It may be taking longer than many potential customers would like, but Google is still working on bringing its goods and services to interested parties around the world. Today, those in New Zealand and Taiwan will be happy to find that the Play Store now has a "Devices" section in their countries.
For now, it seems that only the Nexus 9 and the Chromecast are available in these two countries, but this is still a promising development.
Thanks for the screenshots, Shaun!
If you're in New Zealand or Taiwan and haven't already got your hands on Google's latest tablet or trusty media streamer, head over to the Play Store and go wild. Read More
If you're one of the few people in the US who wants a Chromecast for your living room and doesn't yet have one, you might want to check out this Best Buy sale. The already inexpensive dongle has been reduced to $29.99 ($5 off), and it comes with $20 of free Google Play Store credit. Assuming you'll eventually spend twenty bones on the Play Store (and I should hope any regular AP reader would), the effective price is a cool ten bucks.
The offer is in addition to Google's standard Chromecast promotional package, which currently includes 90 days of Google Play Music All Access, two months of Hulu Plus, a free copy of the original X-Men from Google Play, three months of DramaFever (an international soap opera app), and a free trial of EPIX. Read More
That cool little HDMI stick that Google released more than a year ago got more useful and more awesome when the Cast API became available for developers. And while there are now hundreds of apps with Chromecast support on the Play Store, Google keeps a small curated list of some of them, kind of like a featured selection. Every now and then new entrants are let into this special club, and the latest addition is a trio of interesting apps: musiXmatch, Lyve, and Fitnet.
musiXmatch is the lyrics buddy to every song you listen to on your phone. Whether you're playing the songs through the app itself or through Play Music, Spotify, Rhapsody, rdio, or Deezer, musiXmatch will go grab the corresponding lyrics and float them on top of your screen, then scroll them in time with the music. Read More
Google Maps is one of those apps that will always have an enormous number of potential new features, so it's interesting to see the things Google is focusing on with each new release. We just saw an update to v9.2 with new navigation settings and auto-correct for searches, but there are plenty of other really interesting additions in the works. Let's take a look at some of the features we might have to look forward to. It's time for a teardown.
: Teardowns are, by their nature, speculative and based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
At long last, Chromecast has a functional guest mode. While it presumably has something to do with the update to the Chromecast app that rolled out earlier Wednesday, the change did not appear immediately afterwards. Google apparently flipped a switch on the server side, and suddenly anyone with an up-to-date app can cast to a TV without being on the same Wi-Fi network. We've been waiting for this feature to roll out since it was announced way back in June at Google I/O.
Welcome to Google Update Wednesday, everyone, where you never know quite what you're going to get. The Wheel of Fate has given us a Chromecast update this week, and it's a doozy. A brand new user interface matches the rest of Google's various Material Design apps, more or less. But even more interesting is that the Chromecast app now allows screen casting (where your phone or tablet's screen output appears on your television) for all devices.
Well, sort of. You'll need Android 4.4.2 or better to accomplish this, and even then, Google is making sure you know that those phones and tablets not officially supported by the extremely slow screen casting rollout might not have the best experience. Read More
Google seems to be making a final push to get people buying Chromecasts before Christmas. If you buy one between today and December 21, you'll get a $20 Google Play credit to buy some new movies to stream on your TV. They don't make it too clear, but it appears you will need to buy from the Play Store to redeem this offer. Update: As commenter SEJ326 points out below, Chromecasts from both Amazon and Best Buy are also eligible for the offer.
This offer is in addition to existing offers for 2 free months of Hulu Plus for new accounts and 3 free months of Google Play Music All Access for first-time subscribers. Read More
Mozilla has rolled a new version of Firefox out to the Android browser's stable channel, bringing with it screen mirroring and a few other goodies. This isn't the first time some of this has popped up in Firefox, but being the stable channel, it all works now.
Odds are pretty good that everyone in the US who really wants a Chromecast has been able to find one by now. But with a rock-bottom starting price and compatibility with a ton of third-party Android apps, not to mention the Chrome desktop browser and at least some iOS apps, it makes a great stocking stuffer for people who might not follow every facet of the technology world. If you agree, Amazon has a nice discount on Google's streaming stick at the moment.
You can grab a Chromecast for $23.99 on the Amazon page, a solid $11 (and a bit less than a third) off the regular retail price. Read More
When Comedy Central launched an official Android app a couple of months ago, people called for Chromecast support. Today, it's here, and it's not alone. TuneIn Radio has been around long before Google's little dongle, but its support is only now trickling in. These apps are just two in a wave of apps that have just learned how to play nicely with Chromecast. Read More