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.
I love the Chromecast. I'd easily call it the best $35 I ever spent, ranking just above those tanks of gas that got me to job interviews on time and that one Thai restaurant I really like. All I need is the addition of Hulu Plus support, and then I would have little need to turn to anything else for projecting content onto my TV. But here's the thing, Google's neat little dongle sold out roughly as fast as tickets to a Green Bay Packers home game, and while the Google Play store has Chromecasts in stock now, many of you still haven't gotten your hands on one.
The BBC iPlayer has made the jump to version 2.0, and while it may not have that long of a change log, the features it introduces are big ones. For starters, the app now supports full downloads. Users can download TV shows for free and keep them on their devices for up to 30 days. Just keep in mind that they will expire a week after first being viewed. Users can only download via a WiFi connection, but they have the choice between standard and high quality video.
Seeking to make presenting rich media on Android devices a little easier, Adobe has released Presenter Mobile. As the name implies, Presenter Mobile works with Adobe Presenter which, for those who don't know, is a tool that can take your media-packed Powerpoint deck and turn it into easy-to-manage, interactive eLearning or presentation material. Presenter's desktop software can also create videos "capturing both yourself and your screen" for demonstrations or instructional sessions.
Google released an update to the news reader it hasn't abandoned today, adding a bunch of support for audio-centric features. Playlists are now available for editions that contain audio content, and users will be able to play, pause, and jump forward or backward in the playlist. There are even status bar controls added for when audio is playing, so you don't have to sit staring at a blank playback page while listening.
A few days ago, a pair of apps called RemotePlay and RemotePlayM by new Android developer Piddas21, a subsidiary of Taiwanese Quanta Computer, hit the Play Store ahead of SXSW. The idea is great - media and document sharing in real-time, across multiple platforms, such as Android, iOS, and Windows 8. Want to easily stream a video from your Nexus 4 to your iPad? No problem - it should be as simple as dragging it to a bucket with your iPad's name on it, and voila - you're watching a video on the big screen.