Google adds backdrop customization options to Chromecast app
Google is starting to enable customizable backdrops for the Chromecast, a feature it first revealed in June. Rolling out from today, owners of the streaming dongle can customize the image feed from the Chromecast app for Android and iOS, including photo albums from Google+, artwork from the Google Cultural Institute, and news images from various publications. More information about an image on display can be brought up by asking the Google search app "What's on my Chromecast?" on any other mobile device on the same network.
Cortana issues public transport notifications, local concert suggestions
Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, has been updated with two event-related changes. WMPU reports the service will now show notifications for when a user's favorite music acts are performing nearby under "Concert Watch," while WP Central notes users in the US and UK can now benefit from public transport notifications, including delays, outages, and advising of the best time to head to an appointment or event.
MyGlass iOS update automatically synchronizes photos between Google Glass, iPhone
An update to MyGlass, the iOS Google Glass companion app, has been updated to allow users faster access to images shot using the headwear. The Next Web writes that photographs will now appear on an iPhone or iPad for editing when Photo Sync is enabled, viewable both via the app and a separate MyGlass album. The Android version of the app reportedly already has the function built in.
Music streaming service comes to Amazon's set-top box with Spotify Connect
Spotify announced this week that the music streaming service has made it to one of the products under Amazon's expanding lineup. Amazon Fire TV owners will now be able to use Spotify Connect to access the millions of songs the service offers on a subscription basis. The company notes that users can navigate Spotify Connect using a smartphone or a tablet as the remote, also seamlessly handing off the sound to the Fire TV. Spotify notes that a premium subscription is required to use the service on the Fire TV, which runs $10 a month.
Includes Apple TV, Chromecast
Netflix has expanded into Germany, according to an announcement by the streaming video service. Plans start at €8 per month ($10.37 US) for basic SD streaming. Two simultaneous devices plus HD quality is €9 ($11.66), while four simultaneous devices with Ultra HD (when available) is €12 ($15.55). As elsewhere, each account can have up to four profiles, which can be age-restricted if need be.
Google reveals apps updated with support for Chromecast streaming
Owners of the Chromecast will have more choice of what to watch in future, as Google has revealed a new collection of supported apps for the streaming device. Watch Disney, Watch Disney Junior, and Watch Disney XD offer shows for children, with the iHeartRadio, Twitch, and DramaFever apps also joining the roster of Chromecast-compatible apps.
Netflix announces availability of Post-Play feature for Google Chromecast
TV and movie streaming platform Netflix has announced that its Post-Play feature is now available for use with Google Chromecast devices. Netflix "casted" to Chromecast is now capable of playing the next episode in a TV series automatically after the end of an episode. Customers using Android or iOS devices sending content to a Chromecast dongle can utilize this function as they already have been able to when viewing Netflix on their device alone. PC support is expected to be made available in the future.
Update adds TV queuing for YouTube videos, Firefox for Android streams to Chromecast
A few new features have come to the Chromecast on the heels of another update to the streaming device. The recent update to the Chromecast pushes a few updates, but Google has announced additions to the beta Google Cast extension. Mozilla also revealed that it added second-screen capabilities for Firefox for Android, utilizing streaming devices like the Chromecast to do so.
Watch ABC app for iOS updated, adds AirPlay and Chromecast support
American television network ABC has updated its content streaming app for iOS. Watch ABC allows its users to view the network's shows, sports content, news and weather reports on demand - so long as a participating cable TV provider account is used to sign in to the service. Live video content is available in Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles and other major cities, subject to the participating TV provider as well. Watch ABC v3.4.0 now includes the ability to stream content with AirPlay, via Apple TV, and as well by using Chromecast via Google Chromecast. Watch ABC for iOS is free to download, and requires iOS 5.0 or later to run.
ESPN creates Scores app for sporting update on Pebble smartwatch
ESPN has released an app for the Pebble smartwatch, providing results for various sporting events. The Scores app includes results from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college football, and college basketball, and will vibrate to notify the wearer about game updates. The app is now available to download from the Pebble App Store for iOS and Android.
One-year anniversary of Chromecast celebrated with extended music trial
Google is providing owners of the Chromecast streaming dongle in the United States free access to Google Play Music All Access for 90 days. An extension of an offer which has already been made available in other Chromecast countries for some time, it is being made available to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Chromecast's launch.
Google's Chrome browser app for iOS adds Chromecast support
Google has updated its Chrome browser app for iOS today, adding Chromecast support. Chrome for iOS syncs tabs and bookmarks across devices, can translate webpages in any language, and allows users to open as many tabs as is desired. Chrome v36.0.19 allows mobile sites that have added Cast support to work one's Cast-enabled device. Additionally included in the update are stability-focused improvements and bug fixes. Chrome for iOS is free to download and requires iOS 6.0 or later.
