: we can look forward to much more music on our YouTube videos in the future.
One of today's Amazon Gold Box deals is on the second generation Motorola Moto G, arguably the best budget device on the market. For December 9th only and as long as supplies last, the price on the Moto G US and International versions in both black and white is reduced $30, down to $149.99.
If I had to buy an off-contract phone right now, it would probably be this one.
Avid readers on Android have some exciting new toys to look forward to in the latest version of Amazon Kindle. Update 4.8 adds some significant features to an already-packed app, specifically linked to in-book search. "X-Ray" is a proprietary system that downloads a pre-configured, collated file that includes information about the book itself, the characters, the setting, and the context of basically everything. For complex fiction, non-fiction, or textbooks, it's an amazing system previously reserved for the Kindle e-readers and tablets.
It's been a long and winding road to find the truth behind the recent announcement that Cyanogen Inc. had signed an exclusive deal with Micromax in India. OnePlus made waves when it said that meant there would be no CM updates for the OnePlus One sold in India, but Cyanogen Inc. made a blog post saying all global devices would get updates, and all was well. Except it isn't. A new post on the Cyanogen blog expands on the situation.
There's an elite club among Android apps: those chosen few that have been consumed by enough people to surpass the 1 billion installs mark. Most of the names found on this list come from Mountain View. Gmail was the first to cross the threshold (discounting Google Play services, which comes pre-installed on every Android device with access to the Play Store), followed by Maps and YouTube. Facebook has also passed the milestone, though I'm not sure how many of our readers are particularly happy about that one.