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.
The most difficult thing about watching video is figuring out what to actually watch. This was challenging back in the days of black and white television, and it only became more frustrating as the numbers of channels and media formats increased. Now we live in a world of high-speed internet, and interesting content can reside tucked away on any website anywhere in the world. StumbleUpon is offering a solution to this problem with its latest app, 5by, which dishes out videos from all over the web that are selected based on what you're into and what you're in the mood for.
Last month YouTube announced that they were going to introduce an offline viewing option to their mobile apps sometime in November. They've since rolled out details about how it's going to work. If you add videos to your device and then disconnect it from the Internet, you will be able to watch the content for up to 48 hours. After those two days have passed, you will have to reconnect in order to watch the videos again, but the 48 hour window will refresh, and the content will remain on your device.
The YouTube team is hard at work stomping out the various interruptions that disrupt our binge video consumption. Their last major update to the mobile app introduced a sometimes awesome, sometimes annoying, picture-in-picture-ish feature that keeps the current video streaming while you search for the next one to play. Now the team is adding the ability to temporarily save videos for offline viewing. This way not even a power outage can come between you and those adorable cats.