I must confess, I've never seen the appeal of Twitch: why watch other people play video games when you can play them yourself, on the thing you're using to watch them? But enough other people seem to enjoy it that Amazon gobbled up the livestreaming service, and now something very similar has come to Android. Shou.TV is a beta app and service that basically does exactly what Twitch does, but on your phone instead.
Man, what an ugly gamer.
Android Lollipop has user-accessible APIs for screen recording, so Shou.TV works right out of the box on the latest hardware and/or software.
One of the cooler features of NVIDIA's SHIELD and SHIELD Tablet is their capability to remotely play PC games. And one of the more frustrating parts of this feature is that you must have both NIVIDIA's mobile hardware and a high-end NVIDIA graphics card on your gaming PC. A new game streaming app hopes to beat NVIDIA on both of those points. KinoConsole is a free download in the Play Store, and you can grab the server program for your desktop here.
Setting up and connecting the app isn't difficult; just set a password for your PC and run the app on the same local network, or alternately, with a Google account.
PlayLater lets you record online video on a PC and save it for later use. PlayOn takes that content and makes it viewable on your TV or mobile device. The latter can help you find shows available online and, as long as you have the requisite subscriptions (to Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.), get you up and running.
Altogether, these are good tools for cord cutters to add to their digital utility belts. They require a subscription to use, but for the holidays, you can get lifetime usage of PlayOn and PlayLater for only $19.99.
Not too long ago, you could consider purchasing this package for over twice as much to be a good deal, but that only makes this sale all the more compelling.
There are a lot of cloud storage apps out there, but StreamNation is one that has a very particular focus. As you might guess, it's all about the stream: the app and service are designed around remotely accessing video, audio, and photo content on top of everything else. The new Android app was just released in the Play Store, and it's surprisingly complete for a new service. You'll need a free account, or link it to Facebook (but not Google+).
Someone had fun with that center screenshot.
Uploaded content is automatically divided by file type into video, audio, and photo folders.
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.
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.
Following this expansion, over 50 countries will have access to Netflix around the world.
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. This time it's thanks to a dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of internal storage.
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.
In this case, it's easy to see why Deezer would want to acquire Stitcher. The company hopes to expand its talk radio presence, and Stitcher is a successful player in that field.
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.
If you want to hit this level of quality, you will have to become a paying customer, which will cost $9.99 a month (lame, I know).