As of right now, very few Android devices support Wi-Fi Direct sharing, which was first implemented as part of Android 4.0. The protocol requires Ice Cream Sandwich, which is still only on 16% of Android devices. Beyond that, the device needs some software to take advantage of the new API. Some devices (like the Galaxy S III) include built-in support, but for others that either haven't included support in the OS—or that do, but don't work very well, like my own E4GT—you'll need some kind of app to take advantage of it. Luckily, we happen to have some kind of app right here!
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. As with any online streaming service, it's not going to have everything, but for watching stuff on the go? Yeah, it will do the job.
Earlier this week, we mentioned that the amazing folks behind the XBMC project are bringing the app to Android. Well, it's still very early, but would you like to see what it's gonna be like? Of course you do. If you've got a Nexus Q or an Android-compatible set top box, you can download the apk from our mirrors below. For the rest of you, here's what it looks like running on a lovingly hacked Nexus Q, courtesy of Cyanogenmod developer Jason Parker:
The interface is still very much centered around arrow keys/a d-pad. Touch input does work, but text is very small on a phone and not much better on a tablet.
Today, Samsung posted an official demo video of some of Galaxy S III's more advanced features, such as Smart Stay, S Voice, Smart Alert, Direct Call, and social tagging. Ironically, while showcasing just how intelligent the phone is, we are treated to the following hilarious answer by S Voice:
Hey, it's 18 degrees Fahrenheit in Los Angeles! That's -8 Celsius. In May. Look what you've done, Sammy - now we're going to need to edit Wikipedia to amend the previous record of 24F from 1944. I guess we could finally say there actually was a cold day in Hell after all.
For those who missed it, Steve Kondik, the founder and lead developer of CyanogenMod, along with several other members of the CM team gave a compelling talk in San Francisco at the start of Google I/O. Delivered during the SF Android User Group Meetup (hosted at Yelp), Kondik's talk took a look at CyanogenMod's role in the Android world, some of the project's goals, solutions, and the challenges the CM team faces in getting CM to new devices, explaining everything from conflicts with proprietary drivers to locked bootloaders and more.
Thanks to Marakana, the talk is now available to watch via YouTube, with the subsequent Q&A session coming "as soon as it's available." Without further ado, here's the video:
Update: Here's the Q&A from that same session:
It seems like we've been waiting forever for an official build of VLC to land in the Play Store, and that day has finally come... for some people, anyway. First off, the build that just landed in the Store is for devices with ARMv7 NEON CPUs only. This includes most modern processors, like Tegra 3, Exynos, OMAP4, and Snapdragon S2, S3, and S4. If you have an older processor, like Tegra 2 or one that uses ARMv6 architecture, then a build for your device should be available "in a few days."
While this version is beta, it still supports all the features that users of VLC's desktop software have come to expect, like playback of nearly any video or audio file, media library, support for multi-track audio and subtitles; as well as some mobile-specific goodies like auto-rotation, aspect ratio adjustments, and gestures to control volume.
MLB.com's At Bat 2012 app, which we covered at its launch, and which bills itself as "the #1 sports app of all time" and "the official app of Major League Baseball," has seen a rather significant price reduction, recently sliding from $14.99 to just $9.99 in the Play Store.
The app, for those baseball fans who have until now not discovered this gem, is essentially a one-stop source for mobile updates and supplemental media related to games both in progress and those that are already over. Offering radio broadcasts, free "Game of the Day" video, and in-progress video highlights, this app is definitely a must-have for fans of MLB.
Google's keynote address on day 2 of Google I/O was all Chrome, all day. Now that Chrome is the default browser for Android, combined with the company's continued push behind Chrome OS, you can expect to see the browser everywhere from now on. Including in the hour-and-twenty-minute video below featuring all the new (and old) features and developments in Chrome.
If you're short on time, or I/O is just overwhleming, Google's done you the favor of piecing together all the best parts of day 1 and 2's keynotes in a single, easy-to-digest four minute video. There are even a few snippets of some of the exhibitors at the keynote.
Google I/O 2012 kicked off yesterday with a bang, to be sure. Even after rounding up all of yesterday's news, there were still some things that can be better understood by listening to/watching the keynote speakers themselves (not to mention it was a pretty great show to watch). After all, yesterday saw a ton of news – from two new Nexus devices to the introduction of Android Jelly Bean, Google Glass, and updates to the Play Store and Google+.
As in years previous, the full keynote from day 1 is now available for your viewing pleasure through YouTube. Without further ado, Google I/O day 1 keynote: