Streaming movies from Google Play is rather nice. I sort of scoffed at the feature at first, wondering why I'd want to spend that much money to rent a movie when I could wait and buy a physical copy later. But hey, $3 to $5 really isn't that much compared to watching a film in theaters, and it lets you see a movie much sooner than waiting for the DVD version to drop in price.
The thing is, Play Movies isn't available all over the world. Read More
Here's an idea. Let's take that video chatting thing that people do all the time using Skype, Hangouts, or FaceTime, and remove the sound. Huh, Yahoo is already doing that?
Yup, and the service is called Livetext. Yahoo has been testing it in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Ireland. Now the tech company is bringing its intriguing communications platform to five additional countries. There's Canada and the US in North America. France, Germany, and the rest of the UK have joined Ireland in Europe.
In Yahoo's video of Livetext in action, you can see how each sentence you type appears at the bottom of a video feed of whomever you're chatting with. Read More
Music creation apps on Android have lagged far behind iOS, but things are slowly catching up with improved latency in newer versions of Android. A music creation app just hit the Play Store that music aficionados might want to check out. It's called Stagelight (no, not Stagefright—bad timing) and you can try it for free. Read More
Hangouts 4.0. We want you. And that desire has only grown after Phandroid's latest leak. It looks like users will be able to initiate Hangouts conversations using Android Wear once the latest update comes around.
As some readers have pointed out, this feature does not appear to require Hangouts 4. People are having success initiating Hangouts messages from Android Wear using the version currently available in the Play Store. Read More
Xbox Music is now Groove. This is news that Microsoft detailed weeks ago, but it's only now—coinciding with the release of Windows 10—that we're seeing the name change on Android.
In the latest version, the rebranding has taken place. Microsoft highlights the ability to upload your music to OneDrive, stream music with a Music Pass subscription ($9.99 a month or $99 a year), and save files for offline use.
Not wasting any time, Sonos has already announced that it supports Groove. The integration is still in beta, but you're free to try it out right away. Look for it under Add Music Services. Read More
Welcome to the future. No, really, it's the future, right here and right now. And not just because we've got mobile processors that can calculate Pi to the ten trillionth digit, or because our video games are starting to look more like movies than games. Nope, what makes me feel like I'm living in The Future(TM) more than anything else is how all that pie-in-the-sky Moore's Law tech gets applied to solving very human problems, like figuring out where the exit is in the Jakarta airport.
Case in point: Google's Translate app is applying the Word Lens visual translate tool, which lets you point your phone's camera to a sign or piece of paper and see the text in your native language, to 20 new languages. Read More
Google acquired WordLens a while back, eventually integrating its visual text translation technology into the Translate app. It only supported seven languages at the time, but today's v4.0 update adds a lot more, and Google is showing off the visual translation feature with a nifty Google Translate vs. “La Bamba” video. Read More
Googler Kirill Grouchnikov likes to clue everyone into the subtle design tweaks in upcoming versions of the Play Store as they roll out, and today he's posted not once, not twice, but three times about a slick new hamburger animation. Is that overkill? I don't know... it's a pretty cool animation.
Mobile TV seems like a natural and obvious thing. That's why Sony sold a gajillion of those little portable TVs in the eighties, and why streaming of movies and TV shows has exploded on mobile platforms. So why, then, has mobile television streaming only taken off in a few markets? It seems like adding "unlimited free video with no data charges" to your phone's spec sheet would be something that would appeal to everyone.
Anyway. Motorola has a new mobile HDTV app available now, called... Mobile HDTV. It looks really similar to the other Motorola TV app, Mobile TV. Read More