We've looked at a wide variety of accessories over the past couple of years: cases, cradles, headphones, speakers, etc., but I'm not quite sure we've ever seen a product like Une Bobine. In a nutshell, it's a microUSB cable. But it's not your average USB cable - it's an adjustable, bendable, flexible USB cable that can be used to hold your phone – a dock and cable in one, if you will.
Cablevision might not cover the largest geographic area, but it's actually the 8th largest cable company by number of subscribers. Those lucky enough to have Cablevision TV piped into their homes have a new app to play with today. The Optimum app lets you stream TV and control your DVR right from the device. Of course, you need a compatible phone and those are apparently hard to come by.
The video streaming feature is remarkably open.
On devices without a full-size USB port (read: most), using external USB peripherals - like keyboards, mice, game controllers, etc. - is basically a non-experience. In order to use said accessories, you need an OTG cable, which essentially converts the microUSB port of a device into a full-size port.
Right now, you can get one such cable from Amazon for $0.83. Yes, eighty-three cents. That's crazy cheap. Not only is this cable useful and affordable, but the shipping's free, too.
If you're among the minority of users who own an Ice Cream Sandwich device and have a cable subscription that includes access to the HBO/MAX GO services, you can now access your mobile video service on your device. HBO already has an impressive library of shows available on GO, including Game of Thrones and the Sopranos, and MAX GO is the companion Cinemax service that offers 400+ movies for instant streaming.
To the more budget minded, services like Hulu are a godsend; for a fraction of the cost of Cable TV, you can get a large chunk of the content. The deal isn't great for everyone, though, since it cuts into cable providers and networks' huge profits (instead, they just get... normal profits). Clearly this is a serious problem, and it's been speculated that it's probably the main reason companies like Comcast have instituted bandwidth caps on their internet service - so as to curb enthusiasm for streaming services in favor of their own (more expensive) in-house offerings.
Google TV still exists. It's important to be reminded once in a while because, while Google TV promised to be our deliverer from the evil world of crappy cable box interfaces, so far the company has yet to deliver. Today's update to the TV & Movies app, though, is a step in the right direction. For starters, Google has finally done what we've all wanted since there were more than three channels: now you can see what shows are on just your favorite channels on a single screen.
So, here's a bit of good news for Time Warner customers: the company just updated its Android app with support for streaming TV on Android 4.0 devices. Fantastic right? Yeah... no. There's a catch: it won't work for rooted users. Boo, Time Warner!
Of course, TW isn't the first company to shun rooted users when it comes to streaming media: Google itself did the same thing with Play Movies back when it first launched the service (long before it was called "Play Movies").
Likely not wanting to get left behind by the likes of Comcast, whose XFINITY for Android app has been quite well-received, Time Warner Cable is preparing to release a comparable remote control app for its cable subscribers at the end of November.
The app will incorporate full set-top box remote control functionality, access to the DVR interface, and an in-app 7-day programming guide.
The app is being developed for Honeycomb tablets (the test device looks to be a Galaxy Tab 8.9 or 10.1), and TWC has indicated that it's possible the release could be pushed back a little beyond November because of a heavy product release schedule this season.
Do you have Comcast XFINITY cable? If not, this app may have you considering a switch of providers. The Comcast XFINITY TV app has been around for a while, but a lack of Gingerbread and Honeycomb compatibility has left many users frustrated - and drooling. Why? Because this app is awesome. Take a look at these Honeycomb screenshots taken from a XOOM:
Sorry to take up a big piece of your screen real estate, but those images need to be seen full-size to really appreciate the layout.
Looks like Google is hitting roadblocks at every turn with their eponymous TV hardware - which is really a shame, given just how much potential it seems to have. A few weeks ago, the major networks decided to start blocking Google TVs from accessing their content, whether it was via their proprietary feeds (i.e. ABC.com) or directly through Hulu. Just about the only method of streaming left was Fancast (which actually backdoors content from Hulu).