I've wanted HBO for a while now, but I haven't desired it strongly enough to subscribe to an expensive cable plan and put up with an ugly box under my TV. I'm a young twenty-something that has cut the cord with no desire to get tethered down to such a dated system, and since I refuse to pirate content, I've opted to miss out on some great shows. I would love to give HBO my money, if only they would let me.
I don't think anyone has ever accused cable companies of having the best aesthetic sensibilities, but DISH Network's former Android streaming app was a particularly good example of how not to do it. It was a lazy port of the iPhone version, and it showed, covering the basic streaming and scheduling with the bare minimum of effort. The new version... well, I'd be lying if I said it was great, but at least it gets a facelift and a proper tablet interface.
Another week, another cable channel with its own app, but this one will be particularly welcome for sports fans. Fox is now ready to broadcast its cable sports content to subscribers via the Fox Sports GO app, offering a live feed of available games and various talking head sports shows. Oddly this app shows up as a "version 2.0" release - Fox may have been testing it internally, since the Wikipedia page says that the Android version is still forthcoming.
Verizon is upping the number of channels FiOS subscribers can watch when they're away from home. With 16 additional options - reaching a total of 25 - there's a better chance mobile TV watchers will be able to find something on that they actually want to watch. Naturally, the number of options isn't exhaustive, but the new crop contains heavy hitters including Showtime and Starz.
- beIN SPORT
- beIN SPORT Espanol
- Bloomberg TV
- Cine Sony Television
- Cooking Channel
- NFL RedZone (tablet only)
- SHOWTIME EXTREME
- Sony Movie Channel
- Trinity Broadcast
- Universal Sports
- TVGN (TV Guide Network)
FiOS customers can stream far more channels in the comfort of their own home, with everyone having access to 91 channels.
Showtime Anytime is how people with an appropriate cable subscription can peruse the channel's content on their phone or tablet. Unfortunately, the app doesn't work on just any internet connection. Your provider has to make the list, and starting today a couple more have joined the ranks. Now people who rely on Time Warner Cable or Bright House Networks to get online can take advantage of Showtime's Android app.
In addition to support for new ISPs, the new update also lets users remain signed in for longer.
When it comes to cable, there's a lot not to like. The monthly bill continues to go up, and no matter how many channels you add, there's still never anything good on to watch. This somehow manages to be the case even while many shows are still exclusively available on cable. Yet as frustrating as the major providers may be, there is one trend that I can readily get behind, and that's the addition of Android apps meant to supplement their traditional service.
As more and more people adopt smartphones, and as these devices get increasingly powerful, the amount of time the world's population spends recharging devices grows exponentially. We've seen multiple ways of addressing this problem, ranging from wireless charging to solar-powered battery packs and even a Kickstarter project that empowers people to recharge handsets by walking. JUICIES+ doesn't seek to reinvent the wheel. Instead, the campaign just wants to give our cables the same premium look and feel of the phones they power.
DISH Network may be hard at work trying to woo Sprint away from the clutches of SoftBank, but in the meantime, they've got a few million TV customers to satisfy. The DISH Anywhere app left a lot to be desired when it debuted, but version 2 adds much-needed features like access to the company's growing library of on-demand content. Of course, most of the on-demand content comes from HBO, Cinemax and the like, and if you're paying for them, you've already got access to the (usually better) dedicated streaming apps.
It seems like every cable and satellite operator is in a hurry to provide a second screen app for tablets and phones. And they all seem to have something in common: either they don't offer live streaming, or they do, and the service is rather arbitrarily restricted to use on a home Internet connection. Time Warner Cable's TWC TV app for Android was just updated to get around this restriction... at least in some cases.
Samsung has just announced details of a new syncing/file management tool called Side Sync, which it mentioned last month alongside new ATIV PC branding.
The basic idea behind the app is easy, painless file and information transfer from PC to mobile and vice versa. This is accomplished using a dock that plugs into your PC's USB port. Once hooked up, you can share your mouse and keyboard with your Samsung phone, dragging and dropping files, and copying and pasting information as you please.