We've been digging into some of the apps that come with the latest update for the ADT-1 Android TV device. Interestingly enough, some of these apps work just fine when side-loaded onto standard phones or tablets - it looks like they contain all the standard resources and layouts for both versions of Android. You can check out the changes for Google Play Movies & TV below - there are some notable ones for Chromecast users.
Google announced the Nexus Player on Wednesday as the first Android TV device, but there was no news on an updated Chromecast. Google's $35 streaming stick has been a big hit, and it's been more than a year since it was released. Now a device has passed through the FCC, and it's clearly a Chromecast with the updated model number A4RH2G2-2A.
Back at Google I/O 2014, we learned about a pretty neat feature called Backdrop that gives your Chromecast a little more pizazz with localized weather, news, and photos. It turned out to be a bit of a tease, because Google waited until earlier today to actually enable it through an update to the Chromecast app for our phones. During the same presentation, another feature called "Guest Mode" was announced promising to allow visitors to cast from their devices to a Chromecast in the same room without being on the same Wi-Fi network.
For anyone looking for another means of streaming music to their Android device without having to use an app with a UI that would make a Nexus cry, 8tracks is worth a look. The interface keeps things simple, which these days means it's pretty white. Existing users will be pleased to know that following the latest update, 8tracks now comes with Chromecast support. As long as your connected TV or monitor is on, you will see the familiar icon in the action bar at launch.
About a week ago we told you about a Hulu Plus promotion that gives new Chromecast owners two months of access to the premium portion of the streaming library for free. As it turns out, anyone in the US can get that sweet, sweet streaming video, no matter when they bought their Chromecast. AP reader Matthew discovered that he could follow the instructions for redeeming the offer on his older Chromecast without any kind of issues.
A couple of weeks back the Slingplayer app for phones was updated to include the long-overdue Chromecast streaming feature. And because Sling Media still seems loathe to make a single app that works across both phones and tablets (hang on a second... yup, it's still 2014), the tablet app is getting that feature today. Slingbox owners with compatible hardware can download it now for the hefty additional price of $15.
When Google first pulled the lever on Chromecast's screen casting, the functionality was limited to a select number of devices. Well, it still is, but the list is slowly growing, and we've noticed that the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact have made their presence known towards the bottom. This puts them in the same exclusive club as a number of Nexus, Galaxy, One, and G devices (boy is it awkward to say these names without the manufacturer attached).
Hardware Kickstarters are a risky business, but the makers of Matchstick have the hardware all nailed down. This is a streaming stick similar to the Chromeacast, but it's based on Firefox OS. There is apparently an appetite for such a thing because it's only taken a few days to smash through the original $100k funding goal.