Earlier this summer word got out that Mozilla was working on a media streaming stick of its own that's intended to be a more open option than Google's Chromecast. The device would allow anyone to cast to it, regardless of their platform or the content they're hoping to cast. Yet even with these big plans, the organization has still taken the time to bake Chromecast support into Firefox, starting with the nightly builds.
Google knows using YouTube on a TV could be better, so the company has started to push out an updated version that fits in more with the company's latest sense of style (Android TV, anyone?) and, more importantly, makes content easier to access.
YouTube looks great on a TV, but it's not as easy to browse as other media services such as Netflix and Hulu, where users can just shift through movie titles and the latest shows without having to go through all that much effort.
Amazon's flaming media streaming and gaming box is currently marked down to $84. This is a savings of $15 on the original price. The difference here isn't enough to get Fire TV detractors to change their tune, but if you were considering picking up Amazon's little black box, this might just help with the decision.
We've put the Fire TV through its paces in a lengthy review, and to sum things up shortly - it's not a bad box.
Android's screen casting feature lets people cast all the things, but it doesn't let them cast to all the things. No, Google will officially send media out to a Chromecast, but for other things, that's where third-party apps come in. One of the better options, LocalCast, has jumped up to a new version that brings the app up-to-date with the next release of Android (since L isn't actually out yet, would that make this before-to-date...up-to-early...ahead-of-date?).
If you can put Android into a watch, or a car, or a stove, you can cram it in just about anywhere. And given that last option, placing it into a micro or "pico" projector seems like a pretty good idea. ODIN is a Kickstarter project aiming to do just that, expanding an already flexible gadget by throwing in a little extra electronics and Android for media-focused apps. The Kickstarter campaign passed its $250,000 goal this weekend, and it's got a day and a half left to go.
Just like traditional radio, listening to internet radio without paying money requires putting up with ads. Well, usually. Radical.fm tosses this entire concept out the window by letting users stream music for free. If listeners would like to donate to the company to help out, it would be nice, but such generosity is not required. There's a catch, though. The Android app, despite just launching, already looks like it hasn't received an update in three years.
Update: While both the US and Canada did not have access to VLC for Android on the Play Store at launch, some of our Canadian readers have pointed out that they have since been able to download it from there for quite some time now. As it turns out, the American release was indeed the last hold out.
We in the tech industry have a tendency to throw around the word "finally" perhaps a tad more often than we should.
Back in September, the BBC iPlayer jumped to version 2.0 and introduced the ability for users to download full episodes and store them for up to 30 days. At the time, the feature only worked on the eleven devices that the developers tested. Now it should work on any Android device running Ice Cream Sandwich or above.
For our readers across the pond, BBC iPlayer takes some of the network's shows and provides them for easy viewing on Android devices. What about the TV? The latest version of the app has that covered too. This would be a surprise, but we already spilled the beans on this release a few days ago. We knew this update was to coincide with the launch of Chromecasts in the UK on March 19th, and now it's here.
Streaming local media to Chromecast isn't that difficult of an endeavor these days. Sure, there isn't an official Google app that will slap those media files onto a TV for you, but between AllCast and Solid Explorer, there are options. There's also LocalCast, an app like AllCast whose singular purpose is to get media from your Android device to something with a bigger screen.
The app's latest update has added the ability to connect to network storage via Samba and cast files from them straight to Chromecast.