Field expected to diversify with more entrants coming to market
Ahead of what is expected to be a significant revamp or re-invention of the Apple TV, rivals such as Roku and Google's Chromecast dongle are allegedly outselling Apple's entry in the streaming-settop-box wars, claims a new study. Though still more popular worldwide, the report from Parks Associates believes that Apple sold just over two million Apple TV units in the US last year, which if true would place it third behind Roku and the Chromecast, both of which sold about 3.8 million units in the US in the same period.
Android users can stream smartphone display to Chromecast
Google is starting to roll out Chromecast screen mirroring to Android devices. Previously only available through Chrome for desktop, and demonstrated at Google I/O last month, the function lets smartphone users display what's on their screen on a nearby television via the Chromecast, with the update beginning to appear on devices via an update to the Chromecast app.
Engineer explains Google Chromecast pairing using unhearable sounds
The Google Chromecast apparently uses ultrasonic sounds to communicate with mobile devices that are not located on the local network. Revealed during a presentation by Chromecast Engineering Manager John Affaki at Google I/O yesterday, the streaming HDMI dongle will apparently play a unique ultrasonic sound via the television's speakers in order to identify itself to an unknown device.
New platform integrates with Android Wear controllers, Bluetooth controllers
Google is taking yet another shot at the set-top box industry. Announced today, Android TV is a new software platform with similar functionality to the Chromecast or Apple TV. The platform will be made available on a wide array of 2014 and 2015 4K television models, bringing Android integration into the living room for those investing in the new HDTV platform.
Streaming television broadcaster Aereo adds Chromecast support to Android app
Aereo, a television streaming service, has added Google Chromecast support to its Android app. Subcribers can now stream live broadcast television to their TV by tap the "cast" icon within the app. A beta release, any issues found can be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the app's feedback link. Bug fixes and performance improvements are also included in Aereo's Android app update. Though it requires a subscription to run, the Android version of Aereo can be downloaded through Google Play at no charge.
ESPN's WatchESPN app adds Chromecast support for iOS and Android
Available beginning today, users of ESPN's WatchESPN apps can access content with Google's Chromecast dongle. Live broadcasts can be streamed directly to users' televisions with this update, including channel content from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPNEWS, and ESPN Deportes.
Google adds over 17,000 UK public transport routes to Google Maps
Google Maps has been updated to include the majority of transport routes in the United Kingdom. Over 17,000 routes have been added to the app, according to The Next Web, including data for buses, trams, coaches, trains, underground services, and ferries in the country, with details for scheduling, stops, walking between stations, and other information also provided. The update will be appearing on the Google Maps site, Android, and iOS apps today.
Logitech announces new Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.0 10.1
Logitech has announced the expansion of its tablet accessories line-up with the new Ultrathin Keyboard Folio for Samsung's Galaxy Tab 4 10.1. A light, protective case with a built-in Bluetooth keyboard, the Folio features Android shortcuts and keys spaced for quick tablet typing.
AMD starts private beta of Mantle SDK, launches resources portal
AMD has opened up a software development kit for its Mantle graphics API in a private beta. Mantle, which allows programs to call directly to AMD GPUs and APUs without passing instructions through the CPU beforehand, lowering the need for a powerful processor and bringing PC gaming in line with consoles and their reliance on AMD graphics. AMD has also set up a protected development portal for the API, providing restricted access to various Mantle resources.
Google Drive adds option to broadcast presentations to Chromecast
Presentations stored on Google Drive can now be viewed on the Google Chromecast, it has been discovered. Android Police notes the Present option in the presentation creation tool within Google Drive now lists Chromecast devices on the same network under the "Present on another device" option. While the desktop browser version adds the Chromecast support, the Google Drive Android app does not, but could receive it in a future update.
Withings updates Pulse activity tracker, adds blood oxygen monitoring
Health accessory manufacturer Withings has announced that its Pulse activity tracker has been updated with new sensor capabilities and followed the news with the release of the Pulse O2. Able to measure the user's blood oxygen level, the Pulse O2 features a new bracelet mount for wrist wearing. By measuring one's oxygen saturation level, the Pulse O2 can determine how efficiently the user is breathing during activity. The Pulse O2 is priced at $120, and is available now through Withing's online store. Existing Pulse users can adopt the new features by downloading a free firmware update.
Tesco will make successor to Hudl tablet, sold 500,000 units
Tesco has confirmed it is working on a follow-up to the Hudl tablet for release sometime this year, after revealing the British retailer sold over 500,000 units of the Android device, reports Hexus. The current model, priced at £120 ($200), has a 7-inch 1440x900 display, a quad-core 1.5GHz processor, 16GB of storage, and a stock installation of Android with apps for Tesco services pre-loaded. Specifications for the updated model remain unknown.
