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. Read More
There's a holiday this weekend, and even if you don't celebrate this particular one, there are plenty of sales to take advantage of in the Play Store. Get your Google Wallet ready and proceed to the sales just below.
The official CBS Sports app has been updated to work with Android TV devices. What, you want more? That's all there is to this story. OK, it's also been updated with non-specific improvements for the upcoming Masters golf tournament, plus a few bug fixes. Um... it's now on version 8.2.2. And here's a screenshot from my phone, because I don't have an Android TV box yet and CBS didn't include a shot of the TV interface anywhere. Read More
Hangouts has recently made a habit of adding a little flair to every holiday with some Easter eggs. While most of the year you would know what I mean by Easter egg, let's be clear that I am referring to those hidden little gimmicks that you might stumble upon in software. But, this weekend, I also mean the other kind of Easter egg. Hangouts has come full circle by adding Easter eggs for Easter that are actually Easter eggs. Read More
You can imagine that running around the CES show floor for someone who has been fascinated (as well as convinced and positively influenced) by wearable activity trackers felt like breaking free inside a candy factory. Dozens if not hundreds of brands were vying for everyone's attention and a share of the pie in the tiny wearable market, and I had to check most of the intriguing and known ones to see what they had to offer. Among the hundreds of displays, from the companies I'd never heard of to the recognizable brands like Fitbit, Garmin, and Withings, one surprised me the most: Misfit.
I knew the Indiegogo origin story of Misfit — which translated into skepticism in my mind — and I'd read about its Shine tracker and simpler/cheaper Flash version, but I wasn't completely convinced by the quality nor the premise of the brand. Read More
You may have caught the news earlier today about the alpha and beta versions of Kodi (formerly XMBC) finally reaching the Play Store. Well, as a nice accessory to that, there's the official remote app now too. This listing actually showed up a few weeks ago, but has gone mostly unnoticed, which is why you are reading these words. Kore lets you control the action on Kodi, and it looks rather nice.
The Play Store is where you go to watch your other apps get updated, but occasionally it's nice to sit back and watch as the store gets its own renovation. Sometimes the changes are stark. Other times, there are just a few new lights here or there.
In version 5.4, it's not about what's been added, but what's been taken away. The notification bar has lost its color. Now Play Store pages appear with banner images that reach towards the top of the screen. The green strip doesn't return to the bar until you start to scroll down.
Left: Old, Right: New
The amount of chrome at the top of the screen has gradually eroded since 5.2. Read More
Have you ever looked at your low-tech car audio system and wished your head unit could just be as smart as the phone in your pocket? Or maybe you have one of those fancy infotainment systems whose software tends to make the HTC G1 look futuristic by comparison. Well, an automaker finally decided to acknowledge that it's easier to use the hardware that the customer already has than build something newer and more expensive that won't do any better. Which manufacturer decided to do it? It's the same people who brought you this:
Yep, smart, of smart car fame and subsidiary of Daimler AG, the group behind Mercedes-Benz. Read More