Tag - Google TV
Google is preparing to cut support for its YouTube apps on a number of aging devices. An announcement on the YouTube support pages notes that select devices manufactured before or during 2012 will lose support for the video app, with the list including smart TVs and Blu-ray players, older Google TV devices, earlier models of the Apple TV, and some iOS devices.
Google is preparing to offer an updated form of its Google TV software under the name of Android TV, according to a report. Screenshots of the software, which was previously said to have been rebranded to the new name, have surfaced to show an interface that takes after the company's "card" system in what appears to be a more cohesive user experience.
Google has acquired the remnants of Green Throttle Games, four months after the service closed to its users. Portions of the company have been bought by the search giant, though terms of the deal remain undisclosed by either side, with the purchase potentially being a sign that Google is becoming more serious about making a set-top box.
Google is looking to expand its Chromecast streaming device from a simple television attachment into an international brand. This according to Gigaom, which quoted Google's vice president of product management, Mario Queiroz, in saying that Google has big plans for its diminutive streaming attachment. Reportedly, Google plans to greatly increase both the number of apps and services that work with the attachment, as well as the features developers can have access to.
Google is planning to phase out the Google TV brand and refocus on using Android as a smart TV platform, according to a report. The software platform will continue to exist and be used by smart TV and device manufacturers, but it will apparently be known as Android TV, and will also have a number of upgrades when it is released under its new title when compared to the earlier code.
Sony recently teased the existence of a new Google TV upgrade built for Sony television sets. The Bravia Smart Stick is a plug-in dongle not entirely unlike Google's Chromecast accessory, as both devices plug directly into a television and enable Internet video streaming. Sony's offering, though, appears tailored to Sony's own television sets.
Google has reportedly met with the National Football League to talk about a possible Sunday Ticket deal, among other topics, unnamed sources have told AllThingsD. The report has ignited speculation that the search giant may be considering an attempt to secure exclusive rights to the NFL subscription package as part of a push for its Google TV or YouTube services.
Following the launch of the Chromecast, Google is reportedly going to continue its assault on the living room. Reports state that it will be supporting the Chromecast dongle to Google TV devices in the future, while others claim it is working on another set-top box with a built-in video camera and motion sensor.
Sony has announced it is adding voice search to the next generation of its Google TV set-top box. The NSZ-GS8, the updated version of the NSZ-GS7, has a relatively unchanged trackpad and keyboard-based remote design from its predecessor, but the addition of a microphone allows it to be used for the vocal control system that Google demonstrated late last year.
A filing at the FCC suggests that Google is not letting go from its television plans, with the appearance of a new device. The item, described in the filing as a "media player," has been submitted for various tests, though there is little in the way of details for the device to be found inside the multiple PDF documents on the FCC website.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R