I'm sure there are plenty of cycling enthusiasts out there who think that $15 is a small price to pay to view the Tour de France from their mobile device. I don't happen to be among them, so I'll take NBC's claim that its new app can stream "every stage LIVE on your Android handheld or tablet device" for granted. The app is available now in the Play Store for all Android devices running Gingerbread or higher, though it's almost certainly limited to users in the United States.
A small change on Google's end has added the option to access your purchased Google Play video content in YouTube. Check out the navigation menu in the YouTube app and the purchases link will now be overflowing with Google Play Movies and TV. Well, maybe not overflowing, but we've all got that free copy of Big, right?
There are big things happening at the world's biggest video site. Which one is biggest will probably depend on exactly what you want out out of Google's streaming behemoth, but the most notable addition from an Android perspective is the new YouTube Creator Studio app. This add-on allows frequent YouTube uploaders to check analytics, likes, comments, and that sort of thing without needing a PC. If you make your living on YouTube, which is statistically unlikely, this will be an invaluable resource.
Chromecast might not be the most dramatic of Google's products on stage at I/O 2014, but it's getting just as much love. Rishi Chandra, product manager for Chromecast, demonstrated a lot of new features in his presentation. The low-cost streaming device will get newer and more advanced capabilities soon, including the ability to stream the screen contents of your phone or tablet directly to the television. We've seen this done with various third-party hacks, not to mention a peek or two on some people's active devices.
Another week, another cable channel with its own app, but this one will be particularly welcome for sports fans. Fox is now ready to broadcast its cable sports content to subscribers via the Fox Sports GO app, offering a live feed of available games and various talking head sports shows. Oddly this app shows up as a "version 2.0" release - Fox may have been testing it internally, since the Wikipedia page says that the Android version is still forthcoming.
If you've got a late-model Samsung "smart" camera, you should check out this nifty function. Samsung Home Monitor lets owners of the upcoming NX3000 camera (and presumably other models in the NX line) view video from the camera's lens remotely on their phones. It's a neat application of the hardware available.
Using the simple app, you can treat your camera like a security camera or baby/pet monitor. Users can stream live video from the camera at any time, as long as there's Wi-Fi in the house and your smartphone has a data connect (Wi-Fi or mobile).
Now footloose and fancy free, or at least self-employed and unencumbered, Koushik "Koush" Dutta is expanding his popular AllCast streaming app to Amazon's new Fire TV set-top box. Unlike the Chromecast, Xbox, Roku, Apple TV, and various other gadgets with relatively open streaming profiles, the Fire TV needs a separate app to receive content from your phone or tablet. Just install AllCast on both and you should be good to go for local video and audio streaming.
Everyone who uses Netflix on Android will be getting the latest update to the official app, but only those who use the popular service with Google's Chromecast streaming device are likely to notice what has changed. According to the official change log, the 3.3 update adds an "enhanced second screen experience" and "playback optimizations," and nothing else. That seems to mean a few UI changes to the Netflix Chromecast streaming interface.
Netflix. Google Play Movies. Hulu Plus. What do these services have in common? They're all better than VUDU, a long-standing streaming service for movies and television whose Android app leaves something to be desired. But it's a little more desirable starting today, as a reader tipped us: VUDU now allows users to stream rented or owned movies and TV to a handy Chromecast.
VUDU didn't mention this in the app update text on the Play Store, and there are no peeks at the familiar Chromecast button in the screenshots.
I know this is Chromecast country, but Roku was here first. The humble little WiFi streaming devices are competent and powerful, and they work with at least some online media sources that Chromecast doesn't. (Lookin' at you, Amazon.) If you're a happy Roku customer like me, then the Android remote app is probably a big part of your entertainment center. The new and improved version overhauls the user interface and adds one much-needed change.