Slingbox has pushed out a handful of updates for SlingPlayer on iOS and Android, adding new features on both platforms. On the Android side, Slingbox joined forces with sporting-app Thuuz. Now if you have to skip watching the Giants game for work, SlingPlayer will let you know Tim Lincecum is using his secret mustache powers to pitch a no-hitter . If you can sneak away from your meeting for a "bathroom break," a link within the app will instantly tune you into the hair-raising action. The sports app won't be integrated into the iPhone version of SlingPlayer until this summer, but iOS users can still download it on its own to try out now.
Go ahead and dust off your OUYAs, friends -- it's updatin' time. The little Android game console that could wasn't exactly the runaway hit its creators were hoping for, but some fresh features found in the new Chupacabra update help this thing stand a bit taller. As far as the team is concerned, the biggest draw is the addition of AC3, DTS and AAS audio passthrough support for the exceedingly popular XBMC media center app. The OUYA itself doesn't have the proper licenses to play certain bits of audio (say, a movie's surround sound audio track), but now it can pass them over to a user's home theater receiver that does have the licenses. In short, those of you using your tiny Android consoles as media centers can finally play some of the trickier videos in your collection.
Also tucked away in the update: a cleaner view at game information, a download manager and the ability to set certain games as favorites for easy access. Alas, it's not all sunshine and rainbows here -- OUYA said it would remove its free-to-try requirement, and that change has finally taken hold. Granted, the move basically neuters one of the most gamer-friendly parts about owning an OUYA (who doesn't love free game demos?), but we suppose the company's gotta do what it has to in order to keep those game developers happy.
The BBC has allowed Android users to download programmes since September last year, but that functionality was only extended to 11 of the most popular Android devices at the time. While its slowly expanded support over the past seven months, the Beeb today welcomed the majority of Android iPlayer users to the party, updating the app to allow downloads on devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and above. To put it in perspective: 96 percent of current BBC iPlayer users now have a smartphone or tablet capable of storing programmes for offline playback.
Source: BBC Internet Blog
You no longer have to engage in some hidden setting gymnastics just to send web videos from Chrome for Android to your Chromecast. Google has rolled out a Chrome 35 beta that lets you deliver "some" clips from the browser to a Chromecast-equipped TV. The company hasn't said just which videos are compatible, but it notes that YouTube support is rough around the edges. Even if your favorite media site is broken, you can check out a few other notable upgrades: Chrome now does full-screen videos with both HTML5 controls and subtitles, and it boasts improved support for multi-window devices. Head over to Google Play to grab the update if you're a regular web movie watcher.
07/04/2014 - You can now stream BT Sport on Google Chromecast
The US may have beaten the UK to the punch on Chromecast hardware, but us Brits now have access to another thing the Americans don't: live premiership football. Following news that it was expanding its apps to support the £30 streaming accessory, BT today switched live the necessary features to allow Sport subscribers to beam content from their iOS or Android device directly to their TV. Of course, you will need a BT Broadband package or be BT Sport subscriber to gain access to the live streams. If you've already met that requirement, then it's a simple case of hitting the "Cast" button in either of BT's official apps to enjoy football, rugby, Moto GP, tennis or UFC coverage on your nice big flatscreen.
Source: Google UK (Twitter)
Google has been edging away from the original Google TV concept for a while, but it now looks like the company is ready to make a sharper break from its past. The Verge claims to have documents revealing a new Android TV release with a more conventional (if very slick) living room interface. Rather than stress apps or the web, the new OS would rely on a familiar, simplified card layout centered around accessing content quickly. It would put more emphasis on home screen suggestions, and it would be easy to resume media you were playing on your phone or tablet. There are also mentions of gamepad support, suggesting that games may play a more important role this time around. We don't know just when the new Android TV software would reach screens and set-top boxes -- the folks in Mountain View aren't commenting. If the leak is accurate, though, we'll at least know that the search giant isn't fazed by Google TV's past challenges.
