It seems like every cable and satellite operator is in a hurry to provide a second screen app for tablets and phones. And they all seem to have something in common: either they don't offer live streaming, or they do, and the service is rather arbitrarily restricted to use on a home Internet connection. Time Warner Cable's TWC TV app for Android was just updated to get around this restriction... at least in some cases. Unfortunately, mobile access via the TV app is only available to Verizon Wireless customers - everyone else will just have to live with paying TWC alone.
Within the deluge of exciting announcements made today in lieu of its New York event, Google announced that it has partnered with Warner Music Group to explode the Play Store's music selection, bringing the media giant's full music catalog to listeners all over the world. This means that Google is now partnered "with all of the major record labels globally," along with many independent labels and all the major US magazine publishers, which is nothing if not good news for consumers.
Google also announced that Play Music will be coming to Europe. Starting November 13, listeners in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain will not only be able to begin listening and buying from the Play Store, but will enjoy the free 20,000 song upload other listeners use to get their personal library connected with their Google account.
Surfing the web while on the move has become a reality thanks to mobile internet over 3G or LTE. However despite yearly advancements in its technology, the reliability of mobile networks remains lackluster.
A solution to ubiquitous connectivity has come in the form of blanketing various cities with wireless hotspots. For example, in Singapore the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) have initiated the Wireless@SG program which aims to provide wireless hotspots all across the island.
In a similar vein, a group of US cable companies have come together to provide their customers with access to each others wireless hotspots. Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications, and Time Warner Cable have over 50,000 hotspots in various locations around the US, and soon these will all be accessible to customers of any of those five companies using the "CableWiFi" network name.
So, here's a bit of good news for Time Warner customers: the company just updated its Android app with support for streaming TV on Android 4.0 devices. Fantastic right? Yeah... no. There's a catch: it won't work for rooted users. Boo, Time Warner!
Of course, TW isn't the first company to shun rooted users when it comes to streaming media: Google itself did the same thing with Play Movies back when it first launched the service (long before it was called "Play Movies"). I'm sure that both companies were left without choice, otherwise the media providers would have probably just walked away from the deal.
Looks like Verizon is going with the go big or go home motto pretty heavily these days - it has been attacking plans to expand its LTE network across the country with great earnest, and now it has entered into an agreement with multiple cable companies to purchase 122 Advanced Wireless Service Spectrum licenses for a cool 3.6 Billion smack-a-roos.
The deal, which will have to be cleared by the FCC, will allow VZW to grow its LTE network even further, giving it an even bigger advantage over AT&T. The Justice Department will also have to be involved in the deal, as an antitrust review will have to be done before the okay can be given.
Looking to replace one more of your belongings with your Android device, Time Warner Cable has released an official app, aptly named TWC TV, which allows your Android tablet to become a remote control, and manage your DVR.
Besides controlling your television from anywhere in the house, TWC's app can show you an interactive programming guide (including listings for up to 7 days), view a filtered program guide (which can display favorite channels or HD channels), search for programming, or schedule upcoming DVR recordings.
If you're a TWC customer with a Honeycomb 3.0+ tablet, head to the market, grab the free app, and toss your remote control in the trash.
Likely not wanting to get left behind by the likes of Comcast, whose XFINITY for Android app has been quite well-received, Time Warner Cable is preparing to release a comparable remote control app for its cable subscribers at the end of November.
The app will incorporate full set-top box remote control functionality, access to the DVR interface, and an in-app 7-day programming guide.
The app is being developed for Honeycomb tablets (the test device looks to be a Galaxy Tab 8.9 or 10.1), and TWC has indicated that it's possible the release could be pushed back a little beyond November because of a heavy product release schedule this season.