When Comedy Central launched an official Android app a couple of months ago, people called for Chromecast support. Today, it's here, and it's not alone. TuneIn Radio has been around long before Google's little dongle, but its support is only now trickling in. These apps are just two in a wave of apps that have just learned how to play nicely with Chromecast.
Early this summer, T-Mobile announced a Music Freedom plan that would allow customers to stream music from select services without impacting their data allotment. Some people opposed this offering on principle. Others were simply upset to see their favorite services not supported. Around these parts, Google Play Music topped the list of what folks wanted to see.
T-Mobile said it was going to do something about this, and now it has.
Netflix has announced that its TV and movie streaming service is coming to Australia and New Zealand in 2015. The wait shouldn't be long either—we're talking a period of just a few months, with Netflix set to go live Down Under sometime in March.
At that point, folks living in Australia and New Zealand will also get the ability to stream content to their Android phones and tablets. They can also use other devices, such as laptops and TVs, where they can pump their stream up to 4K in places that support doing so.
Last year, Google released Chromecast, a $35 media stick that appealed to consumers due to its remarkable value. Earlier this year, Amazon rolled out Fire TV, a set-top box with more power than the competition and a $99 price tag. Now Google has shown off a $99 set-top box of its own, and Amazon is hitting the market with a media-streaming HDMI dongle: the Fire TV Stick.
Like the Fire TV before it, Amazon wants us to know that the Fire TV Stick is more powerful than the competition.
Deezer, a company that provides an online music streaming service, announced today that it has acquired Stitcher, the well-known internet radio and podcasting brand. Sometimes acquisitions leave us scratching our heads in confusion. Other times they leave us feeling uneasy as we wonder whether the buyer will be able to successfully navigate the market they're now setting foot in. Occasionally companies are simply after talent. Then in certain situations, we watch as beloved brands disappear under a competitor's name.
The cool kids like the quality of their music turned up all the way to 320 kbps (the coolest ones prefer lossless), but that's a luxury that often goes away with streaming music over the Internet. Rdio says it's had enough with that lower quality crap (I can't really tell the difference, but the cool kids tell me that stuff's awful), so it is bringing in the ability to stream and download songs at 320 kbps over both Wi-Fi and a cellular connection.
I've wanted HBO for a while now, but I haven't desired it strongly enough to subscribe to an expensive cable plan and put up with an ugly box under my TV. I'm a young twenty-something that has cut the cord with no desire to get tethered down to such a dated system, and since I refuse to pirate content, I've opted to miss out on some great shows. I would love to give HBO my money, if only they would let me.
Amazon finally acquiesced a few weeks ago and released an Instant Video streaming app for regular Android devices. Compatibility is a little limited, but at least it exists now. To encourage customers to use it, Amazon is offering 500 Amazon Coins to anyone who streams something using the app. Free money, yay!
Roku already gave users the ability to stream content from their Android devices to their set top boxes, but now the company is taking things a bit further. Instead of select files, the company will give people to capability to stream whatever is on their screen. We've seen this from Miracast devices, we've seen it from Chromecast, and now we're seeing it from Roku. Update: In fact, Roku is using Miracast to deliver this functionality.
Hardware Kickstarters are a risky business, but the makers of Matchstick have the hardware all nailed down. This is a streaming stick similar to the Chromeacast, but it's based on Firefox OS. There is apparently an appetite for such a thing because it's only taken a few days to smash through the original $100k funding goal.