Source: The Verge
Microsoft only just revealed it would test new TV remote features on the Xbox One and its associated SmartGlass apps, and Windows Phone Central points out that right now anyone can give them a try. All you need is one of the game systems and a device running Android, Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8. We tried out the apps and they install right alongside the standard Xbox One Smartglass apps, although there are some known issues and rough edges. The smiley face button serves as a way to report any issues, but overall things worked smoothly, and we were able to navigate recordings on a standard Comcast DVR or surf through the OneGuide without a problem. Download the apps now and try them via Google Play, the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store -- we haven't spotted a beta version for iOS yet.
26/03/2014 - Lenovo's new smart TV system grants greater processing power, more memory through swappable modules (hands-on)
Lenovo is best known for its ThinkPad laptops and newly acquired phone business, but the Chinese firm started making TVs a couple years ago, too. And now, it's the first one to build a set utilizing NVIDIA's new Tegra K1 chip. It's that super-powered silicon that explains the TV's presence at GTC 2014, so naturally, we had to spend some time with it while we were at the show. Called the Terminator S9, it's a 50-inch 4K smart TV that runs a Lenovo-skinned version of Android 4.2 natively, but the real magic happens courtesy of a small plug-in module round the back called a Smart Card.%Gallery-slideshow185919%
Google's Sundar Pichai said that Chromecast would be available in many more countries this month, and it now appears that this worldwide launch could be close at hand. Engadget reader Martin has noticed that big UK retail chain Currys is already listing the TV media stick, with nary an official announcement in sight. The company says it's out of stock, but there's a plausible £30 ($50) price tag in place. While the entry doesn't give any clues as to when the Chromecast would reach the country, Google has less than two weeks to make good on its word -- we'd reckon that the device arrives sooner rather than later.
Google's Chromecast has been very well received so far -- and thanks to the SDK, becoming more useful with better support from music, video and photo apps -- but without international availability, it's tricky to get a hold of if you don't live in the US. Previous indications pointed to a UK launch this month, and things are lining up to make that happen. First, Google's Sundar Pichai mentioned the HDMI dongle would come to "many more countries" in coming weeks during his SXSW Interactive appearance. Next, the Chromecast control app on Android received an update making it available in 50 new languages. Android Police dug into the updated file itself, finding references for "TV offers" and possible 5GHz WiFi support. Finally, Liliputing points out a tweet by an employee of UK retailer Curry's, with a pic claiming to show a stack of Chromecasts that have just arrived, albeit without an exact release date or associated retail info.
14/03/2014 - Plex adds adds free Chromecast support for all, media shuffling and camera uploads to iOS
If paying for beta access to new features isn't your bag, the folks at Plex have some good news for you. The media outfit's announced that not only is beaming your content to Google's HDMI dongle free now (if you've purchased the app), but iOS fans can join the music and photo party too. But wait, there's more: the update also lets web users and iDevice owners shuffle, reorder, remove and add content to a media queue with some pretty neat filtering options. There isn't an ETA for availability on other platforms, however.
Plex Pass subscribers have a new toy too: iOS camera uploads. The feature is pretty self-explanatory (photos are background-uploaded from your device to the Plex servers), but, if you don't have an Apple TV, it's likely one of the easier ways to put your pictures on the living room flat-screen. Can you hear that? It's the sound of the Chromecast-app floodgates creaking open -- on Apple's mobile OS, even.
Cyanogen's Koushik Dutta has been teasing the prospect of mirroring your Android screen on Chromecast for a few weeks, and today you can finally try the feature -- if you have the right smartphone, that is. An updated version of the Mirror for Android beta includes early support for mirroring to either a Chrome browser or Chromecast, but only if you have a Nexus 5. Google's phone is the sole device with the hardware video decoder needed for this mirroring technique, Dutta says. You also have to get root-level access to the operating system with the current release, although that won't be necessary in the future. Provided you meet the app's exacting requirements, you can give mirroring a spin at the source link.
