Twilight aims to make your phone screen less damaging to your sleep cycle, operating on the idea that blue-shifted light screws up your circadian rhythms. There's some evidence behind this, but you could only put it to the test on your phone. Now you can take advantage of the sleep-friendly screen Twilight filters on your watch and TV as well. Read More
I consider myself quite lucky to be able to make a living writing things on the internet because it gives me an outlet for my natural geekery. Even if I had never started crafting snarky blog posts on a daily basis, I suspect many of the things on this list would still be in my office (I guess then I'd call it something else). However, in this version of reality, I'm a professional nerd, and these are the things that I use every day. Read More
You would think that a streaming video app for a TV channel would support Google's TV platform, but before today you'd be mistaken in the case of Showtime Anytime. There is finally a version of the app with Android TV support. Read More
Casting audio, video, pictures, and more from your smartphone or tablet to the TV is one of the easiest ways to get content from the little screen to the big screen, but it requires an app that supports the feature in the first place. For example, try using Adobe Reader or Google Docs to cast a PDF to the TV. You're out of luck.
Thankfully, enterprising developers like Stefan Pledl—the creator of LocalCast—have been able to whip up some really nice looking solutions that allow users to cast almost any consumable content to the big screen.
Android's Smart Lock is a great way to save a little hassle when users are around familiar locations or connected devices. The default system version of the feature skips the lockscreen when the phone or tablet detects that it's in a safe location, and last year Google did much the same thing for apps, essentially turning Smart Lock into a password manager for supported applications. While Netflix has supported this feature for months on its standard Android app, the latest update to the Android TV version brings it in line.
To see Smart Lock in action, make sure that you already have your Netflix username and password saved in Smart Lock on a phone or tablet - if it's been a while, you may need to log out on your phone, then log back in and enable the Smart Lock feature when it appears. Read More
The ADT-1 was never released to the public, but handed out to developers after Google I/O 2014 as a test device for the new Android TV platform. It didn't get much attention from Google past Android 5.0.2, which was its last official update. However, developers are an unrelenting bunch and if they have an Android device lying around, you'd bet that they'll try to cook up ROMs for it as long as that's remotely feasible. (Exhibit A.)
So a few XDA members were tired of seeing the ADT-1 get shunned from OTA updates and decided to take care of the situation. Read More
The saga of OUYA is a cautionary tale of how hard it is to build a new gaming platform. After an initial crowdfunding success, OUYA had trouble attracting developers and keeping gamers interested. The company was gobbled up by gaming giant Razer earlier this year, and now the OUYA store is back as Cortex for the Android TV-powered Forge TV. Read More
Android TV is getting some serious attention this week with updates to just about all of the Google apps, including a few that most of us never hear about. An update to YouTube's set-top variant just came out with a few subtle changes. The latest release fills out the interface a bit to make channel subscriptions slightly easier. There are also some new shortcuts and reorganization for Settings, including a toggle to enable Stats for Nerds mode. And YouTube Red subscribers will finally see a visual change when their subscription status is recognized.
Home screen – Left: old version. Right: new version. Read More
Out with the old and in with the new. That's just about the best way to describe the latest update to the Google app for Android TV. Version 2.0 doesn't seem to bring much in the way of features, but what it lacks in functional changes is more than made up for with visuals. Basically everything having to do with a search interface looks at least a little different, if not completely. If you're eager to try it out for yourself, there's an APK Mirror link at the bottom. Otherwise, take a gander at a few screenshots below.
New microphone – Left: old version, Right: new version. Read More
Google seems to be doing a lot of tinkering on the basic interfaces of Android TV, if only because the company's experience with television UIs is less extensive than it is on smartphones and tablets. Yesterday an update to the "leanback" launcher (Android TV's default home screen) added the ability for users to manually rearrange app icons. Today the Android TV version of the Play Store gets a slight adjustment as well: the "update all" button is back, baby.
If you'll recall, the last major update (from just over a month ago) gave the entire store interface a new look. Read More