Android TV may not have caught like wildfire, but it's still an affordable and interesting set-top box offering. If you've already bought a Nexus Player or SHIELD TV unit for example and you've been met by glares from a couple of your family members who own iPhones and iPads and can't control the darn thing with their devices, then you're in for a small surprise today.
Almost two years after it first unveiled Android TV, Google is now releasing the corresponding remote control application to the iTunes App Store. The app looks exactly like the Android app we all know and works in the same way.
One of the biggest problems with TV news is that if you're not interested in a particular story – say, sports or celebrities – you have no option but to sit through it. Haystack TV aims to solve that by turning the news into personalized streams which are curated through artificial intelligence, big data, and editorial decision-making. The idea being that if you're especially interested in finance or international affairs, you can create a TV channel just about that.
In addition to being available through the browser and as a downloadable application for most major smartphone and Internet TV platforms, it is also available for Google's nascent Android TV platform, which can be found running on the latest-and-greatest Sony Smart TVs.
It wouldn't be fair to call the Razer Forge TV a failure. No, that simply wouldn't be right. If I did that, I'd miss the opportunity to call it a half-baked, poorly-supported product that lags behind even the limited field of Android TV devices like a three-legged dog chasing a nitrous-powered mail truck. Almost a year after its US launch the set-top box is still inexplicably incompatible with Netflix, the promised PC game streaming software feature has disappeared, and even after being injected with the decrepit soul of OUYA the Forge is basically a dead platform. But there's one last thing to report on before we can finally lay it to rest: the Turret.
NVIDIA is sending out a new OTA update for the SHIELD Android TV box, and it adds at least one feature people have been anxious to get. When the latest update hits your device, you'll finally be able to use apps with a mouse cursor. There are also optimizations for new games and a number of Marshmallow bug fixes.
You can pair an Android TV box with any TV to get Google smarts in your set, but there are also a few TVs with Android TV built-in. They're usually a bit more expensive than similar TVs, but that's not the case for RCA's new Android TV 4K sets. They come in 50, 55, and 65-inch varieties, and the smallest one starts at just $499.
While it's hardly taking the world by storm, it looks like Android TV is gaining enough of a footing that there are now high-end televisions equipped with Google's entertainment OS being discounted on a regular basis. (Of course, that might simply indicate that no one is buying them. Either way, it means low prices for us.) Today's television deal comes from Sharp, and it's a big-un: the LC-70UE30U, a 70-inch, 4K smart TV. Buydig's eBay outlet has a new model on sale for $1599.99, a solid $200 off of the price for most remaining new stock.
The LC-70UE30U includes Android TV running on a quad-core processor of unknown origin (though I'm betting it's one of Qualcomm's inexpensive SoC systems).
We've been posting a lot of great deals on Sony's 2015 4K TVs the last few weeks. The only problem with those panels is that, even on sale, they start at $900. That's a healthy wad of cash to burn on a new TV, even if it is a great one.