Update: Want a slightly older model for an even better price? The Harmony Smart Control package is $79.99, fifty dollars off, and includes most of the same functionality. It's lacking the included buttons on the larger remote for home automation, which won't matter much if you don't have any compatible hardware and/or you intend to use your smartphone anyway. This deal also disappears after today.
You can control your Chromecast with your Android phone. You can control a Roku, Android TV, game console, or even your cable box with your phone. But unless you own one of the Samsung or HTC devices with a built-in infrared port, you probably can't control a TV set or a DVD or Blu-Ray player without reaching for some stone age hunk of plastic. Read More
The Logitech Harmony Android app has received an update to version 3.3 that enables users to take control of their Sonos wireless HiFi sound systems from the comfort of their Android devices without having to switch back and forth between apps. The software should work from anywhere in the home and gives users control over volume, tracks, and playlists. It will also work with Amazon's spiffy Fire TV.
This provided screenshot comes from an iPhone, but the Android UI shouldn't look too different.
Other new features benefit Logitech Harmony users regardless of the hardware they're packing. There's a soft keyboard that works with Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, and computers. Read More
Logitech is bringing its Harmony remote tech to Android in the form of the Logitech Harmony Link. For those that don't know, Harmony is all about controlling your home theater setup with as little effort as possible - imagine a universal remote mashed up with a computer and you're getting there. A hundred bucks gets you a Wi-Fi equipped IR blaster box and an app. The box receives commands from your phone over the Wi-Fi connection, and can relay that to up to 8 IR devices in your home theater setup. The Wi-Fi connection means you don't need line of sight to control the TV anymore, so if you want to turn off the TV from the bathroom, you can do that. Read More
As we previously reported, Oracle America has filed suit against Google for (primarily) patent infringement. If you're not familiar with the case, I'll quickly summarize.
Oracle claims Google is in violation of seven U.S. patents previously filed by Sun Microsystems as part of the Java platform. Oracle now owns Sun. The alleged infringer, more specifically, is Android. If you want a more detailed explanation, read the next paragraph. If not, look at the pretty picture and continue.
The patents generally relate to the Java virtual machine (JVM). Apps on your Android phone run through the Dalvik VM (DVM), a Google / Open Handset Alliance developed alternative to JVM that utilizes portions of an open source Java implementation known as Apache Harmony. Read More