Update Wednesday held at least one more treat this week - a bump to Google Play Movies & TV, bringing the app up to version 3.2.25. Google hasn't published an official change log yet, but so far the only user-facing change we've found is the presence of applicable wishlist content (from your Play Store wishlist) inside the app, both on the "Watch Now" screen, and in the slide-out navigation bar.
One of my few complaints with the Netflix app for Android has always been that the app makes it more difficult than it should be to indulge in binge-watching behavior. Watching episode after episode of a TV show meant either going back into the episode list again, or hitting the show's tile from the home view again, and neither was ideal.
With a recent update, however, Netflix has added what it calls a "post-play" experience, which gives users the number and title of the next episode, along with a big red "play next episode" button.
In an effort to further diversify the content of status updates (which consist 115% of political arguments and babies being cute), Facebook is working on a way to help users share what they're listening to with others. No, the social network won't turn into a file-sharing site, but it should at least help friends give some attention to the same artists or performers you enjoy.
HBO shows aren't the easiest ones to get our hands on, but Amazon has snagged a deal that should make doing so easier for Prime subscribers. Starting today, customers in the US will have access to all seasons of several HBO series (such as The Sopranos, The Wire, and Flight of the Conchords) and select seasons of several others (True Blood and Boardwalk Empire, for example). HBO has also aired several mini-series over the years (Band of Brothers, John Adams, The Pacific, etc.), and Prime subscribers will now have access to them as well.
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.
The rumors surfaced last week, and AT&T made it official yesterday evening. The telecom company has agreed to pay nearly $50 billion in cash and stock for satellite TV provider DirecTV. If approved by regulators, the new AT&T would have control of about 26 million TV subscribers.
Xiaomi announced the Tegra K1-powered Mi Pad tablet today, but that wasn't the only impressive piece of tech the company had to show off. The Chinese manufacturer is back with its second smart TV, and this one's packing a 49" 4K display. To make things even better, the Mi TV 2 will go for CN¥3,999, a little over $600.
The Mi TV 2 has a MStar quad-core 1.45GHz processor, a Mali450-MP4 GPU, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal memory that's expandable with a microSD card.
Back in September, the BBC iPlayer jumped to version 2.0 and introduced the ability for users to download full episodes and store them for up to 30 days. At the time, the feature only worked on the eleven devices that the developers tested. Now it should work on any Android device running Ice Cream Sandwich or above.
Google just pushed an update to the Play Movies & TV app with one big change – support for Play Movies in a ton of new countries. We count 37 in total, but the app's changelog says there are over 40. Either way, that's a lot of new places to get video from Google Play. That's in addition to the big Music expansion today. [Update: We spotted Aruba as well. It's been added to the list.]
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.