Source: Koushik Dutta (Google+)
05/03/2014 - CNN's Flipboard rival now belongs to... Flipboard
CNN bought the news aggregation service Zite to get a fast track in the mobile space, but it never gained much ground versus Zite's arch-rival, Flipboard. Accordingly, the TV broadcaster is throwing in the towel -- it just sold Zite to Flipboard for $60 million. The deal brings a raft of previously unavailable CNN content to Flipboard's news curation platform, ranging from articles to video feeds for shows like Anderson Cooper 360 and Inside Politics. The network has also agreed to produce custom magazines (shown here) that go beyond what you'd normally find online. CNN's content is available today, and it's launching alongside a big Android app update that lets readers sign in with Google, control article density, curb their data use and attach photos to custom magazines.
There isn't exactly an abundance of major movie services that will send video to a Chromecast; for the most part, Google Play Movies and Netflix still rule the roost. It's a good thing, then, that Vudu has announced plans to support the TV media adapter through both updated mobile apps and Chrome on the desktop. The provider won't say just when Chromecast support is coming other than "soon," but early adopters can register for a beta test. Either way, it's clear that Vudu still wants its video platform on every living room device you own.
Want to stream any web video from your smartphone to your Chromecast? Grab the beta release of Chrome 34 for Android. The browser includes experimental support for sending embedded clips to Google's media stick, saving you from launching a native app just to watch something on a TV. As you'd expect, there are some compatibility hiccups at this early stage. YouTube works well (surprise!), but other sites are hit and miss -- you're best off sticking to videos from major, HTML5-friendly hosts like Vimeo. If you're willing to live with some inconsistencies, though, you can try the streaming feature today.
[Image credit: WhyYouPaul, Reddit]
WWE promised that Americans would be watching body slams and piledrivers on a myriad of devices toward the end of this month, and that moment is finally at hand. WWE Network apps are now available in the US for almost every major platform under the sun, including Android, Apple TV, iOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Roku players, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. In all cases, you'll pay $10 per month to stream live wrestling events as well as beyond-the-ring content like documentaries and classic matches. The app also serves as a second screen companion when you're watching live TV shows. International grappling fans will have to remain patient, however -- WWE Network won't reach other countries until late 2014 or early 2015.
With Google's latest update to Play Services, it shouldn't be long before the Chromecast section of its app store gets a little more lively. Now that the Android SDK has support for the HDMI dongle baked in, developers can add the functionality to virtually any app they want, at-will. Google opened access to the streaming stick's inner workings earlier this month, but, as Phandroid tells it, the search giant asked devs to hold onto their releases until the public's phones and tablets had the framework, too. Now that it's out, swaths of cast-capable apps could start hitting the Play store relatively quickly. It may have taken longer than some expected, but Google's plan to embed the casting tech across an array of devices has finally come to fruition -- and the users stand to reap the rewards.
Source: Android Developers (G+)
Android-toting TV viewers in the UK won't have to worry about what hardware they use to catch up on their favorite shows. Sky has just launched a new Now TV beta that runs on most devices using Android 4.0 or higher, including tablets like the Nexus 7. It also introduces support for the £5 Entertainment Month Pass, which offers 10 live channels that include Comedy Central and Sky1. You can still use the earlier Now TV app if you're running an older Android version, but don't count on the software hanging around -- it'll be phased out later this year.
Jealous of your friends' phones packing NVIDIA chips and the access to TegraZone that they enjoy? You need not be any longer,
Via: Android Community
25/01/2014 - SoundHound's music search app turns its focus to the Grammys with real-time updates and more
Awards nights tend to give rise to slews of app tie-ins, and for this year's Grammys, SoundHound's tossing its hat in the ring. In addition to being able to recognize songs by "listening" to them, the refreshed app comes with a dedicated page for the event that currently lists performers and nominees. Anyone who clicks SoundHound's orange button during the live broadcast on Sunday night, though, will see real-time info, the list of winners and relevant Twitter posts instead. Chances are, music lovers don't exactly need SoundHound to identify "Just Give Me A Reason" and other nominated songs. Those who find these special features useful, however, can download the app from the source links below.
