Users of the popular television management app TV Show Favs have some new features to look forward to. MKDevelopment, the guys behind its development, are currently testing v4 of their app with a beautiful new material design version. The redesign is almost unrecognizable, and an enormous visual improvement over the previous version's dated Holo-era design. In addition to a visual overhaul, there are a few other new features, like app shortcuts. This latest release is still in testing so there may be more features to come. Read More
The adoption of Chromecast as a de facto streaming standard was rapid, helped in no small part by the fact that it was the cheapest streaming gadget on the market which was immediately compatible with both major mobile phone systems. But not everyone leaps to support new tech, and old media giants like the National Broadcasting Company have never been accused of being nimble. So it took NBC the better part of three years to support Google's streaming standard, so what - it's not like they're a multi-million dollar entertainment company backed by an international supercorp.
Oh wait, they are.
The Chromecast support in NBC's official network app doesn't come with any other notable changes, though video streaming appears to work with all of the live and pre-recorded video within. Read More
HBO Now is the premium cable service's olive branch to cable-cutters, an attempt to reach out to the IPTV crowd before competition from Netflix an the like starts to seriously impact their bottom line. So why they chose to limit HBO Now to Apple devices in the first place is a bit of a puzzle - surely you'd want to make a paid service available to as wide an audience as possible? In any case, it wasn't too long before HBO Now came to standard Android devices, but support for Android TV was still missing. Read More
Most apps for cable and satellite TV providers suck. They tend to completely ignore user interface standards, throw up artificial limitations, and have poor performance. DirecTV's app seems to be an interesting exception - while customers aren't without complaints, the primary Play Store listing gives it a 4.1-star rating. Today it gets a handful of improvements, making the app better in some notable ways. The update is also being applied to the tablet version of the app, which has admittedly poorer ratings.
According to the change log, version 4.2 adds some considerable new functionality to the DIRECTV app home screen, which doubles as a remote control for a connected receiver. Read More
Android TV and similar set-top boxes are incredibly popular with the cord-cutting crowd. But if you still subscribe to cable, the various networks included with your package are finally getting their respective acts together and creating decent online options for streaming shows and movies. EPIX, a channel that's mostly focused on playing older and second-run movies, has finally made its way to Android TV. The app went live back on June 9th, but for some reason the company is just announcing it now.
EPIX is one of several apps that was revealed in an NVIDIA blog post following the launch of the SHIELD. Read More
I don't think anyone has ever accused cable companies of having the best aesthetic sensibilities, but DISH Network's former Android streaming app was a particularly good example of how not to do it. It was a lazy port of the iPhone version, and it showed, covering the basic streaming and scheduling with the bare minimum of effort. The new version... well, I'd be lying if I said it was great, but at least it gets a facelift and a proper tablet interface.
Old on top, new down below.
Other additional features in the updated app include various new content discovery tools like a Netflix-style recommendation engine, a list of the most popular shows (for better or worse), and a personal watch list. Read More
I'm sure there are plenty of cycling enthusiasts out there who think that $15 is a small price to pay to view the Tour de France from their mobile device. I don't happen to be among them, so I'll take NBC's claim that its new app can stream "every stage LIVE on your Android handheld or tablet device" for granted. The app is available now in the Play Store for all Android devices running Gingerbread or higher, though it's almost certainly limited to users in the United States.
In addition to live video and always-on replays, the app will let your track teams and cyclists in real time via the map view, read general news with video updates, check out rider profiles, and see results and standings. Read More
Google isn't the only one laying the groundwork for Android TV in the Play Store. It looks like Netflix is making sure that people can access its streaming service on the new system, despite the fact that only a few thousand people have been able to get their hands on the developer hardware from Google I/O. There's already a Netflix app for Android TV on the Play Store.
Naturally, it's incompatible with everything except the ADT-1 developer device. Google I/O attendees should be able to enjoy (read: beta test) Netflix's app for the next few months, which will let the company make sure it's ready for prime time when Android TV hits retailers later this year. Read More