A number of new and interesting features are headed towards the Xbox One, but I'm going to ignore most of them. What has caught out attention is the ability to stream TV to Android devices using the SmartGlass app. The feature will join the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner in coming to various European countries in the months ahead. It will allow users to stream TV to other smartphones and tablets while continuing to play games on the Xbox One.
Seagate has a dedicated Android app for accessing music, photos, videos, and other files stored on one of its wireless drives. The latest version of said app adds the ability to stream things to Chromecast, LG TV, and Roku devices. This way you can get files from one thing onto a different thing using another thing entirely. Welcome to the future. Again.
Since the future is starting to look familiar now, you already know what to expect here.
Anyone can go to Hulu's website and watch a limited selection of content for free on a computer, but upgrading to the paid Hulu Plus version lets you stream more programs. Hulu Plus also unlocks the mobile apps and set top box streaming, but now the Android app has been updated to let free users get a taste of Hulu on the go.
Free users of the updated Hulu app will get access to recent and past episodes of some shows and a selection of content from Hulu Originals, Anime, Kids, Movies, and Latino.
National Public Radio has had an official Android app for years now, but it wasn't particularly pretty then, and it doesn't look any better now. Fortunately the organization has now released a separate piece of software that doesn't look like it's put together by donations and held together by aging strings of code. NPR One is a new radio streaming app that puts out stories from the national organization and its many local affiliates to provide a personalized, easy-listening experience.
Update: The Android version of Shazam has now received this update as well. Here's the new changelog posted to the Play Store.
This release brings full track playback in Shazam, powered by Rdio. Once you’re connected, you can play any track and carry on listening to the music as you discover more in the app. Shazam a song to get started.
Shazam, the company whose app uses a phone or tablet's microphone to identify a song or TV show, has partnered with Rdio to offer users full in-app song playback.
There comes a point in time when an app steps out of the awkward, prepubescent 2.0 years and hits the big 3.0. For Twitch, that time is now. The game broadcast viewing app has transitioned to a whole new version number, and in the process it has matured into something more becoming. The flat, simplistic UI looks like something that should blend right in on modern KitKat devices.
For the sake of comparison, here's how Twitch used to look.
NBC Universal has launched Sprout Now into the Play Store, giving parents all over the country the option to let their kids stream a full episode of their favorite series and get a couple moments' rest. The app comes with a full program guide, plenty of shows, and enough content to occupy children for up to four, five minutes tops.
Of course, there are caveats. Parents need to have a TV subscription of some kind in order to get access to the shows.
Android's screen casting feature lets people cast all the things, but it doesn't let them cast to all the things. No, Google will officially send media out to a Chromecast, but for other things, that's where third-party apps come in. One of the better options, LocalCast, has jumped up to a new version that brings the app up-to-date with the next release of Android (since L isn't actually out yet, would that make this before-to-date...up-to-early...ahead-of-date?).
Just like traditional radio, listening to internet radio without paying money requires putting up with ads. Well, usually. Radical.fm tosses this entire concept out the window by letting users stream music for free. If listeners would like to donate to the company to help out, it would be nice, but such generosity is not required. There's a catch, though. The Android app, despite just launching, already looks like it hasn't received an update in three years.