Razer's Forge TV, one of the only third party stand-alone Android TV devices announced since the platform launched, is already available as a pre-order from Amazon. Now you can get it straight from the serpent's mouth: Razer is accepting pre-orders for both the Forge TV and the bundle with a Serval controller. The set-top box alone is shipping out on April 29th, with the bundle coming a little later on May 5th.
Let's be honest here: there hasn't been much movement for Android TV since the Nexus Player was released way back in November. Though Sony has committed to using ATV in its upcoming smart TVs, the actual availability of Google's latest set-top box is depressingly low. But two gaming-centric Android TV units are on the horizon, and one of them is from veteran PC accessory vendor Razer. The Forge TV now has an unconfirmed release date (May 1st) and at least one pre-order retailer (Amazon).
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.
The popular Video LAN Client may finally have a stable release for Android, but that doesn't mean it can't be improved. The 1.2 update adds support for audio playlists, which was apparently missing from the previous releases. Unfortunately due to the limitations of M3U files (the default playlist type for the desktop version of VLC) it's tricky to simply copy your playlists from your computer to your phone. You'll probably need to set them up manually in the app, as below.
UK readers, have you been stewing in jealousy over Americans' access to Android TV and the Nexus Player? Well you shouldn't be - it's not all that great, at least at the moment. But if you're eager to check out the only retail ATV device available thus far, now you can. The Nexus Player is selling on the UK version of the Google Store for £79 (a little less than $120 USD at the moment - sorry about that).
Plex has updated its now unified Android app to v4.0 with a number of important changes. While the app went partially material in a past update, the transformation is now more substantial. In addition to the UI tweaks, you get better server control, user management, and more.
Early this month, Google announced a major update to its Play services framework, which brings the version number up to 7.0 and adds several great new APIs. The SDK for this update was held back until the corresponding apk had time to make its way out to Android devices everywhere. The wait is now over, and the SDK is live. Developers are now free to incorporate all of the new APIs into their apps.
Or your mom, or grandparents, or siblings or children, whatever. The point is that TeamViewer thinks that there's a market for remote support on Android TV. The QuickSupport app allows users to remotely view and control an Android device from a standard PC - it's essentially the reverse of a conventional remote desktop app. And now it works on your TV! How 'bout that.
Honestly, the Android TV interface is so stripped down and simple - think Roku meets the Play Store - that it's hard to imagine a situation where someone would buy a unit for themselves and not be able to operate it.
NVIDIA has just taken the stage at GDC for its big "Made to Game" announcement, and guess what... it's another SHIELD. This one is just called SHIELD, though, and it's an Android TV box. NVIDIA has added its own twist on Android TV, just like it does with regular Android. The new NVIDIA SHIELD has support for native 4K 60Hz video signals and NVIDIA GRID game streaming technology.
The Android ecosystem –as most of us think of it– is built on more than just an operating system and a marketplace for independent apps. It's largely shaped by dozens of services that have been built by Google, allowing developers to add rich features to their apps without building out expensive infrastructures. The Google Play services package is the core element in this equation, and it's getting a pretty major update to version 7.0 over the next couple of weeks. Google just announced that it's about to give developers access to important new features including a Places API to get surrounding businesses and landmarks, and a new Nearby Connections API to make it easier for phones and tablets to act as a second screen to your Android TV.