The Beats empire has officially expanded beyond its humble headphone roots. In just a few hours Beats Music will officially launch, the latest contestant for your streaming music dollar. Of course, the market for such services is already pretty crowded. Between Spotify, Google Play and Rdio (just to name a few) one might wonder "why bother?" Well, the company thinks there's plenty of fish in the sea who haven't jumped aboard the music subscription bandwagon just yet. While we're sure execs are hoping to convert a few listeners along the way, they're more concerned with broadening the pool of customers. After two years of plugging away, with a little help from Trent Reznor and its MOG acquisition, Beats feels it has something unique to offer; something built around curation, emotion and a personalized user experience. It all sounds good in theory, but the real question is whether or not the reality lives up to the promise. As usual, the answer is complicated and it awaits you after the break.?
After all the time we've spent with Oculus VR's latest Crystal Cove prototype this week -- our first Best of CES award winner! -- you might think we're all VR'd out. You'd be wrong, and when the folks at GameFace Labs offered us a chance to check out their Android-based, standalone VR headset, we jumped at the chance.
The Mark IV model of GFL's unnamed headset is a 3D-printed proof of concept, and it serves that goal fantastically. We put on the headset, were handed a paired Bluetooth gamepad (Sony's DualShock 3), and were instantly transported to a lower-res version of the Tuscany demo we've seen running previously on the Rift. Only there's one major difference here: no wires.%Gallery-slideshow160774%
Most of the equipment we get from our telecom providers is nothing to get excited about, but we might make an exception for Netgear's NeoMediacast. The Android-based HDMI dongle lets providers both offer their own services and support third-party apps without having to build their own set-top boxes or go the traditional TV route. Your cable company could let you stream your favorite shows on a bedroom TV, for instance, while making it easy to check social networks or play your local media library. The NeoMediacast is also relatively futureproof with 802.11ac WiFi, Miracast media sharing and support for both microSD and USB storage. Carriers and service operators can start using Netgear's device in the first half of this year, although they'll likely need to customize its software before it reaches your home.
Filed under: HD
28/12/2013 - GTA Online starts pushing user-created missions, mobile updates arrive for San Andreas and Chinatown Wars
Ready for a slew of Grand Theft Auto updates? We sure hope so. First up, developer Rockstar Games has put its stamp of approval on ten of the GTA Online community's million-plus custom-match submissions. Because these races and deathmatches -- including a NASCAR-style circuit atop a skyscraper and a melee-weapon prison-yard fight -- are now Rockstar Verified, they're available on both PS3 and Xbox 360, regardless of which platform they originated from. If your magnum opus didn't make the first cut, relax: The outfit says there's more verified missions coming ahead of the multiplayer heists and single player DLC due next year.
If you fancy mobile mayhem however, GTA: San Andreas' Grove Street Families arrived on Android late last week. Check the reviews before clicking that buy button though,
Android users don't have to look blankly at their iPad- and Xbox-using friends whenever they talk about Catfish anymore, now that the MTV app has arrived on Google Play. It offers on-demand streaming of recent episodes from select series, but only for subscribers of participating cable providers. The list of cable companies is quite lengthy (it includes AT&T U-Verse, Time Warner and Verizon FiOS, among others) but it's missing some notable ones like DISH, at least for now. Unlucky folks who can't access full episodes can always watch trailers and look at companion content for MTV Shows, including polls and behind-the-scene tidbits. Or, you know, they can look for their video fix elsewhere instead -- some of those other sources even come with actual music videos.
Via: Android Community
Source: Google Play