Our friends across the pond will no longer have to resort to importing a Chromecast from the US as of March 19th. That's apparently the day Google's streaming dongle is set to hit shelves in the UK. At least one retailer already has the device in stock and has alerted employees to the impeding launch.
Here in the US, Amazon offers video streaming bundled up with its annual Prime subscriptions, so anyone who wants discounted shipping gets to watch some videos on the side seemingly for free. Now the company is starting to replicate this setup in the UK and Germany as well. Today Amazon announced that it is merging Amazon Prime and LoveFilm Instant in both of these countries starting on February 26th, combining the speedy delivery and substantial Kindle library of the former with the 15,000-strong collection of TV shows and movies of the latter.
If Samsung has not yet scared you away with its recent indiscretions, the new NotePRO 12.2 can be pre-ordered in the UK. You won't even have to wait very long for this stylus-friendly monster to ship. Samsung expects the NotePro (Samsung usually leaves the screen size off) to hop a truck to your home on February 4th.
The NotePro is very similar to the previously announced 2014 version of the Note 10.1, except for the size, of course.
Motorola's Moto X is making the trip to Europe, and while it isn't packing everything into its suitcase in time for launch (such as Moto Maker), it will still be the same phone we already know and love when it hits store shelves in France, Germany, and the UK come February 1st. The device will sell for £380 or 399 euros unlocked with British customers also able to snag one up on contract starting at £25 a month.
Hey, Sky? You do know that the same Google Play Store listing can be used for both smartphone and tablet versions of an app, right? No? You're still going with separate smartphone and tablet apps, like it's 2010? Okay then. The Sky Go tablet app has the same basic features of the smartphone app, but it's restricted to 7" or larger tablets running Android 4.0 or later.
Kidding aside, the feature set of the Sky Go app is pretty admirable, with live TV and streaming TV on demand.
Getting your hands (eyes?) on HBO programming isn't the easiest task in the world. The shows traditionally come served as an update to your monthly cable package, aren't available on Netflix, and are slow to come to DVD. Yet here in the US, some of the programming is conveniently available straight from Google Play. You just have to be willing, in the case of Game of Thrones, to part with $2.99 per episode or $28.99 a season.
Virgin Media TV customers in the UK, you can now watch your TiVo live television service or recorded programs on your Android device, anywhere! Anywhere with a WiFi connection, that is. Assuming that you've got a phone or tablet running Android 2.3 through 4.3, but not KitKat 4.4. Oh, and you can't be rooted. Have fun!
All kidding aside, there seem to be some serious issues with Virgin's new TV Anywhere app for Android, starting with the aforesaid KitKat support.
We've heard more than a few laments from HTC fans about the lack of an expandable storage option for the flagship HTC One. If you still want a One with a MicroSD card slot (and you happen to live in the United Kingdom), HTC is about to make your dreams come true. The HTC One model 802w, with a removable back panel revealing dual SIM slots and a MicroSD card slot, is now being offered as a pre-order.
Normally we're pretty pleased when we can report that a new country or carrier has enabled the option for carrier billing in the Google Play Store, allowing customers to charge app and media purchases directly to their phone bill. But for some reason, European carrier Vodafone seems to have dropped the option entirely. Vodafone has disappeared from the list of carrier billing partners on Google's Play Store support page, and we've confirmed the loss of capability from individual users in the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
The once and future king of mini-consoles has made a bit of a splash in the news the last few weeks, but for those of you who actually own and use an OUYA, there's good news in the form of a software update. The company posted a full changelog to the official blog yesterday, and the third major update should be making its way to your console now if you don't have it already.