Every one of us is dealing with their quarantine boredom in a different way. Some have taken on cooking or gardening, some are still finding ways to get out and exercise away from people, many are resorting to video calls to stay in touch with their friends and family, and others have picked up neglected hobbies like wood-work and knitting. But if you still feel that all of this isn't enough to fill your empty days, I've got a neat recommendation for you: nature livestreams. They're fascinating, time-consuming, full of surprises, and very easy to get sucked into. Read More
Some people are cord cutters — fed up with cable bills that seem to rise every month, hardware rental fees, and the unshakable sense that they aren't getting a ton of value for their entertainment buck. The just-under $150 Channel Master Stream+ and its ability to both stream online content and record free over-the-air broadcasts promises to keep them happy in a cable-free world. Does it deliver? Read More
You may recall that Microsoft purchased Beam, a live streaming company, back in August of 2016. The Windows 10 Creators Update, which was released not too long ago, includes Beam support for streaming games without having to install additional software. Today Microsoft has renamed the service to 'Mixer,' and released a beta of the Android app. Read More
Google wants to be the undisputed leader in live streaming video games. With the announcement of YouTube Gaming, Google declared its intention to do battle with Twitch over an industry that may eventually amass a mind-blowing number of viewers. We're now receiving the first major app update to YouTube Gaming, and it's a huge one. Version 1.1 introduces screen recording and live screencasting directly from an Android device. On the content consumption side of things, the Watch Later feature from YouTube has been added in, and there's also a new import tool for quickly and easily porting your gaming-related subscriptions over to the new app. Read More
Android's Google+ app also got an update today that - while masquerading as a stability/bug-fix release - packed in at least one new treat - the ability to cast your stream to a Chromecast.
While casting, users can flip through posts with manual controls or just wait for the stream's auto-play. The interface shown through your Chromecast will look much like the one in the app, minus Android's system interface and playback controls. Post images fill the whole screen, putting post content at the top, and the post's source at the bottom. We're sorry to report that the cast stream doesn't appear to support GIFs. Read More
Along with two new apps, today's Update Wednesday has brought us a new version of YouTube with version 5.6.31. The previous version was 5.5.27, so it became clear right away that we should expect something relatively significant as opposed to simple bug fixes. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to disappoint those of you still waiting for offline and screen-off playback - those are not here just yet. There are no major UI changes either. So, what's new then? Let's take a look.
Casting live videos
A little over a week ago, Google finally enabled casting of live videos from the desktop YouTube player. Read More
One more app that took part in Update Wednesday yesterday is the official Chromecast app, which helps users set up their new Chromecasts to work with their phone or tablet. The app got bumped from 1.3.10 to 1.5.3 and while Google has published its own short change log, we of course couldn't resist doing a quick teardown to see if there were any other goodies. First though, here's what Google says is new.
- App available in over 50 languages.
- Improved support for Samsung devices.
- Additional Chromecast settings and bug fixes.
There are some more interesting tidbits hiding inside the APK, though. Read More
Snapchat allows users to send and receive media that disappears after a recipient has opened it, laughed, and - if it's really good - taken a screenshot. It's a nice way to communicate and share content without having to deal with storing and organizing everything that you upload, but sometimes you may want to share a photo with all of your friends at once. Snapchat is rolling out a new feature that lets you share such content for up to 24 hours in a timeline that everyone can see. This timeline is your Story, and Snapchat has released a series of trailers to help you familiarize yourself with it. Read More
In a post to its blog today, Sony gave a brief look at a new device to be announced this Sunday, the 15th of September.
What the company calls the BRAVIA Smart Stick looks like a waffle or small wafer cookie, and "plugs into the MHL connection on the back of 2013 Sony BRAVIA televisions, with another short cable plugged into the USB port for power." Right now it's unclear if the device will be compatible with other TV models.
The device sounds kind of like a Chromecast and, in so far as it's a dongle, looks sort of like a Chromecast, and indeed the device could end up packing the Chromecast protocol allowing users to stream content from compatible apps, but Sony makes a point to clarify that it's more like a Google TV device with BRAVIA apps pre-installed, excluding any potential Chromecast-related functionality. Read More