It seems awfully strange that services like Hulu and the various TV apps require you to pay or log in to access content, especially when that content originally aired for free on terrestrial television. They broadcast the shows with ads in the first place, and they're making money on the ads embedded in the streaming video too, so why put up any barrier to entry and lower your potential revenue? CBS, the self-styled "Most-Watched Network in America," takes this one step further with a full, Netflix-style paid service just for its shows. It's called CBS All Access, and it costs $5.99 a month. Read More
When Amazon announced Underground, the remodeled Appstore that features the ability to play paid and freemium games (as well as other apps) for free, I immediately raised the question of how they planned to make money on this venture. Users obviously benefited by getting free stuff and certain developers would make more money since Amazon compensates them on a per-minutes-used basis. But where was the cash flow to Amazon?
A deeper dive into their developer documentation gives a clue. The following comes under a heading labeled "Interstitial Advertisements":
When a user launches an Amazon Underground app for the first time, a welcome message in the form of an interstitial ad plays.
Spotify Running has been available for quite some time now, first on iOS, but also for Android users who signed up for beta updates. These folks got to try things out back in June. Now Spotify has officially announced the feature's availability for regular premium subscribers with Android devices.
This makes Android's launch a full four months after Spotify Running came to Apple's mobile platform. As for whether this was a long wait, well, we've certainly seen longer.
Spotify Running prompts you to select a tempo when you start running. It will try to provide music that matches your adrenaline level and music preferences at the same time. Read More
Are you ready to play Electronic Arts' latest $60 roster update? Well hold your horses, because NBA Live 16 doesn't come out for another couple of weeks. But if you're just desperate to try it out in a sort of roundabout way, you can download the official companion app on the Play Store. Well, I say "companion app," but it doesn't have any of the management or social features you might expect from similar game-augmenting apps. Nope, the only thing it does is stick your face in the game.
In and of itself, the "GameFaceHD" feature is actually pretty cool. Not original or unique (the Game Boy Camera was doing this almost 20 years ago), but cool. Read More
New smart watches are finally just around the corner, so now is the time to reacquaint yourself with what's available in the Play Store for Android Wear. There's a lot of new stuff this time, including some cool interactive watch faces for the latest Wear update. Okay, it's actually almost all watch faces this time. Developers are really into this interactive watch face thing. Grab your watch and get ready to stylize like never before. Read More
On the last episode of Android Police Teardowns, Google's plans for Smart Burst were revealed. Soon, Creations are going to become an innate part of the Camera app, giving users their own collages, animations, group pictures with the best possible smiles, and even pictures styled as if they were taken in a photo booth. Many questions remain. Will Google finally make the most out of the Camera 2 API? Will there be slow motion and HDR modes? And will readers get that this intro is just a goofy bit modeled after old TV shows that awkwardly explain the whole previous episode in 30 seconds before continuing with the story? Read More
You can't gift people apps, books, or albums from the Play Store―but with Google Play gift cards, you can effectively do the same thing. But first, there's the little technicality of where you live. Depending on which country you call home, those little plastic rectangles aren't yet available.
Google announced back in June that gift cards were on their way to India. Now it appears to be fulfilling that promise. Read More
For the past two years, the Ultimate Ears BOOM has been, in my opinion, the benchmark Bluetooth speaker. It was the first one to come out that really and truly changed the way I personally thought about BT speakers, because it was the first one that didn't sound like a tiny, ultra-portable speaker. Since then, we've seen a lot of really nice speakers step the game up, but despite being two years old, the BOOM has been able to hold its own against basically all of them.
Today, UE announced the successor to the BOOM, the BOOM 2. Naturally, this builds on what UE started with the BOOM and makes it better. Read More
Does Google Play Music All Access not quench your thirst for music streaming and random audio discoveries? Do you fail to see the appeal behind Spotify's playlists? Then maybe you use Pandora as your audio station and let it curate music just the way you like it... except when you don't and can't skip that horrible tune it just threw in your ears because you've already used your skips for the day.
Your solution is a Pandora One subscription, a $4.99/month subscription that gives you more daily skips and lesser timeouts, while also removing ads. But if $4.99 is too much to pay, or if you're already a Pandora One subscriber and want to save a bit, there's a sweet little deal over on StackSocial that you may be interested in. Read More
Remember when HTC had its Hot Deals discounts in July and everyone tried to grab a Nexus 9 for 40% off? Well, the deal is back and you better hurry because the stocks seem to be depleting as I type this. Right now, only one color of each 16GB (black) and 32GB (white) Nexus 9 remains available, while the other is gone, gone, gone. If you're too lazy to do the math, you're looking at paying $239.40 instead of $399 for the 16GB, and $287.40 instead of $479 for the 32GB. At those prices, the tablet's flaws sort of disappear from the equation. Read More