Listen, I don't really have a problem with Binge On itself - it's a pretty nifty value-add for T-Mobile customers that allows them to throttle all their video streamed over mobile data to 480p, in exchange for some of that video (Binge On partner services, like Netflix, but notably not YouTube) not counting against their plan's data cap. I consider this a "pretty fair deal." In exchange for reducing the burden of video bandwidth on T-Mobile's network, you get to stream all the [partnered] OK-quality video you want. It's nice!
But T-Mobile has come under fire - and I think rightly so - for the fact that Binge On is an opt-out service that does not explicitly disclose to subscribers just what they've automatically signed up for. Read More
T-Mobile has made some big changes in the last few years, but the way it manages data caps has worried some net neutrality advocates. Its last big announcement was Binge On, which exempts services like Netflix, Hulu, and others from data caps, but YouTube has now started complaining that T-Mobile throttles all video regardless of its participation in the program. Read More
Google kept several parts of Motorola when it sold the remainder to Lenovo. It got a bunch of patents, Project Ara, and of course, Spotlight Stories. These used to be confined to an app, but today Google is bringing the 360-degree videos to YouTube. Read More
Triller. That's a silly sounding name and a really dumb idea for an app.
Those were my first thoughts when I saw this app pop up on the Android Police to-do list. Triller is the kind of app I assumed would appeal only to narcissistic, college-attending, plaid-wearing, hipsters born after the year 1995. The fact that it launched as an iOS exclusive back in July, and this promo video didn't help that perception. It turns out I was wrong, but I'll get to that in a minute.
The concept of the app is pretty simple. First, pick one of the songs featured by the app, or one from your own music library. Read More
Android TV is getting some serious attention this week with updates to just about all of the Google apps, including a few that most of us never hear about. An update to YouTube's set-top variant just came out with a few subtle changes. The latest release fills out the interface a bit to make channel subscriptions slightly easier. There are also some new shortcuts and reorganization for Settings, including a toggle to enable Stats for Nerds mode. And YouTube Red subscribers will finally see a visual change when their subscription status is recognized.
Home screen – Left: old version. Right: new version. Read More
Version 1.40 of YouTube Kids, Google's way of getting your children hooked on video clips from a young age, doesn't want any youngster missing out on what's going on outdoors. Encouraging them to look away from the screen would be too risky, so instead YouTube Kids now has a winter-themed homescreen. Look at the snow, and imagine the cold. Read More
YouTube is the darling app of interface tinkerers at Google. The team behind it is always trying something new, testing the waters with A/B server-side changes that some users see, others don't, and we like writing about (exhibit A, B, C, and so on). Now we're getting tips about a new change that's surfacing for a lot of users, which makes us think this might be a relatively wide rollout that you could encounter as well.
When you pause a video in the YouTube app, a new buffering progress overlay shows up below the play button. It clearly states the total size of the video and how much of it has been buffered. Read More
Editor's note: the first three paragraphs of this story are a brief primer on fair use in US copyright law and the complications created by the DMCA. Skip down if you're already familiar with this stuff.
The United States copyright system has a series of protections for citizens who want to use video, audio, text quotes, and other copyrighted material in legitimate ways. These are generally called fair use exemptions: they're why Saturday Night Live can make a parody of Jeopardy or The Big Bang Theory without the fear of CBS suing them for copyright infringement, or why a movie reviewer can use clips of the movie in his video critique. Read More