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
NVIDIA is taking advantage of the excitement around Google I/O to announce some improvements to its own Android hardware. The SHIELD TV is getting some interesting new capabilities with its next update, version 3.2. Specifically, it will be the first Android TV hardware to support High Dynamic Range (HDR) video - that's something that's coming to Android N later, but NVIDIA wants to get a jump on the competition. Read More
NVIDIA launched the original SHIELD Tablet nearly two years ago in 2014, then it refreshed the device with a lower price point at the end of 2015 as the Tablet K1. However, it has yet to mention a true successor to the tablet. A new NVIDIA device has just hit the FCC, and it looks like a new SHIELD Tablet, if the documents are to be believed. Read More
While the likes of Activision and EA keep spinning their wheels with endless iterations and only a few modest twists on age-old genres, indie developers continue to outclass them with a fraction of the resources. For example: Ultimate Chicken Horse. Not only does this Kickstarter-funded platformer embrace local multiplayer (something that seems completely alien to AAA publishers these days), it tasks players with building the stage itself before the action begins, combining elements of Minecraft and Mario. Read More
NVIDIA started rolling Marshmallow out to the original SHIELD tablet a few months ago after getting the K1 up to date late last year, and now the company is moving the SHIELD to the latest and greatest version. The v4.1 update from 6.0 to 6.0.1 is rolling out now with emoji, security patches, and more. Well, unless you have the more expensive US 32GB LTE SHIELD. Then you're still stuck on Lollipop for some reason. Read More
NVIDIA's SHIELD is the best stand-alone Android TV device on the market... in an admittedly limited field of competitors. At $200 with an included controller, it's at a fairly premium price for a set-top box (the top-of-the-line Roku streaming gadget is $130, for example). But if you plan to take advantage of its unique PC game streaming capability or NVIDIA's growing stable of exclusive Android games, it's not unreasonable for two bills. Now the pot gets a little sweeter: for a limited time, NVIDIA will throw in a second controller with a SHIELD TV purchase. Read More
The title for the sequel to Stealth Inc. is a pun on HBO's Game of Thrones fantasy series. Perhaps that's why NVIDIA published it to the Play Store this week: with the next season starting on Sunday, there's no better chance to capitalize on at least a few dozen people mistakenly putting the wrong search phrase into Google. But underneath its pop culture allusions there's a solid platform-puzzle game, and now it's available for the SHIELD Android TV and SHIELD Tablet (sorry, SHIELD Portable owners... and every other Android user, I guess). It's $10 with no in-app purchases.
The Stealth Inc. Read More
NVIDIA is sending out a new OTA update for the SHIELD Android TV box, and it adds at least one feature people have been anxious to get. When the latest update hits your device, you'll finally be able to use apps with a mouse cursor. There are also optimizations for new games and a number of Marshmallow bug fixes. Read More
In a continuing attempt to establish its SHIELD hardware as a platform all its own, NVIDIA keeps securing exclusive games from indie developers. Today we get two, count 'em, two games that have become favorites on Steam and other download services: Super Meat Boy and Stikbold! The former is an old-school platformer with wicked difficulty and a biting sense of humor, and the latter is a 3D reinterpretation of retro games like Super Dodge Ball. Super Meat Boy costs a hefty $15 and it's available for the SHIELD TV and SHIELD Tablet, but Stikbold! ($10) is only for the Android TV hardware. Read More
The SHIELD Tablet is still going strong, right there with the SHIELD Android TV. (The original SHIELD Portable, not so much. Hey NVIDIA, where's that SHIELD 2 you guys were working on?) The original tablet and the slightly newer variant, the K1, were both updated to Android 6.0 a couple of months ago after a rocky start. But for some reason the K1 is getting the latest incremental update first. K1 update 1.2 adds Android 6.0.1, including the security patches from March. Read More