Internet video is the future. It's hard to argue that. The mobile landscape is chaotic, though, and figuring out which services have what shows or movies can be a complicated task. Viewdini, from Verizon, wants to be the digital age's TV Guide, aggregating show info, availability, reviews, and discovery into a single app. Search for the name of a show or movie and you'll get info about it, as well as where you can watch it.
We've heard whispers that the powers that be have been working on a bulk subscription service for magazines. Now, they're finally delivering it. Next Issue offers users a very Netflix-like subscription service that includes unlimited access to current and some older issues of a selection of magazines for $10 a month. Or, for $15 a month you can get a slightly bigger selection of magazines. Yes, it's tiered.
At the moment, the selection is particularly small, though it does offer quite a few big name magazines.
Despite recent stumbles, Netflix has successfully managed to become the de facto video streaming service in the US, Canada, and Latin America and now it has set its sights on Europe by launching in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This also means that the highly rated Netflix Android app is now available to Android device owners in those same countries.
While Netflix has had support (whether legit or not) for Android tablets for quite a while, there is one thing that can definitely be said about it: the interface was crap. Sure, it worked out great on the phone, but a lot of valuable screen real estate and key components of Android 3.1+ were going to waste on tablets. I guess the Netflix team realized this, because an update has been pushed to the tablet interface that fixes most of the aforementioned issues.
While there have been plenty of Netflix builds available for download to be sideloaded onto "unsupported" devices, many users have been waiting for an official update to be pushed out by Netflix.
That day has come, as the app received an today today that brings support to all Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices. Oddly enough, though, the app also updated on my Galaxy Tab 10.1 which I had previously sideloaded it onto.
An unexpected update started rolling out to the ASUS Transformer earlier today that brings the build number up to 220.127.116.11. Even more unexpectedly, this update reportedly includes Netflix support without requiring root. Of course, the official Netflix app in the Market doesn't yet support the Transformer, but you can grab the latest version here.
There is also a firmware update available for the dock, bringing the version up to EP101-0213.
The updated Netflix APK that officially landed in the Android Market today has successfully been extracted and made available for download on "unsupported" devices by XDA member quixin. As you may know, Netflix 1.3.0 is the first version to support Honeycomb devices of any kind thanks to the Lenovo IdeaPad K1. Of course, the K1 has that super-special hardware-based DRM that was assumedly put in place just for Netflix support.
The whole situation threw us off quite a bit, as the Netflix app description now lists both the new devices and a reference to a new version 1.3, while the app itself is still stuck at 1.2.2.
Nevertheless, after trying to find it in the Market using devices that were previously unsupported (HTC EVO 3D and Thunderbolt), to our pleasant surprise, we succeeded.
Lenovo finally made its Honeycomb-sporting IdeaPad K1 an official commodity - and it's basically just another fish in a sea of Android 3.1 tablets. It's filled with the nearly-identical hardware guts of the top Android tablets on the market today:
- 10.1 1280x800 display
- 1GHz Tegra 2 chipset
- 1GB RAM
- 16/32GB on-board storage; SD Card slot
- Optional 3G (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint)
- 5MP rear camera; 2MP front
- Android 3.1
Of course, Lenovo has made a few changes to add its own custom touch to the device, like the Lenovo Launcher: a five-pane launchpad dead-smack in the middle of the screen that allows quick access to a user-customizable set of shortcuts.
Update 2: SMS send and receive and mobile hotspot are non-working. Do not download this file (the link has been removed) - wait until a more stable release is available. If you need to flash back to Froyo, please check out this thread on MyDroidWorld.
Update: HDMI-out functionality appears to be non-functional in this update build.