Right now there are three Android phones and four Android tablets within arm's reach of my desk, and another half dozen or so in my closet. (It's OK, I don't have a problem. This is my job.) If you're in a similar situation, you can put some of those gadgets to use: they work great as remotes for set-top boxes like Android TV or Roku, or you can cobble them together into a sort of poor man's Sonos multi-room speaker system. Here's one more option: turn it into a home security camera.
Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here (warning: this video is uncut). As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.
On this week's episode: Initial impressions of the Nexus 5X, 6P, and HTC One A9. We also talk about YouTube Red and more!
Are you a fan of cartoons produced, owned, and distributed by Fox Broadcasting Company? Hey, then it's your lucky day—well, unless you don't like pinball. Zen Pinball now has tables based on Bob's Burgers, Archer, Family Guy, and American Dad.
GIFs are nothing new, but these days, they're mainstream and everywhere. That has driven big tech companies to come up with their own approaches for awkwardly animating pictures. Google automatically strings together several similar images and lets you export them as GIFs. Apple doesn't call them GIFs―they're Live Photos. Now Instagram is introducing Boomerangs, which you create using its new app called Boomerang.
YouTube Red is a damn good idea, and I'm not even going to qualify that statement. You know why it's a damn good idea? Because YouTube needs to grow up, and step one is getting rid of those garbage advertisements we all love to hate so much. Step two is convincing average, rational human beings that maybe, possibly, they could see themselves in a world in which they might actually pay to more conveniently watch the things and people they really, really, really like to watch.
At the moment, and probably for a while yet, basically all of YouTube's revenue comes from advertisements.
The day we've been waiting for is finally here—the ad-free YouTube Red service is a reality. Well, technically it will be a reality in a week on October 28th (close to the date we had before), but we've got all the details now. For $9.99 per month you'll never see another ad on YouTube, and it includes a number of other cool perks.
Bugs happen. As a result, bugfix updates also happen. Kodi 15.2 is the second such release since version 15.0 of the app formerly known as XBMC went stable, and it tackles quite a list of issues. Head's up—all of them are very specific.
On several Android devices that used an Amlogic chipset, Kodi 15 only showed a zoomed in display or only used part of the screen. 15.2 addresses this.
Some users lost video after fast-forwarding. This, too, has been squared away.
15.2 also fixes refresh-rate switching on Android devices like the Nexus Player and NVIDIA SHIELD TV.
Other fixes address non-DVB and MicroDVD subtitles, incompatible MySQL queries, PulseAudo on Linux, default sorting for songs over UPnP, volume adjustment for Xbox controllers, and the time format when setting regions.
Google Photos' decoupling from Google+ dates back to May, which means five months have now passed since. In this time, Google Photos has received several updates and gained essential features like Chromecast support and albums for adding and reordering images. Now the Photos team is ready to reflect on these five months and share with us a few stats about the app and service's use.
Photos now counts 100 Million active monthly users, but how that number is tallied I couldn't tell you. Does a single search or view count, or did they require uploads for users to be marked as active? I'm not sure. 15 Million animations and collages have been created, either manually or through Assistant.
HTC has officially announced the One A9 today, with a 5" Super AMOLED 1080p display with Gorilla Glass 4, a fingerprint scanner, microSD slot, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow with a revised version of sense. This will make the A9 the first non-Nexus device to launch with the latest version of the Android OS. The One A9 will be available in 4 colors, pictures below (we're not sure which markets will get which colors, yet). It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz for the high-power cores and 1.2GHz for low-power, and is available with 16GB or 32GB of internal storage and 2GB or 3GB of RAM, respectively, though the US is only getting the 32GB version, which has a an introductory price of $399.
STARZ may not have as many subscribers as HBO, but the premium cable network has several popular shows with millions of loyal followers. Today, watching these shows got a little easier for Android TV owners as the STARZ Play Android TV app was added to the Playstore. Unlike HBO's Android TV launch, the app is available for all devices out of the gate, both TVs and streaming boxes.
The STARZ Android TV app is much like its regular Android counterpart. Once you sign in with your cable provider's login information you can stream all the content available to STARZ subscribers.