The UK's most famous media institution, the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), seems like it's constantly in transition as it tries to maintain its traditional values at the same time as adapting to a new generation of viewers, listeners, and readers. As far as audio content goes, the BBC has had to supplement its live and on-demand content by releasing podcasts on other services, too.
Music streaming apps dominate with younger media consumers, so the BBC has had to come up with a new strategy which includes replacing the aging iPlayer Radio app with something a little more Generation Z. BBC Sounds is out now for Android and iOS, reimagining the BBC's audio output in a bid to tempt users away from the likes of Spotify and Apple Music. Read More
Free television streaming service Pluto TV updated its Android app to v3.5, adding Oreo picture-in-picture support, the ability to resume previously-watched On Demand content, and settings to configure the stream quality to conserve data. Read More
In February, Snapchat introduced a way for anyone to create custom geofilters for events such as birthdays or weddings (or almost anything else, really). Until now, creating a filter required at least a minimal level of mastery of tools such as Photoshop, so the feature wasn't truly accessible to many users. To address this, Snapchat has designed several templates that make it easy for anyone to make their own geofilter through Snapchat's website.
Snapchat has also updated their app with a few new features. Users can change the style of caption text by highlighting it and summoning the pop-up menu, and it's now possible to animate caption text in video Snaps too. Read More
After launching in Japan earlier this month, Netflix is set to expand its Asian presence in early 2016 by adding 4 countries to its availability map. If you live in South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, or Taiwan, you'll be happy to know that the video streaming service is coming to your neck of the woods (or rainforest) next year. At least you'll no longer be forced to VPN your way to the US to get Netflix working.
This expansion is part of the company's plan to reach more countries and more potential customers worldwide as quickly as possible. Italy, Portugal, and Spain are getting the service next month, and you can guess that more countries will be joining in later on. Read More
Amazon may be on its way to a theater near you. Amazon Studios, the online retailer's video production wing, has announced that it will start producing and acquiring its own original movies, debuting them in theaters and bringing them to Amazon Instant Video shortly thereafter. These works will come under the banner of Amazon Original Movies.
Amazon Studios has already produced a number of television series such as Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent. This has furthered its competition with Netflix, the video on demand provider that has broken records with its own originally-produced series House of Cards and plans to release its own original movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend in the summer of 2015. Read More
If, like many people in the UK, you like to sit down to a bit of The Inbetweeners or The IT Crowd in the evening, or maybe you just like your news delivered by Jon Snow, you're going to like what we're about to tell you: Channel 4 has finally made its 4oD app available on Android.
Using the app, you'll be able to watch content from Channel 4, E4 and More4 without paying a penny, although like most other catch-up TV services, the content will be ad-supported before you begin to watch your show. Like the web version of 4oD, you can access shows for 30 days after they air, and go through the archives to pick out memorable episodes from the past 30 years. Read More
Blockbuster, the former golden child of movie rentals, is feeling left out lately. No one is paying attention to its online offerings, no doubt partially because it's been broken into a thousand pieces. However, today the company launched a new, central service for renting movies online with just one app for all devices: Blockbuster On Demand.
When we say "rent", we do mean that. There is no subscription option that we see yet, and every movie costs a few bucks to check out for a 24-hour period. This firmly pits it against the Play Store and Amazon Instant Video. Read More
Chances are, most of you only ever hear about Epix in an article discussing streaming rights (like this one). Epix is an online streaming video service a la Netflix that you can only get access to if you have a cable bundle that includes the site. Or, you know, if you have Netflix. For now anyway. The real value of Epix is the stable of movie rights it brings to the table, and now the joint venture is sharing its media library with Amazon Instant Video for all of the online retail giant's Prime customers.
According to Amazon, the deal will "more than double the number of titles available" to its customers who subscribe to the Prime service. Read More
Today, we move yet another teeny tiny step forward to the truly digital future of television. Xfinity has launched the XFINITY TV Player which, aside from a name that's needlessly yelling, gives Comcast/Xfinity subscribers access to a host of television and movies on their Android 2.3+ devices. Both phones and tablets are supported.
The app supports Streampix, so for those of you who sprung for the extra $5/month service, this will give you access to that content, consolidated with all of the other available content on the service, including XFINITY On Demand. The app also looks great, with a proper separate phone and tablet UI, as you can see above. Read More
OnLive, a hugely popular on-demand gaming service which came to Android late last year, announced tonight the release of L.A. Noire: Touch Edition, which Founder and CEO Steve Perlman dubs "BY FAR the highest-performance game ever designed for tablets."
For those unaware, OnLive features 25 other touch-playable titles, some of which have been totally redesigned to support touch interaction. L.A. Noire is the latest title to get a touch makeover and is, according to Perlman, "the highest-performance console video game developed specifically for touch-enabled play via mobile cloud gaming. Ever."
Integrating context-specific touch controls with console-quality games successfully marries high-quality gaming with the dynamic touch interaction demanded by the tablet platform, making for an awesome gameplay experience. Read More