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Android TV

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Tempow's multi-speaker Bluetooth tech on the Keecker Android robot teases big connected-home ambitions

Last year at IFA we took a look at the then-new Moto X4, checking out (among other features) its Wireless Sound System from Tempow, allowing it to sync audio across multiple Bluetooth speakers or headphones at the same time. This week we got to learn about the next evolution of Tempow's system, TAP Smart, shown off with the help of the Android-powered Keecker home robot.

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JBL Link Bar Android TV and Assistant-equipped soundbar hits pre-order for $400

A soundbar, an Android TV box, and a Google Assistant speaker. A soundbar, an Android TV box... are you getting it? These are not three separate devices; this is one device, and JBL is calling it 'Link Bar.' We first heard about the Link Bar right before I/O kicked off earlier this year, and we got an in-person demo at the event. This fancy sound bar is now available for pre-order at B&H for $399.95, which isn't a bad price at all for what you get.

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[Deal Alert] NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV down to $140 ($40 off) from Best Buy

NVIDIA's SHIELD TV hasn't been getting any younger, but it's still the Android TV box to have. It was available for $139 last month, but for one day only. Best Buy currently has the same deal (okay, it's an extra 99 cents), and you can get a controller for an extra $40 on top of that.

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NVIDIA Shield TV Smart Home Edition comes with a SmartThings Link hub for $219.99 ($1 more than if bought separately)

Despite how much I love my Shield TV and how often we use it in my household for streaming videos and playing games, I can't help but scratch my head a little at what NVIDIA is doing here. The company is rehashing its streaming box for the umpteenth time with another bundle and no price incentive to make anyone want to jump on board.

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YouTube for Android TV tests a new Now Playing UI with no suggested videos, no skip buttons, but easier access to captions

We live in a perpetual server-side microscopic interface change whirlwind. One day you get used to a new interface, the next another one starts popping up, improving some things, worsening others, and generally making our lives a little miserable in the process. But I can't complain, it's part of the reason I have a job, isn't it? The latest new UI we've spotted affects YouTube on Android TV, and it's not all good news. 

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AMC TV now has its own Android TV app

We talk a lot about cord-cutting — "skinny bundles" and the like — but there are still plenty of cable holdouts. Cable boxes are largely terrible, though, so any opportunity to not use them is a boon. To that end, AMC has just released an Android TV app.

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NVIDIA announces GeForce NOW upgrade for SHIELD Android TV

It was just a few weeks ago when NVIDIA announced it was ending paid subscriptions on GeForce NOW on the SHIELD. NVIDIA didn't talk about what it had planned, but we speculated it would move to a model like the one it was testing for PC. Yep, that's just what it's doing. NVIDIA is preparing to roll out an "upgraded" GeForce Now experience on the SHIELD that lets you play PC games you already own. This should happen in the next week.

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[Update: Fixed] Viacom apps mysteriously breaking compatibility with Android TV, play disappearing act with launcher

We might be fans of Android in general here, but we've also been vocal critics of Android TV—though Google promises to make things better someday. But even in its current form, it's a popular platform for many via devices like Nvidia's SHIELD TV. In a strange development, Viacom appears to have removed Android TV support for many of its apps, including Comedy Central, VH1, MTV, and BET. Even weirder, for a brief period some of the apps themselves seemed to have disappeared from Android TV devices. 

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All of Philips' 2014-2018 Android TVs should get updated to Android 8.0 Oreo

When you've coughed up several hundreds of dollars for a brand new TV, the last thing you want to worry about is whether it will get firmware updates over the next few years or become outdated. But such is the state of our modern world that this is a question we do have to ask ourselves. Luckily for Philips owners, it seems that the company is doing the right thing and planning to upgrade all of its 2014-2018 models to Android 8.0 Oreo.

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The SHIELD Experience 7.0 (Oreo) is now rolling out to all NVIDIA SHIELD Android TVs

NVIDIA began updating the SHIELD Android TV to Oreo a few weeks ago, but that update was quickly halted to address several issues. Now, NVIDIA says the Oreo update is all fixed up and ready to go. The v7.0 update includes a new home screen, more apps, bundled games, and more.

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