MLB.TV viewable on Google Chromecast with subscription
The Google Chromecast is now supported by the MLB.com At Bat for iOS and Android. The update allows subscribers of MLB.TV's Premium Subscription to stream live, out-of-market games and on-demand events, with a choice of home or away broadcasts also available. The MLB.TV subscription is $25 per month or $130 for the entire year, with access to the MLB.com At Bat app's features included in the price.
Latest Chrome beta for Android improves Chromecast support
Google has announced that it has begun rolling out a Chrome 35 beta for Android users today. Featuring improved Chromecast support, users can now send some video clips from the browser to a Chromecast-equipped TV. Additionally, Chrome now offers full-screen videos and improved support for multi-window devices. The update is available through Google Play.
Chromecast support in Android app brings Aereo to televisions
Troubled television rebroadcasting start-up Aereo will be adding support for the Google Chromecast to its Android app at the end of next month, the company has announced. The move will allow customers to watch live broadcast television via the Chromecast, as well as programs recorded on the service's cloud-based DVR, starting from May 29th.
Logitech launches K830 illuminated keyboard in US, Europe
Logitech has introduced the K830 Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard. The wireless, rechargeable keyboard has a range of up to 33 feet from its 2.4GHz USB adapter, and an integrated trackpad for mouse controls. The backlit keys, along with the multimedia keys, automatically dim and brighten based on the amount of available light, with the backlight switching off after five seconds of inactivity. Logitech is shipping the K830 in the US and Europe this month for $100.
Google's new Night Walk offers immersive tour through Cours Julien neighbourhood in France
Google's Street View has been taken to a new level with its release of Google Night Walk, an audio-based tour through a French neighbourhood. Leading those accessing the tour though Cours Julien, a neighbourhood of Marseille, France, narrators Julie and Christophe lead users across the city, highlighting locations of note. A mini-map displays one's progress though the city, and certain hotspots initiate YouTube clips, Wikipedia segments and photo galleries, and more.
Reign23 Bolt portable USB wall battery charger released
Reign23 has released its combination USB wall charger and rechargeable portable battery, Bolt. Its portable battery has a 3000mAh capacity, large enough for two full charges of an iPhone or other mobile device. Initially launched as a Kickstarter project in 2013, Bolt is small, at 2.75 inches by 1.33 inches by 1.10 inches. Its smart charge technology automatically bypasses the battery when fully charged, and is available in blue and black color options. Priced at $60, the Bolt USB Wall Charger and Battery can be purchased online.
BT prepares sports channels for use on Chromecast
BT Sport will soon be available to watch on Chromecast in the UK. The sports channel, currently available as a paid service on Sky but free to BT Broadband customers, will appear on the streaming device in the future, reports the Financial Times. There is no mention of exactly when it will be rolling out to the Chromecast, though it seems to be likely BT will continue restricting access to anyone using their Internet service.
Crackle adds Chromecast, iOS 7 optimization
Movie and TV show streaming app, Crackle, has received an update today. Central to the app's update is its new support for Google Chromecast, allowing Crackle users to stream content from its service through to one's Chromecast device ($35), and view content on one's HDTV. Crackle features a wide variety of video media for free, including original content such as Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Available for iOS and Android devices, Crackle is free to download.
Showyou video content app now supports Chromecast
Video streaming app Showyou has released an update featuring Chromecast support for both Android and iOS versions. Featuring thousands of channels, users can browse through customized content guides and categories to find something specific to watch, or view content based on the app's suggestions, generated by what channels one follows.
'Photowall for Chromecast' App available now, has no functionality
Google has inadvertently released what appears to be a partially-finished iOS application to Apple's App Store, leveraging its new Chromecast television dongle peripheral. The new iOS-only app called "Photowall for Chromecast" will at some point allow users to create a photo montage through the iOS device to a Chromecast.
First international expansion of Google Chromecast since US launch
Google is performing its first major international expansion of its Chromecast streaming HDMI dongle, making it available to purchase outside of the United States for the first time. Residents in a total of 11 more countries can now buy the device through Google Play and retailers, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and a number of other European countries.
Devices launches in UK 'very soon' with 'many more countries' to follow
A recent update to the Chromecast software reveals that countries outside of the United States may soon be able to get their hands on the inexpensive smart TV option from Google. The update adds support for over 50 languages on the Android version and 20 on the iOS version as the device readies a wider launch. This supports previous information that Chromecast would be expanding after news surfaced in February about a possible March 1 release date for the device in the United Kingdom.
Gaming acquisition could help rumored Google set-top box
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.
Android, Chrome head Pichai reveals SDK for wearable device plans
Google will be helping developers create software for wearable devices, by releasing a software development kit specifically for the gadgets, the head of Android and Chrome has revealed to an audience in Austin, Texas. Sundar Pichai advised during a SXSW interview that the company would provide an Android-based SDK for wearables within the next two weeks, as well as discussing in-car technology, the Chromecast, and other topics.
