If you pay for cable, you probably pay for ESPN. Disney's sports empire is practically inescapable, especially if you watch college sports, and it's essentially impossible to pay for conventional television without getting ESPN thrown into the package, whether you want it or not. So if you're paying for it, you might as well get it on your phone too, right? ESPN's live streaming service WatchESPN is now available within the primary ESPN app itself. Previously WatchESPN was a separate Android app. Read More
If you don't know what PlayStation Vue is, don't worry, you're not alone. It's not a gaming service of any kind, it's an IPTV subscription that delivers select shows and networks to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. It's a sort of hardware-exclusive take on SlingTV. Or at least it was, until Sony announced that the service was expanding to other streaming devices. Amazon's Fire TV and Fire TV Stick will be the first non-Sony hardware compatible with PlayStation Vue, not counting iPhone and iPad.
Apparently there are still no plans for core Android app, but the service will expand to the Chromecast (and presumably Android TV by way of its built-in Cast support) at some point in the future. Read More
While Android TV doesn't enjoy the wide support that Chromecast gets, and its current app catalog can't hold a candle to competitors that have been in the market for much longer like Roku, it's slowly and surely getting better. The latest major network to offer an official Android TV app is PBS, the United States' government-funded Public Broadcasting Service. The free app is available to download on Android TV units now.
PBS Video uses the same Google Play Store listing as the phone and tablet version of the app, it's just been expanded to Android TV with additional API support. The app allows users free access to streaming some, but not all, of the channel's currently-running shows, plus segmented versions of NewsHour and Austin City Limits and at least some shows from local markets. Read More
AMC, the American cable channel that's home to shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead, has more apps than you might think. There's AMC Extras, a bunch of DVD-style content to promote various shows, AMC Tablet, which is basically a companion app for said shows, specialized apps for half a dozen other shows, and even a Christmas movie app. Now they've launched one that's just for watching new episodes... which makes sense, considering that's what most people want to do with their content in the first place.
Episodes that are currently available to stream go in and out on a rolling basis, but the important ones (new episodes of currently-airing shows) appear a day or so after the episode has aired on cable television. Read More
DISH Network has updated their official app with a variety of improvements and new features, making it better both as a streaming video player and as an account management console. Probably the best addition in this update is the ability to support multiple profiles for a single subscriber account, a la Netflix. Each profile will have its own favorites list and recommendations, making family sharing a lot smoother.
Also on the streaming side of things, DISH has tried to make following the NCAA men's basketball tournament simpler. While it already has its own sports section to help you separate that content from general TV, this update brings with it the ability to look through the tourney bracket to check on scores. Read More
Most apps should work just fine on new versions of Android. That is, if you have a forgiving definition of the words "most" and "just fine." Sky PLC's Sky Go streaming app for the United Kingdom and Ireland was one of a few that ceased to function on devices that came with Lollipop or received a subsequent software update. The latest version of Sky Go works with Android 5.0, at least according to the "What's New" text for version 4.1.2.
On the other hand, the app's primary description still advises users not to upgrade to Android 5.0 if they want to continue streaming. Read More
I don't think anyone has ever accused cable companies of having the best aesthetic sensibilities, but DISH Network's former Android streaming app was a particularly good example of how not to do it. It was a lazy port of the iPhone version, and it showed, covering the basic streaming and scheduling with the bare minimum of effort. The new version... well, I'd be lying if I said it was great, but at least it gets a facelift and a proper tablet interface.
Old on top, new down below.
Other additional features in the updated app include various new content discovery tools like a Netflix-style recommendation engine, a list of the most popular shows (for better or worse), and a personal watch list. Read More
Well, it was fun while it lasted. In a conclusion to court cases that have been going around the country ever since the service started in 2012, the US Supreme Court ruled this morning that Aereo TV is in active violation of copyright law. The decision in favor of television and cable broadcasters and their corporate backers will effectively cripple the web and mobile streaming TV service, and may destroy the company altogether.
Aereo TV collects local television signals via individual digital antennas and streams the output to its customers in supported areas, effectively delivering local TV over the Internet to computers and mobile devices, including Android. Read More