While Google I/O is all the rage on our side of the internetz, another conference is taking place that is probably a lot less exciting for us: INTX, the Internet and Television Expo. But one interesting nugget has escaped INTX and found its place on our radar as Android users and it's about Comcast, of all evil companies and things.
Last month, Comcast had announced the Xfinity TV Partner program, an initiative aimed to make the Xfinity TV app available to smart TVs, and TV-connected and IP-enabled devices (read: other set-top boxes) without the requirement for a Comcast set-top box. Think of this as Comcast wanting to be Netflix'ish, ie available to you through an app and with a subscription, no need to call the company and lease a physical box from it. Read More
It wouldn't be controversial to say that the interfaces for cable boxes suck. With the possible exception of TiVo, I don't think I've ever seen one that was made for the purpose of being easy and/or efficient to use, especially since the newer ones are more interested in selling Pay-Per-View and on demand content than actually letting you watch TV. That has largely carried over to the remote apps for the fancy new cable boxes, which might help explain why the XFINITY remote app has a 3.2-star rating in the Play Store.
New above, old below.
Version 2.0 of the XFINITY TV Remote app is different. Read More
Comcast's XFINITY app has undergone a name change with its latest update, and it now only answers when referred to as XFINITY TV Go. Does the latest version, in fact, make TV go? If we're referring to live content, then the answer's yes. Comcast customers with an Android device or two lying around can now stream the news, sports, kids shows, and other content live.
Live streaming works on both cellular and Wi-Fi data, which means you are not tied to your own home network as was the case with some apps in the past. Here are the live channels available on our devices: CNN, FOX, HLN, MSNBC, CNBC, FOX Business, BBC World News, Watch ESPN, NBC Sports, FOX Sports 1, Golf Channel, BTN, PAC 12, beIN Sport, Willow, FX, FXX, Nat Geo, and Nat Geo Wild. Read More
If you're a Comcast subscriber, there's a good chance you're already using the Xfinity TV Player app. The problem is, though, if you're not around a Wi-Fi connection and want to watch something, you're just out of luck. Well, you were out of luck anyway - the app was just updated to allow certain content to be downloaded and viewed offline. That's awesome.
Among the downloadable content, you'll find TV Shows and movies from Showtime, Starz, Encore, and MoviePlex. Sure, it's not a huge list, but it's a good start - and more offline content than before.
The update also brings "enhanced support for varied device sizes and orientations," so if you've had issues with the app on device x in the past, you may want to give it another shot. Read More
Leave it to Comcast to be ahead of the curve on keeping up to date with new technology*. The Comcast subsidiary Xfinity has just updated its TV Player app to be compatible with Android 4.1, with special emphasis on supporting the Nexus 7. The app is technically compatible, though the release notes say that the next version of the app will include a UI designed specifically for the 7" form factor.
While Xfinity probably isn't the first company to announce plans for or produce a 7"-specific UI for an app on the Play Store, it does highlight yet again the beginning of the trend we all knew was coming since I/O: 7" form factors are going to be a beast unto themselves. Read More
Today, we move yet another teeny tiny step forward to the truly digital future of television. Xfinity has launched the XFINITY TV Player which, aside from a name that's needlessly yelling, gives Comcast/Xfinity subscribers access to a host of television and movies on their Android 2.3+ devices. Both phones and tablets are supported.
The app supports Streampix, so for those of you who sprung for the extra $5/month service, this will give you access to that content, consolidated with all of the other available content on the service, including XFINITY On Demand. The app also looks great, with a proper separate phone and tablet UI, as you can see above. Read More
The XFINITY TV app for Android saw its first update in many months back in February, which brought many useful features to XFINITY customers. While the update was accepted with open arms by most XFINITY users, one group was still left out in the cold: users with Ice Cream Sandwich-powered devices.
At the time ICS support was said to be "coming soon," which apparently translates into a little over a month in developer speak, as the update finally hit the Play Store just a little while ago.
The update doesn't actually bring much aside from support for ICS phones and tablets - just "minor bug fixes" according to the changelog. Read More
Comcast's XFINITY TV for Android got updated today after more than half a year of silence. The app, which allows XFINITY customers to control their cable boxes and DVRs, received the following additions and tweaks with version 1.4.1.002 (up from 1.2.0.005):
- We now automatically detect your channel lineup. That means no more fussing with having to select your zip code and lineup before using the app.
- Select your favorite channels in the TV listing grid to make it easier to find what you want to watch.
- Use the new keypad to change channels from the TV listings grid.
- View and tune to the last few channels you watched.
Earlier today, Comcast dropped its 2nd mobile app for Android into the Android Market, the direction of which puzzled even me - and I work for a Comcast-owned company. The new app, XFINITY TV, is clearly targeted at TV viewers, while the previous app called XFINITY Mobile was a more general application for address book management, SmartZone email, Digital Voice, and... TV, DVR, and On Demand.
Wait, what? Did Comcast just release a separate app that does pretty much the same thing its existing app that's been on the Market for a few months does plus a tiny bit more? Let's see - both apps let you:
- browse local TV listings
- schedule DVR recordings and
- fiddle with On Demand
The only things the new XFINITY TV app has that the previous app doesn't have seem to be:
- changing channels on your TV (forgot your remote?)
- *maybe* throw up On Demand content directly onto your TV from your phone (not sure - haven't tried this yet, but the description seems to imply so)
That is pretty much it. Read More