In 2016, Samsung wants you to make one of its new Smart TVs the center of your smart home (assuming your home is smart, that is). The company has announced that each of its upcoming models will be able to connect to other Samsung devices and serve as SmartThings hubs, allowing them to connect to all SmartThing-compatible devices. Read More
Remember Samsung's Smart View app? It's OK if you don't - it's basically a mix of a remote control and some Chromecast-style functionality, exclusively for use with both Samsung phones/tablets and Samsung smart televisions. It's the kind of cross-platform"synergy" that gets a lot of play in press releases and on-stage product reveals, but is rarely used by actual customers. The app listing in the Play Store is plagued with negative reviews complaining of frequent bugs and infrequent updates.
Samsung is apparently ready to start over, and I mean that literally: the new version of Smart View gets a completely separate listing from the older app (which is still available to download at the time of writing). Read More
Update: Roku has updated its Android app with support for Roku TV. The changelog provides insight on what kind of integration users can expect.
This update enables support for Roku TVs. Use all your favorite features of the Roku app directly with your Roku TV!
Roku TV features include:
- Volume up and down, mute, and power off.
- The volume of a Roku TV can be controlled with the physical volume buttons on the mobile device.
- Roku TV inputs (HDMI, AV, etc) that have been set up, and can be accessed through the Home screen.
- A long touch on the “Antenna TV” input will show the list of known channels.
Xiaomi announced the Tegra K1-powered Mi Pad tablet today, but that wasn't the only impressive piece of tech the company had to show off. The Chinese manufacturer is back with its second smart TV, and this one's packing a 49" 4K display. To make things even better, the Mi TV 2 will go for CN¥3,999, a little over $600.
The Mi TV 2 has a MStar quad-core 1.45GHz processor, a Mali450-MP4 GPU, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal memory that's expandable with a microSD card. On the software side, it's themed with Xiaomi's MIUI TV skin. The product is launching later this month in China, but we're not likely to see it ship overseas. Read More
Like it or not, TV-based operating systems aren't going away. Google TV, Samsung Smart TV, and others have all done their part to beef up your TV's IQ, and while each has found varying levels of success, none has quite gotten the situation right. One immediate problem with most options is the tool you're provided with out-of-the-box for controlling things. Typing in movie titles with anything that looks like a traditional remote is nothing short of a complete pain. One thing that can save you precious time is investing in a remote with a full keyboard.
You can currently get a TaoTronics offering on Amazon for just $19.99 following the use of coupon code 9EP9XSOT at checkout. Read More
When a tech company holds a conference for developers, you can pretty much bet the speakers will have something new to share with the attendees. At the very first Samsung Developer Conference, this pattern continues as 5 new and updated SDKs have been announced for the company's various platforms. This batch of SDKs are centered on Android, Smart TVs, and enterprise development.
- Samsung Smart TV SDK
- Samsung Multiscreen SDK
- Samsung Multiscreen Gaming SDK
- Samsung KNOX SDK
- Samsung Mobile SDK
The Mobile SDK is technically new, but it's really meant to bring together various TouchWiz SDKs that had previously been distributed separately. Read More
I went to LG's CES press conference, so I kind of feel obligated to write about it, even though nothing much happened. The biggest news out of the conference is that the translated "Google TV 3.0" press release we came across a few weeks ago is bogus. At the time we thought it meant a new version of GTV was coming, but it turns out it's just the same software that's been out since November, with a new launcher made by LG, which they referred to as their "3rd generation skin."
So what's new about the 3rd Gen skin? Almost nothing. Read More
Lenovo wasn’t on the list of Google TV partners, but for good reason: the company has just announced that, in addition to its new tablet and smartphone, it will soon be launching a “Smart TV” powered by none other than Ice Cream Sandwich.
Indeed, Lenovo hasn’t abandoned all hope of an Android-based TV OS; in fact, the situation is in reality quite the opposite – with the K91, it’ll be embracing everyone’s favorite robot completely. Its (presumably heavily) modified version of the OS will feature:
- Video on Demand that tailors itself to your viewing history
- “Internet applications” (it’s not quite clear whether this indicates something outside of ICS’ regular contents, or just Google’s traditional web browser)
- “Traditional TV programs” (again, it’s not quite clear what’s meant by this)
- Access to the Android Market (of course)
- Access to the Lenovo Store
- Voice control
- Cloud support (yep, that’d be the “personal cloud”)
Powered by a dual-core Snapdragon 8060 CPU, the K91 Smart TV will ship with a 5MP (!) webcam for video chat and a full HD IPS display at 240hz with SRS TruSurround. Read More
Well, that was quick. Shortly after new Google TV partners were announced, LG has announced one of their Android-powered offerings: the LG Smart TV with Google TV. Details are scant at this point, as the device won't be demonstrated until CES, but we do know that it will launch in two series at some point this year. Both will feature LG's Cinema 3D displays, which do not require the expensive shuttering glasses to work, and both will come bundled with remote with the Magic Remote Qwerty - unsurprisingly, a QWERTY version of their Magic Remote.
More information will arise once CES rolls around, but with many Google TV-powered devices about to be announced, it likely won't stick out of the crowd. Read More