The most difficult thing about watching video is figuring out what to actually watch. This was challenging back in the days of black and white television, and it only became more frustrating as the numbers of channels and media formats increased. Now we live in a world of high-speed internet, and interesting content can reside tucked away on any website anywhere in the world. StumbleUpon is offering a solution to this problem with its latest app, 5by, which dishes out videos from all over the web that are selected based on what you're into and what you're in the mood for.
Sony is a huge electronics and media company, so of course they aren't limiting their CES presence to phones. But there's one item that should be of interest to Android gamers: PlayStation Now. This newly-announced service will stream PlayStation games over the Internet to compatible hardware, and includes more than just PlayStation consoles. Sony explicitly announced support for the PS3, PS4, PS Vita, and certain Bravia televisions at CES, but the presentation and press materials say that support for phones and tablets will come eventually.
Seeing what it clearly believes is an untapped market, Netgear announced NeoMediacast, which gives pay TV providers an alternative to the traditional set-top box. This is an Android-powered system in a Chromecast-sized package that simply plugs into the back of your TV via an HDMI port. The idea here is that service providers can offer apps and premium content stores to give their subscribers access to everything they currently get through their cable boxes.
We've covered Koushik Dutta's AllCast before: it's an Airplay/DLNA streaming app that lets you stream all the things. Now it's out of beta, and you don't have to jump through any hoops to get it: just head to the Play Store and download that sucker to your cell phone telephone. The free version includes advertising, splash screens, and a 60-second streaming limitation, while the $5 Premium unlock app is unlimited.
The app is a streamer for any local video or photos on your Android device.
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.