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. Unfortunately, mobile access via the TV app is only available to Verizon Wireless customers - everyone else will just have to live with paying TWC alone.
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. Users can also set the service to automatically sync photos. Here's Samsung's introductory video for the product:
As great as the service looks, the tagline "PC in Mobile, Mobile in PC" is at least a little misleading - Side Sync doesn't just work with just any PC – it's only compatible Samsung PCs.
Are you tired of seeing Starz on your television screen? Do you want to watch Starz as you sit on your back porch? Wouldn't it be great to have your favorite Starz content available on the go? If you feel this way, thank your lucky Starz, because the Play Store has just been hit by a trio of video streaming apps that allow you to see Starz wherever your heart desires.
The Starz trio includes STARZ Play ...
And MOVIEPLEX Play.
As you've probably noticed, the interface is largely consistent across the three apps.
A handful of cable TV providers have been working to bolster their offerings in an effort to keep customers content. Among the top requested features is streaming of content to screens that aren't directly tied to our cable boxes, particularly tablets. We can welcome Cox Communications to the streaming club with the recent release of Cox TV Connect.
The app is intended for homes with Cox TV Essential or AdvancedTV packages, plus Cox Preferred, Premier, or Ultimate Internet service. Subscribers can stream 30+ cable and local channels (availability varies by location) to as many as 5 devices at once. An interactive guide provides access to check out the full list of channels, including those that cannot be streamed, and schedule reminders or DVR recordings.
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.
Now, the first question you may be asking yourself is: why would I want this? To answer that honestly, I really have no idea. I've had this thing for several weeks now, and I really can't find a good use for it.
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. Users will be able to stream all their subscribed channels live to the device. OnDemand content can also be called up from within the app.
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. You really have no excuse not to buy this right now. So do yourself a favor and hit the link below.
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.
As always, you'll need to already have a cable package that includes access to HBO and Cinemax channels and that includes the bundled internet channels. Of course, we can hope that HBO and Cinemax will start offering their services without a cable package but sometimes the entertainment industry just has bad ideas.
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. Unfortunately, it appears the companies are still too threatened by streaming content, and word has it that Hulu could require a paid cable TV subscription to work.
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.
Using Google TV to augment your existing cable/satellite service, you've always been able to add your favorite channels to a special tab.