Among the many things announced at Google I/O was support for casting custom backdrops to the Chromecast. We haven't heard anything about it since then, but now users are beginning to report seeing "Casting Backdrop" listed on their devices.
The landlocked European country of Austria and the Chinese island megacity of Hong Kong don't have a lot in common, but this morning (or this afternoon, depending on where you are) they can come together and bond over cheap Google streaming gadgets. The Chromecast just launched on the respective Play Stores in both territories, making it easy to get a hold of one without importing it or bribing your American buddies.
In addition to a handful of new Chromecast-supported apps announced by Google, Sling Media is getting in on the action. According to this blog post, the Slingplayer app for Android smartphones now has Chromecasting capability. Though the latest update for the app itself was way back in July, Chromecast support is often enabled via a server-side switch, so it should be working now. Compatible Sling hardware includes the Slingbox M1, 350, 500, and SlingTV.
Getting the kernel source code for devices is something of a rite of passage for new Android phones. In the United States and other parts of the world with heavy smartphone penetration, the focus is on the big, flashy flagship models - the sooner the kernels are published, the sooner those ROM makers can get cracking on custom ROMs and kernels. But considering the immediate response that Google's Android One program has received, I think those phones may turn out to be some of the most popular ROM recipients around.
The stable of apps that support Google's Chromecast device just seems to keep growing. In addition to NPR One and Watch ABC last month, Google just announced a handful of new apps that have been enabled today. The biggest additions for our readers are probably Twitch, the online game stream broadcasting service, and iHeartRadio, the radio streaming service from
ClearChannel iHeartMedia. Both of them should be ready to stream content to your TV now.
Those willing to venture into chrome://flags can often enjoy experimental treats that haven't made it into default circulation yet. One flag in Chrome, brought to our attention by a tipster, enables "answers in suggest," giving users answers to simple questions right in the omnibar. So if for some reason you're wondering what the capital of Maryland is, or the population of the world, you can get the answer without actually performing a search.
We recently posted an exclusive look at technical drawings for a Bluetooth keyboard cover destined for HTC's upcoming Nexus 9 (Volantis) tablet. At the time all we had to go on were drawings accompanying the information provided to us (and my own renders), but VR-Zone caught some photos of the keyboard case as it passed through NCC certification.
We can confirm that the model number for the keyboard in these photos (UG0B) matches the model number in the materials provided to us for our initial coverage, so - while the device pictured may still be in testing - we can say with confidence that this is the same keyboard case.
People have been searching for an easy way to download YouTube videos to Android since... well, probably since the original G1. And sometime in the very near future, Google is prepared to give it to them... if they live in India. Tucked into the promotional materials for Android One's launch was this tidbit about letting users download YouTube videos for watching online later. The idea is for users to download the videos on WiFi and save on data charges or access them when outside of mobile coverage.
Exactly when YouTube will be available offline hasn't been disclosed.