Netflix made several appearances at today's Google event, but the most notable is perhaps the announcement that content delivered to Android devices may soon look a whole lot better. Hugo Barra demoed the new Nexus 7, showing off the 1080p content the device will be able to stream from Netflix when it launches in the US on July 30th. Prior to now, Android devices streamed content in standard definition, regardless of their resolution.
One of Google's problem areas has long been the living room, and the Chrome team looks to be coming to the rescue by leveraging the huge mobile device ecosystem. The Chromecast is a new device running a simplified version of Chrome OS. It enables you to get content from your phone, tablet, or laptop to a bigger screen. This is not a Chrome OS computer in a tiny package, but rather a smaller, cheaper, more capable Nexus Q.
Wood block apps are a f*!#ing joke. Most of them don't even have mallet options or choices for wood weight or grain type. Fakeblock, which is now free on the Play Store...well, actually, it also doesn't have any of those options. But! It is still the most phenomenal block-of-wood-simulator that you will ever have the privilege of installing on your device.
We've been waiting for this app to launch ever since the big Cinco de Quatro event where CEO George Maharis announced that the app is "real" and encouraged us to "put up this wall." The company has already received several rounds of funding including $50,000 from an unnamed executive of a real estate company.
Blockbuster, the former golden child of movie rentals, is feeling left out lately. No one is paying attention to its online offerings, no doubt partially because it's been broken into a thousand pieces. However, today the company launched a new, central service for renting movies online with just one app for all devices: Blockbuster On Demand.
When we say "rent", we do mean that. There is no subscription option that we see yet, and every movie costs a few bucks to check out for a 24-hour period.
Two weeks ago, we took a look at the invite-only beta of Redbox Instant. In that article, we gave a brief glimpse into what the fledgling service's library had to offer. Of course, the inevitable question had to be asked: how does it stack up against Netflix? Or Amazon Instant Video for that matter? While we're at it, how does Google's Play Store compare? Those are pretty big questions! So, they deserve pretty big answers.
At last, my collection is complete. Just the other day I received my invite to the beta of Redbox Instant. I was excited. The idea sounds great: it's like Netflix, but you also get four monthly credits at Redbox rental kiosks! Awesome, right? What's that? Verizon has something to do with it? Well, no matter. It's not exclusive to the carrier's handsets, so I'm sure it's nothing to worry about!
Hi, my name is Eric Ravenscraft and I'm an addict. I have a weakness for trying out new online media services. I've signed up and, where applicable, paid for Spotify, Rdio, MOG, Rhapsody, Pandora, Last.fm, Jamendo, Grooveshark, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Epix, Crackle, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, and virtually every other movie and music streaming service on the internet. So it bugs me that I haven't yet been invited to add Redbox Instant to my collection of collections.
We've been hearing rumblings for a while now about Redbox partnering with Verizon for a streaming service. Today, the company announced the details of that arrangement: for $8/month you can get access to unlimited streaming of a selection of movies (including the EPIX library which, for those who don't know, is pretty impressive), as well as four monthly credits to rent a physical movie for one night from any Redbox kiosk.
In times past, there have been concerns about Netflix' ability to continue acquiring rights for streaming video content. The more users the company gets, the more pressure there is to get high-profile content. After the loss of the Starz deal, there was some doubt, but today there is a renewed hope for fans of Netflix and Disney at least: the two just inked a deal that will bring first-run movies from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel, and Disneynature to the streaming service in 2016.
Netflix has been gently updating and adding features ever since it debuted on Android, and while today's addition isn't earth-shattering, it'll be welcome to anyone with a shiny new Nexus device. The primary addition to the 2.1 update is full support for Android 4.2, but the player UI has also gotten a pretty big facelift. Bigger buttons and more transparent elements make it a lot easier to pinpoint tracking, and the whole thing seems at least superficially faster.