The Hulu Plus app has gone from a poorly supported buggy mess to a solid experience during its run. In the most recent update, Hulu Plus gains some cool new features like Android-y slide-out navigation and a redesigned layout for shows with multiple seasons. The volume of ads, however, remains unchanged.
The Chromecast launched last summer with a lot of promise, but very limited app support. We've been limping along these last few months with only the occasional addition like Pandora and HBO Go to keep us going. Well, now the floodgates are beginning to open. Google just announced 10 new apps are launching with Chromecast support, and some of them are super-exciting.
Google's streaming music subscription service continues to creep across the globe, arriving in new countries suddenly and without warning. It's kind of like the Black Death, except fewer people die (so far). Today Google Play All Access has hit Germany with millions of songs for just a few bucks per month.
German users were greeted by the All Access popup in Play Music yesterday and immediately began shouting from every social media rooftop.
A few months ago Spotify introduced the ability for users to stream music over Wi-Fi to a select speakers. The feature, coined Spotify Connect, was unfortunately limited only to iOS devices. Now an update has landed for the Android app that officially makes it multi-platform.
You will need a Spotify Premium subscription in order to make use of this feature, but that's not all. Only a few speakers currently work with Spotify Connect.
If building blocks are still the first things to come to mind when you hear the word "LEGO", it might just be a sign of your age. LEGO video games have been hitting the market for over a decade now, and they've been good enough to appeal to kids and adults alike. Of course, if the brand has spawned games, it's also inspired television shows and movies. The latest LEGO app to enter the Play Store provides direct access to the official LEGO YouTube Channel and select downloadable movies, so you, or your kid, can stream and download LEGO content all day long.
The latest Spotify update isn't anything major, but it should help make it easier to navigate the vast amount of content out there and discover what new tunes you might be interested in. Clicking on the Browse section of the Spotify side navigation menu shoots you out to a grid of genres to choose from. Clicking on any of them presents suitable artists, and there's a menu at the top where you can break down the genre even further.
Over seven months ago, Samsung quietly debuted the HomeSync, an Android-powered set top box that combines Google TV features with a home media server. The device was scheduled for an April release, but this date came and went without further information, leaving us wondering if the device would ever become widely available in the US. Well, it's here. You can now purchase the HomeSync from Amazon, Best Buy, or Samsung directly for $299.99.
Even if you're not paying for Rdio's streaming music service, you can now get your groove on with the mobile app. In an effort to attract more users from Spotify and Pandora, Rdio has made its personalized radio streaming service free in the app. The new feature goes live later today with an app update in Google Play.
Rdio has 10 different station types, including those based on artists, genres, songs, and the hyper-personal "You FM." There's no offline caching, and you can't queue up specific songs, but Rdio does have over 20 million tracks to pull into the radio stations.
It's not often that RCA does something worth talking about these days, but the company has apparently been working on a product dubbed the Internet Music System (model number RCS13101E). This device streams media to the included speakers, or to a TV over HDMI. That's cool, but the important thing is that it's powered by Android with Google apps included. It has just started popping up in Walmart stockrooms, and will presumably be on sale soon.
You're probably used to TV streaming apps requiring logins and sometimes cable subscription checks. Not the case with the new NBC app. It will allow anyone in the US to browse currently running programs and watch a few episodes from the device. And would you believe it isn't a nightmare to use?
There are about 20 shows available in the app, each with the last 4-5 episodes. It would be nice to have more streaming content, but it is free.