Android TV may not have caught like wildfire, but it's still an affordable and interesting set-top box offering. If you've already bought a Nexus Player or SHIELD TV unit for example and you've been met by glares from a couple of your family members who own iPhones and iPads and can't control the darn thing with their devices, then you're in for a small surprise today.
Almost two years after it first unveiled Android TV, Google is now releasing the corresponding remote control application to the iTunes App Store. The app looks exactly like the Android app we all know and works in the same way. Read More
If you own an Android TV box or a television with it built in, there's a pretty good chance you've also taken the time to install Google's remote control app to go with it. It's not that the app is necessary, but it's a great backup in case your main remote is lost or the batteries die. All things considered, it's a pretty basic utility app; but it might not be quite so simple in the near future. A teardown shows that this little remote control is about to turn your phone into a full-fledged gamepad. There are also signs that it may soon take care of shutting off your TV for you and we might also gain control over the volume of voice responses. Read More
Volvos often get a bad rap. The running gag in the 80s and 90s was that the Swedish automaker known for some of the highest safety ratings on the road made boring cars for boring people. But these days Volvo offers a wide range of cars and SUVs, from mid-range to sport to luxury, with styling and features that meet or beat most competitors - all without sacrificing safety. That makes Volvo pretty cool in my book... but its Android apps still suck.
Old above, new below.
Maybe that's a bit harsh. The Volvo On Call app sucked as of this morning, at least according to reviews on the Play Store. Read More
It wouldn't be controversial to say that the interfaces for cable boxes suck. With the possible exception of TiVo, I don't think I've ever seen one that was made for the purpose of being easy and/or efficient to use, especially since the newer ones are more interested in selling Pay-Per-View and on demand content than actually letting you watch TV. That has largely carried over to the remote apps for the fancy new cable boxes, which might help explain why the XFINITY remote app has a 3.2-star rating in the Play Store.
New above, old below.
Version 2.0 of the XFINITY TV Remote app is different. Read More
Unified Remote is a remarkably powerful app for remotely controlling the functions of your PC. (Not your TV, unless you have an IR port.) The last beta release of the app, which used the frustrating Google Groups testing system, implemented remote control support via an Android Wear app. Now you can get that Wear support in the standard Play Store version, no beta opt-in necessary. You'll need the full version, a $4 add-on, to access the Wear app.
Using the customization tool in the phone version of Unified Remote, simple commands from the various hardware and web service functions of the Unified Remote server can be accessed on your wrist. Read More