Let's face it: at this point, Google TV is a certified flop. For all its good points, its adoption was hampered by expensive hardware, limited apps, and a clunky interface. Google is hoping to revive their set-top plans with "Android TV," an as-yet unverified platform revealed by The Verge last month. Others found more details of Android code powering a Google set-top box in the Android 4.4.3 changelog. Now anonymous sources tell GigaOM that the device will get a formal introduction, if not a full rollout, at Google I/O in June.
Hey, you! Insanely rich person with poor impulse control! Don't you wish the irresponsibly gigantic television in your palatial living room had a touchscreen, so you could walk half an acre across your designer carpet to play 2048? Well now you can, as long as you're willing to throw a few monetary scraps to Viewsonic. The CDE8451-TL is an 84" 4K TV with a touchscreen and Android. For $18,999. For some reason.
Remember Zeebox? You know, the NBC and Comcast-backed app that promised to bridge the gap between television and social media? You could be forgiven for forgetting - the app warranted exactly one post from us 18 months ago, and hasn't made any significant changes to get back on our radar. Today the app has been re-branded as "Beamly," a move announced with a swanky app redesign.
All the core functions of Zeebox seem to have made it over to the new Beamly app: the basis of the experience is still the TV schedule, which will learn your tastes and recommend new shows.
So, Aereo's streaming TV service is pretty cool. It re-broadcasts standard over-the-air television signals to your mobile device, assuming you live in one of the coverage areas. If you want to enjoy your incredibly convenient TV Xzibit-style, and put your TV in your TV (set), you'll soon be able to. According to a new press release, the Aereo app will add support for Google Chromecast on May 29th. Hooray!
Of course, that assumes that Aereo's $8-a-month subscription service is still around at that point.
Everyone panic! The HBO app is no longer listed in the Google Play Store! Game of Thrones starts in three weeks, how are we going to - wait, what's that? HBO Go is still there? Oh, it's the other HBO app that's gone. The one that doesn't stream episodes and movies. The one that no one uses. Well that's all right, then.
Yes, HBO fans, you can rest easy: nothing is happening to HBO Go, the cable service's streaming app that's free for subscribers.
Why would you want to watch TV shows on a TV? That’s so 2005. The options for live streaming your favorite TV shows on various devices abound. But until now, the options for live streaming on Android were hard to come by. None of the popular apps (Hulu, Netflix, Crackle, etc.) have this feature. This is why Aereo is different. It has been available for a while on iOS, although curiously not through an app, but via the browser.
The time has finally come, couch potatoes: Aereo is here. This service has been making waves ever since it launched in February of last year, offering rebroadcasted over-the-air television across the Internet. The web service and iOS app has been available for entirely too long, but now it's time for Android to play (albeit in beta form). The Aereo app is a free download, but the service requires a subscription... and Android 4.2 or higher.
Netflix customers now all have the option to stream their favorite television shows and movies in the highest quality bit rate that the company offers. HD? No, Super HD. It's 1080p, but with less compression. Netflix first rolled out this higher quality offering way back in January, but they only worked with ISPs with whom they have a direct connection. Now they're ready to stream Super HD to everyone. They're also hoping more ISPs will adopt Netflix Open Connect, their video content delivery network that tries to reduce internet congestion by storing content on servers as close to users as possible.
Somewhere amid the rest of Google's appupdates today, Google updated its Search app. While the Play Store still shows an old change log, there are at least a couple of notable changes with the new update.
First among them, as part of Google's ongoing quest for better language processing, is the ability to have language packs automatically update themselves. This is something we uncovered in our last APK Teardown, though some of the more exciting features we saw evidence of (custom hotwords) haven't quite hit prime time yet.
Commercial breaks have never been enjoyable, but after growing accustomed to Netflix's commercial-free experience and the brief pauses between Hulu videos, sitting through five minutes worth of ads while watching cable is more jarring than ever. It's possible to channel surf long enough to find something else to watch during that time, but you know the drill - either every show that's interesting happens to go to a commercial break at the same time, or you get too engrossed in something new to remember to turn back.