You asked. You begged. You pleaded. And your requests have not fallen on deaf ears... but it did take HBO a while, didn't it? The HBO GO app got a small update this morning, adding support for Google's streaming Chromecast dongle. Nothing more, nothing less.
After today's update to both Google's Chromecast whitelist and the HBO GO app itself, there are still just four third-party streaming apps that are compatible, including Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu Plus.
Android users have had a bit of a love-hate thing going on with Netflix in recent years. Even after a series of updates, the Netflix app was barely usable. Even so, it was the single best source for streaming video on Android and one of the few apps supporting the Chromecast. Starting today, we can put a stop to hate by simply updating our apps. Netflix v3.0 is rolling out to everyone with a completely revamped interface.
It's been over two months since Google started releasing Android 4.3 builds, and in all that time users of the updated Nexus and Google Play edition devices haven't been able to access the HBO GO or MAX GO (Cinemax) video services. Considering that subscriptions to both channels are pricey (on top of a cable or satellite subscription, no less) that made for a lot of less-than-satisfied customers.
Thankfully, both apps have finally been updated to new versions: 2.2.05 for both HBO GO and MAX GO.
Of all the major broadcast networks, CBS has been the slowest to adopt streaming models. With most of its rivals moving more into online content, CBS is finally responding, which is good for us. The new streaming video app for Android includes schedules, clips, and full episodes – all available for free in HD.
The app contains a wide array of programs, many of which have multiple full episodes to stream.
Piper is a nifty little gadget that combines a number of recently deployed technologies to create a connected and hyper-aware home automation hub. The project has been getting a lot of press since it appeared on Indiegogo a couple of weeks ago, and it passed its $100,000 funding goal today. There's another twenty days before the project ends, so the creators won't be wanting for funds.
Piper is essentially is a little box that's stuffed with a ton of sensors and WiFi connectivity, making it the hub of a connected house.
Ustream seems to have found its niche in the live streaming of video. The app lets you broadcast live to any number on viewers of WiFi or mobile data. In the new update, developers seem to have spruced up the joint. Ustream is now much more attractive and should also have better video performance.
Back when Redbox Instant first hit Android, many users were a bit upset that Redbox and Verizon decided to shun rooted users by blocking the app's video playback on rooted devices. Updates came and went, but nothing was done to correct this [rather ridiculous] error. Until now.
The app was just updated to v1.2, which "changes the way [it] handles rooted devices." Considering the changelog wasn't very clear about what that means, we decided to jump in and check it out for ourselves.
Who's excited for Redbox Instant Streaming? ...Anyone? Though the digital streaming arm of the popular DVD rental service is noticeably behind, well, everyone, customers who've paid their money can now stream movies directly to their Google TV units, thanks to the new app. Redbox Instant is available for download now. By the way, don't be misled by that "by Verizon" tag on the app title - you don't need to be a Verizon Wireless or Verizon FiOS subscriber to use the app.
Cablevision might not cover the largest geographic area, but it's actually the 8th largest cable company by number of subscribers. Those lucky enough to have Cablevision TV piped into their homes have a new app to play with today. The Optimum app lets you stream TV and control your DVR right from the device. Of course, you need a compatible phone and those are apparently hard to come by.
Leave it to Comcast to be ahead of the curve on keeping up to date with new technology*. The Comcast subsidiary Xfinity has just updated its TV Player app to be compatible with Android 4.1, with special emphasis on supporting the Nexus 7. The app is technically compatible, though the release notes say that the next version of the app will include a UI designed specifically for the 7" form factor.