Google wants to be the undisputed leader in live streaming video games. With the announcement of YouTube Gaming, Google declared its intention to do battle with Twitch over an industry that may eventually amass a mind-blowing number of viewers. Read More
Android's Google+ app also got an update today that - while masquerading as a stability/bug-fix release - packed in at least one new treat - the ability to cast your stream to a Chromecast.
While casting, users can flip through posts with manual controls or just wait for the stream's auto-play. The interface shown through your Chromecast will look much like the one in the app, minus Android's system interface and playback controls. Post images fill the whole screen, putting post content at the top, and the post's source at the bottom. We're sorry to report that the cast stream doesn't appear to support GIFs. Read More
Along with two new apps, today's Update Wednesday has brought us a new version of YouTube with version 5.6.31. The previous version was 5.5.27, so it became clear right away that we should expect something relatively significant as opposed to simple bug fixes. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to disappoint those of you still waiting for offline and screen-off playback - those are not here just yet. There are no major UI changes either. So, what's new then? Let's take a look.
Casting live videos
A little over a week ago, Google finally enabled casting of live videos from the desktop YouTube player. Read More
One more app that took part in Update Wednesday yesterday is the official Chromecast app, which helps users set up their new Chromecasts to work with their phone or tablet. The app got bumped from 1.3.10 to 1.5.3 and while Google has published its own short change log, we of course couldn't resist doing a quick teardown to see if there were any other goodies. First though, here's what Google says is new.
- App available in over 50 languages.
- Improved support for Samsung devices.
- Additional Chromecast settings and bug fixes.
There are some more interesting tidbits hiding inside the APK, though. Read More
Snapchat allows users to send and receive media that disappears after a recipient has opened it, laughed, and - if it's really good - taken a screenshot. It's a nice way to communicate and share content without having to deal with storing and organizing everything that you upload, but sometimes you may want to share a photo with all of your friends at once. Snapchat is rolling out a new feature that lets you share such content for up to 24 hours in a timeline that everyone can see. This timeline is your Story, and Snapchat has released a series of trailers to help you familiarize yourself with it. Read More
In a post to its blog today, Sony gave a brief look at a new device to be announced this Sunday, the 15th of September.
What the company calls the BRAVIA Smart Stick looks like a waffle or small wafer cookie, and "plugs into the MHL connection on the back of 2013 Sony BRAVIA televisions, with another short cable plugged into the USB port for power." Right now it's unclear if the device will be compatible with other TV models.
The device sounds kind of like a Chromecast and, in so far as it's a dongle, looks sort of like a Chromecast, and indeed the device could end up packing the Chromecast protocol allowing users to stream content from compatible apps, but Sony makes a point to clarify that it's more like a Google TV device with BRAVIA apps pre-installed, excluding any potential Chromecast-related functionality. Read More
If you're reading this from Australia or New Zealand, get excited – Google's Play Music All Access service is now live in both countries, granting both (pardon the term) access to the burgeoning music streaming service.
Confirming All Access' expansion, Google posted to its official Australia blog and Google+.
Like in the states, Google is offering a special deal for early adopters – Australians who sign up by August 31 will pay just AU$9.99 per month (after a thirty-day trial period), and early bird New Zealanders will pay NZ$10.99 per month following the free thirty-day trial. Those who sign up after the end of August will pay AU$11.99 and NZ12.99 respectively. Read More
Today's update to Play Movies introduces a sleeker experience for Android devices. Unfortunately, the experience is too sleek for the Nexus Q to handle. For the few of you that have one of those endearing little spheres, your movies are now joining your music as content you can no longer stream to the device.
With both Play Music and Play Movies support gone, there is little reason to continue using the Nexus Q. That said, the YouTube app still works. The device isn't dead yet, but it's well on its way to becoming the most adorable brick you have ever owned. Read More
The Nexus Q has had a tough life so far – that goes without saying. Things just got a little worse for the handful of us that use (and enjoy) the Q though – Google has seemingly sliced streaming support from the latest Play Music update, further reducing the impact of the Q's admittedly very limited use case.
Some users have actually reported problems with Q streaming dating all the way back to mid-March, and Google today responded to a thread on its Product Forums with the following:
Thanks for taking the time to report this issue. As you noticed, the latest version of Google Play Music isn't compatible with the Nexus Q.