Android TV still has some growing up to do, but the SHIELD is by far the best piece of hardware to run Google's new living room software. This device was conspicuously absent from the Google Store, but that changes today in the US. It still costs the same $199 for 16GB and $299 for 500GB.
When Android TV launched, it did so to an attitude that, at best, could be described as lukewarm. Google has attempted to corner the living room for years now, and its most successful attempt - the Chromecast - has essentially undercut Google's own more ambitious TV products.
Google TV never really had a chance - it was slow, the hardware was never particularly powerful, and the remotes were a nightmare. Google eventually let GTV die by slowly letting it fade into uselessness piece by piece.
Chromecast actually launched before Google TV was really "dead" in any official sense, and its success was immediate.
Okay, TV viewers. If you like watching overly muscle-y men and women wear skimpy clothing and ridiculous outfits while they fondle each other angrily, listen up. The WWE Network app is now out for Android TV.
This Android app lets you view all of the programming you would expect from the network. This means live feeds and on-demand content, including the substantial archive of angry flesh-on-flesh action from decades of WWE, ECW, and WCW. You also get access to all pay-per-views as they happen. Then there's the behind the scenes footage that fleshes out just who these deep, complex actors really are—or kind of are.
Do you have a Chromecast or an Android TV device? Then open up Chrome on your desktop, make sure that you've got the Chromecast extension installed, go to this website, click "redeem all offers," then click the Google Play offer in the upper-left corner. You'll get a free movie rental voucher on your account, which can be applied when you checkout any movie on the Play Store. HD movies are valid as well. Even though the freebie is specifically to promote the Chromecast's second birthday, connecting to an Android TV box will get you the credit too.
This offer is valid in the United States and a few other countries (commenters mentioned Germany, Australia, and France) but doesn't appear to be a worldwide promotion.
Most games that deal with warfare are centered on soldiers and shooting at things, but This War of Mine (from 11bit Studios, maker of the Anomaly games) is a very different experience. This survival-strategy game follows the regular people caught up in the violence and hardship of war. Can you survive, and what sort of decisions will you have to make in the process?
There are only a few people who have the original ADT-1 Android TV device - those who attended Google I/O 2014, or those who got lucky on eBay and bought one of them from attendees. That being said, the owners of the Tegra-powered set-top box are probably among the most dedicated of Android fans, being either developers willing to travel to Google's extremely limited and expensive conference or regular users willing to spend a ton of money on the aftermarket for a pre-release device.
Those people now have an easier method of flashing custom ROMs and other modifications to the ADT-1.
There's a new update in the Play Store for the popular shooter Overkill 3, and it's a big one. If you haven't given this game a shot (heh) in a while, now might be the time to dive in again. There are some new game modes and support for Google's Android TV boxes.
Look, I've got nothing against the pixelated graphical style, sometimes erroneously referred to as "8-bit." But for the last few years it's often been used as a crutch for developers who can't be bothered to make truly good 2D graphics. That doesn't apply to Sword of Xolan, the latest game from developer Alper Sarikaya of Manuganu fame. The environments, enemies, and main character have enough definition that you can actually see what's happening on screen, and the excellent animations make the world come to life in ways that developers could only dream of back in the old SNES days.
Aside from being a visual treat, Sword of Xolan is a joy to play.
You can buy 4K TVs for an almost reasonable price these days, but that's not true for Sony's new 4K TVs. These sets run Android TV and are razor thin at just 0.2-inches. However, they start at $2500 for a 55-inch set. They are now listed on Amazon and Best Buy, with pre-orders live on the former.
These are LED-lit LCD televisions with a resolution of 3840x2160. Of course, the thin design is one of the selling points. Oh, and they support 3D viewing too (apparently that's still a thing). The 55-inch model is $2500 and the 65-inch is $4000.