Vudu adding support for Google Chromecast to mobile apps, website
Vudu has revealed it will be adding support for the Google Chromecast to the streaming service in the future. Both the mobile apps for iOS and Android will gain the extra ability, including offering remote control through the app itself, with casting through the Chrome browser for Mac and PC also touted as part of the release. Though Vudu has yet to reveal a date, it is accepting registrations for beta testing.
Update follows release of Chromecast SDK to developers in early February
Owners of the Google Chromecast may find more apps will work with their device in the near future, as the latest Google Play Services update for Android has rolled-out to Android devices, and the accompanying SDK has been issued to developers. Version 4.2 of Google Play Services adds a number of APIs for developers to use in their Android applications, including the Chromecast API the company released an SDK for earlier this month.
Hulu signs with CBS for 2,600 new episodes of programming for Hulu Plus
Hulu has made a new deal with US broadcaster CBS, adding 2,600 new episodes to its subscription-based television and movie streaming service Hulu Plus. The library expansion includes classic television content such as The Brady Bunch, Melrose Place and Taxi, as well as more recent programming such as Everybody Loves Raymond. The added content brings Hulu Plus' CBS library to over 5,300 episodes.
UK sale will mark first time Chromecast available outside of United States
Google will be launching its Chromecast streaming device in the United Kingdom, a retailer has revealed. The dongle is set to go on sale through the Currys PC World chain of stores with a tentative street date of March 1st, and marks the first time the Chromecast will be available to buy in a country outside the United States, with the potential for more regional launches to follow.
BackBlaze 2.5 updates online accounts, adds e-mail notifications
Backblaze has updated its software to version 2.5, adding a number of account-related and client changes. The main account page has been reorganized with a new overview of computers and attached drives, with e-mail notifications able to be sent to users if their licensed computer does not communicate with the service for 14 days, a similar e-mail for internal and external drives that have not been backed up for some time, and a frequent account summary message for all devices on the account. The client is now twice as fast in compiling a list of files to back up, and removed the 4GB individual file size limit, allowing any file to be backed up.
Should open up many more iOS, Android, Chrome apps for casting
Google has released the finished and long-anticipated Google Cast Software Development Kit, needed for third-party developers wanting to add Chromecast support to apps. The package includes resources for iOS, Android, and websites in Chrome. Until now, Google has only worked with individual developers to expand Chromecast support.
Supports Chromecast, but currently acts as little more than a catalog
In an odd move, Google has release an iOS app for its Google Play movies and TV offerings, but limited it to streaming already-purchased movies and TV shows. The application also supports the company's Chromecast TV device, finally bringing a way for iPhone users to stream purchased content from the phone to the device -- but does not allow users to purchase or rent content from within the app.
Streaming player accompanies unlocked Moto X orders until January 14th
Motorola has started to offer off-contract purchasers of its Moto X flagship smartphone a free Google Chromecast. The offer comes at the same time as the company's budget-oriented Moto G goes on sale in the US through Verizon, and a week before the phone manufacturer is expected to launch the Moto X in Europe at a special event in London.
We really meant to get this to you earlier but kept putting it off
The last days before Christmas are a special time of year, full of family gatherings and carolers for some, and panic racing thoughts for others. Those latter holiday sentiments, of course, are for those among us who neglected to get all of our shopping done. Maybe you managed to secure a flight back home at the last minute, or maybe you just decided to forgive Uncle Bobby for that incident on Thanksgiving. No matter the cause, you've probably got a few last-minute acquisitions to make, and the gift budget may have already bled into the rest of your budget. Have no fear, though, Electronista is here with the Last Minute Edition of our Holiday Gadget Gift Guide, so there's no need to grab those Starbucks gift cards in bulk quite yet, as there's still time to get folks the tech gifts they'll love.
Google looking to push Chromecast into new TV standard
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.
RealPlayer Cloud now integrated with Chromecast
RealNetworks' RealPlayer Cloud, a dual-purpose video player and cloud service, has announced its new partnership with Google's Chromecast. Consumers can now watch their personal video collection on their TV by accessing content on the RealPlayer Cloud through its own app, pushing the content to a TV using the Chromecast dongle.
RealPlayer, Vevo, Red Bull.TV, more now Chromecast compatible
Google's Chromecast streaming dongle now has compatibility with 10 new apps, greatly expanding the range of compatible content for the diminutive TV attachment. Google's Chrome Blog made the announcement on Tuesday, revealing that Chromecast was compatible with Vevo, Red Bull.TV, and a number of other services. Along with an expected Android app-mirroring feature, the new announcement demonstrates the increasing attention Google is giving to its small streaming device.