When it comes to streaming subscription services, Spotify has stolen the spotlight in the US, where companies like Rdio have struggled to get the attention and acclaim they used to enjoy back before the Swedish invasion. With Xbox Music looming on the horizon, promising to install 30 million free, ad-supported tracks into every computer running Windows 8, the market has never been more competitive. Which makes Rdio's newly announced overhaul to its Android app all the more timely.
While services like Spotify and Rdio may steal the spotlight most of the time, there are other streaming subscription services out there. Related: we need a better name than "streaming subscription services." Rhapsody, originally founded by Real Networks and since become an independent entity, has a pretty impressive library that users can now download for offline playback. An essential feature for a modern cloud music player. Update: To clarify, it's the ability to download songs on an individual or per-album basis that is new.
As football season gets underway, the annual tech upgrades start. What new toys do you have for getting sucked in to your favorite not-soccer sport? Well, one of the nicest ones this year might be NFL Game Rewind. The app, which requires an existing subscription to the streaming service of the same name, will allow viewers to watch games in their entirety after they air. No live shows, but they're available via On Demand.
When we last left our heroes, AIDE was just released on the world, to the excited cries of developers who liked the idea of writing and testing their apps on the same device, but still probably couldn't replace their desktop development rig with a tablet. However, the app has been steadily making improvements and, as of the newest version (1.0.1), it's out of beta and will be moving to a freemium model.
We've got a treat for you today, UK readers. If you've ever gotten tired of seeing products come out for the US with nary a release date for you in sight, today's the day you get one back: NOW TV, the UK-only streaming movie and TV service, is now available on Android. As long as you have a Sky Movies Pass, of course.
The service offers quite a few big name movies and plenty of television shows to watch.
Show of hands, Verizon users: who's excited to shell out another six bucks a month to Big Red? Verizon and its new partner Extent hope that you are. Today they've introduced the GameTanium Mobile subscription-based service exclusively for Verizon's customers, bringing "more than 100 of the best Android smartphone games and more than 50 tablet games" to subscribers. The fee will show up on customers' phone bill every month, but Verizon has generously offered a three day trial.
An enterprising young reddit user has discovered some interesting new bits in the Play Store source code today. New lines of code, as well as some new strings that indicate users will now be able to watch television shows and read magazines on their devices. So far, the Play Store's video offerings have been limited to movies, and Google Currents has specialized in blogs only.
Here are the full strings found in the source code:
About a year ago, Apple debuted in-app subscriptions on its App Store - now Google is following suit with the introduction of in-app subscription support on the Play Store. Developers can take advantage of this system very easily, by simply adding a subscription option to their apps with a price and billing period (subscriptions will show up for users in their Play Store under a new category). Google takes care of the rest - all subscriptions are auto-renewing, and can be managed by users through the Play Store interface.
If you're among the minority of users who own an Ice Cream Sandwich device and have a cable subscription that includes access to the HBO/MAX GO services, you can now access your mobile video service on your device. HBO already has an impressive library of shows available on GO, including Game of Thrones and the Sopranos, and MAX GO is the companion Cinemax service that offers 400+ movies for instant streaming.
To the more budget minded, services like Hulu are a godsend; for a fraction of the cost of Cable TV, you can get a large chunk of the content. The deal isn't great for everyone, though, since it cuts into cable providers and networks' huge profits (instead, they just get... normal profits). Clearly this is a serious problem, and it's been speculated that it's probably the main reason companies like Comcast have instituted bandwidth caps on their internet service - so as to curb enthusiasm for streaming services in favor of their own (more expensive) in-house offerings.